THE ADVENTURES OF MICHAEL STROGOFF (aka THE SOLDIER AND THE LADY) is a strange little movie. At first glance it's an American production, but then it turns out to be a version of a French version of a German movie. Confused yet? In essence, lots of footage is taken from the European original(s) with some added-in sub-plots involving a couple of comic relief characters commentating on the action.
The film is a fairly typical swashbuckler for the era, ostensibly based on a Jules Verne story. The fact that it involves the Russian Empire makes for a refreshing change, but otherwise it's business as usual. The bad guys are dastardly and of the moustache-twirling variety while the hero is put through the mill during the course of the production.
There are certainly some rousing bits of spectacle along the way, including well-filmed horse and carriage chases. The ending is inevitably stirring, with a nice twist. Strogoff gets the chance to indulge in some fisticuffs with a bear and is later subjected to a torture scene straight out of a FU MANCHU movie. It's all heavily dated so only those with a nostalgic eye for the era will likely enjoy it.
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