A young officer in the army of Empress Catherine of Russia is on his way to his new duty station at a remote outpost. During a blinding snowstorm he comes upon a stranger who was caught in ...
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A young officer in the army of Empress Catherine of Russia is on his way to his new duty station at a remote outpost. During a blinding snowstorm he comes upon a stranger who was caught in the storm and is near death from freezing. He rescues the man and eventually brings him back to health. When the man is well enough to travel, the two part company and the man vows to repay the officer for saving his life. Soon after he arrives at his new post, a revolt by the local Cossacks breaks out and the fort is besieged by the rebels. The young officer is astonished to find out that the leader of the rebellious Cossacks is none other than the stranger whose life he had saved during the storm. Written by
There has been not many films on Russian historical events (other than local products). "Tempest" is a co-production (French, Italian and Yugoslavian) that deals with a cossack uprising against empress Catherine II's ruling in Russia. It is in my opinion a very acceptable movie rather accurate to facts in its underground and with a fine screenplay in the surface.
The plot is interesting and precisely managed by Italian Director Alberto Lattuada. The film doesn't lack spectacle and intensity with fine battle scenes and action sequences that could qualify it as a true epic. Wide open outdoor color shooting and good interior settings also help the product.
But what really hurts the picture, and badly, is the important role of Russian officer Grinov played by a completely miscast-ed Geoffrey Horne. He just doesn't fit at all as the man who unknowingly saves the rebels leader life and from then on is the character that allows viewers to know about Pugachov's reasons and ideas that led him to raise against the empress in an almost impossible task. Horne's acting is definitely poor and he lacks the strength and passion his role demands. On the other hand, Van Heflin does a very good work and plays most convincingly Emelyan Pugachov the man who dared to challenge the powerful Catherine (in fact I can't recall a bad performance from Heflin in films). The rest of the cast is correct, mainly Agnes Moorehead, Oskar Homolka, Silvana Mangano (you just can't understand how she could fall in love with Horne's dull and inexpressive character) and Viveca Lindfors as the empress.
But all in all "Tempest" is a watchable and most entertaining film in its genre.
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