In 19th century Russia, a Tartar rebellion led by Feofar Khan separates Russia from Siberia where the Tsar's brother and his troops are making a last stand. The Tsar entrusts Captain Michel Strogoff to deliver a vital message to them.
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Careless re-editing of "Der Kurier des Zaren" (1936)
I'm giving 6 to this film, well below it's current ranking at IMDb, and just for the powerful scenes that remain in it, from the original French production "Michel Strogoff" aka "Der Kurier des Zaren" (1936), by German director Richard Eichberg. The introduction of two comic-relief characters speaks a lot of the lack of culture, ethics, and common-sense of the American producers who concocted this version, re-issued under a different title yet, in 1945, in which Akim Tamiroff was given first credits - to bank on his 1940 public acknowledgement in "The Way of All Flesh". Speaking of flesh, Michel Strogoff is whip-tortured by Ogareff in front of his mother, and girl friend: first you see his naked torso (from the Franco-German film), and then you see him in tattered shirt (from the American added footage)... As if the Russian outlaws would decide to cover the man's torso after the first set of whip-lashes! Since the earlier film is impossible to view these days, I guess we must put up with this version to have glimpses of the former greatness of battles, horse charges, and human emotions - like that silent suffering mother. A pity Eichberg is not credited for the only good footage in this film.
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