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The second version of a famous novel,the first one was made in the silent age .The special effects are successful for the time and the scene when the "baddie" is killed by an army of automatons deserves all your undivided attention even today.The automatons are the raison d'être of the movie which would be undistinguished without them ,considering the paucity of the screenplay: a young Polish Joan Of Arc (that's how her enemy calls her)wants her homeland to be free and to get rid of the Russian yoke .It was the time of Catherine The Second (played by Françoise Rosay who in her first appearance looks like a man) who is rather clever in Dreville's work ,quoting a French philosopher such as Voltaire and making a fool of her favorite Potemkine.The chess player scenes are well directed and the automaton(?)has something sinister about him.
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