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Corto Maltese: La cour secrète des Arcanes (2002)

In 1918, civil wars are tearing Russia and China apart. Laconic adventurer Corto Maltese is hired by a Chinese secret society to capture a train that's taking Tzar's gold abroad. His friend Rasputin joins him, but only hell awaits them.

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, (graphic novel "Corto Sconta dette Arcana") | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Berry ...
Corto Maltese (voice)
...
Raspoutine (voice)
Barbara Schulz ...
Changaï Li (voice)
Marie Trintignant ...
La Duchesse Marina Seminova (voice)
...
(voice)
Marc Chapiteau ...
Semenov (voice)
Maxime Leroux ...
Nino (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hervé Bellon ...
Tchang (voice)
Philippe Cotten ...
Tippit (voice)
Emmanuel Curtil ...
Barrow (voice)
Patrice Dozier ...
Longue Vie (voice)
Jean-Michel Dupuis ...
Von Ungern (voice)
Paule Emanuele ...
Mme Hu (voice) (as Paule Emmanuele)
Sébastien Fromanger ...
Une Oreille (voice)
Bô Geste ...
(voice)
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Storyline

At the end of 1918 while civil war is raging on in Russia, antagonism is slowly spreading to the East, between the Oural mountains and Shanghai. Stuck between a desire to save what's left of the great Imperial Russia, and starting from a clean slate, old generals, secret organizations, and mercenaries attracted by gold, struggle to take advantage of the events. As Corto Maltese returns to Shanghai, he barely gets time to cross paths with his old friend/nemesis Raspoutine, and escape a murder attempt before being contacted by members of a Chinese secret organization called "The Red Lanterns". In the heart of violent Mandchourian horizons, Corto and Raspoutine launch themselves into a fabulous treasure hunt, following the tracks of the mysterious armor-plated train of Koltchak. A steel monster spiked with canons and machine guns, this trains protects the counter-revolutionaries gold, traveling through Mongolia, and! Mandchouria. While following the bloody trail of this doomed train, ... Written by Serge Ansay

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25 September 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Az elveszett aranyvonat fosztogatói  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although South Korean animation companies are usually contracted by US and European companies to animate various Western films and series for them, this film has the unique, if dubious, honor of being animated by North Korea's animators. See more »

Connections

Follows Corto Maltese - Sous le signe du capricorne (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A beautiful synthesis of modern arts
27 October 2005 | by (Slovenia) – See all my reviews

This is overall a nice proof that there is enough room in the movie/animation world for something different, concerning almost all factors of animated movie-making: direction, animation, dramaturgy, plot, message, visual narration and least but not last, the thing movies are best at, connecting different means of expression, like music, visual art, literature... etc. This feature animation based on (almost literally) Hugo Pratt's graphic novel Corto Maltese in Siberia encompasses all above-mentioned features beautifully, and I think meets some comic readers' secret expectations about how a cartoon on this subject should look like. Recommended is of course that you look up some historical facts and names appearing in the movie, of course the best you can do is to read the graphic novel. This may be the least effective side of the film, namely the plot and character positioning may be pretty confusing if you're not familiar with at least some of the facts manipulated in the film. The first thing that convinced me in the movie was beautiful transition from Pratt's black&white comics to this full color extravaganza. Even though colors are a totally different medium, here they speak in favor of Pratt's narration, whose main quality is a kind of storyboard organization of the plot. I've always wondered how his comics would look in full color. In contrast to the later editions of his comics in color, here the formula works excellently, whereas in the comics, merely colorized black&white drawings, the charm gets lost. The second thing I couldn't miss, but has no connection whatsoever with Pratts novels, was the music. This is the main addition to the general mysteriously melancholic air of his comics, that the film makers can be credited for. All in all a beautiful achievement, cinematically and literary, mainly for affectionados, but a little bit too short for the ones used to Pratts comics.


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