7.3/10
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5 user 2 critic

Michel Strogoff (1926)

In 1860s Russia, a young officer is sent on a mission to save his country from invaders.

Director:

Viktor Tourjansky

Writers:

Jules Verne (novel), Boris de Fast
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ivan Mozzhukhin ... Michael Strogoff
Nathalie Kovanko ... Nadia Fedor
Acho Chakatouny Acho Chakatouny ... Ivan Ogareff
Jeanne Brindeau Jeanne Brindeau ... Maria Strogoff
Tina Meller ... Zaugara (as Tina de Yzarduy)
M. Debas M. Debas ... Enur Feifar
Vladimir Gajdarov ... Tzar Alexandre of Russia / Jules Verne (as Eugène Gaidaroff)
Micolas Kougoucheff Micolas Kougoucheff ... General Kissoff (as N. Nougoucheff)
Henri Debain Henri Debain ... Harry Blount
Boris de Fast Boris de Fast ... Féofar-Khan
Gabriel de Gravone ... Alcide Jolivet
Vladimir Kvanin Vladimir Kvanin ... Wassili Feodoroff, Nadia's father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nicolas Koline Nicolas Koline
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Storyline

Things look bleak for Russia when the invading Tartars cut off all telecommunications between the border cities and the capital. The czar sends the young captain Michael Strogoff to deliver a vital message to the last line of defense. Along the way he finds love with the practical Nadia, a woman trying to visit her exiled father in Siberia, and danger from the traitorous Ivan Ogereff, who wants to stop him at all costs. Written by cupcakes

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

CAST OF 6,000! MAGNIFICENT SPECTACLES IN FULL COLOR (Print ad- The Evening Sun,((Vancouver, B.C.)) 30 April 1927)

Genres:

Adventure

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Details

Country:

France | Germany

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

December 1926 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Kurier des Zaren See more »

Filming Locations:

Lettonia, Latvia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

4,000 soldiers, including cavalrymen, were loaned by the Latvian army to portray the Russian and Tartar armies, and the battles were filmed outside Riga on large plains, which simulated the Siberian steppes. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Version of Miguel Strogoff (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

A Forgotten Masterpiece
3 May 2002 | by hamilton65See all my reviews

A wonderfully exciting and action packed adventure, Michel Strogoff was a big hit in it's time but with the coming of sound was virtually forgotten until this superb restoration returned it to it's proper state. A huge production, easily rivalling Hollywood's biggest, it represents the French film industry at it's most accomplished although ironically two of the prime personnel were Russian émigrés. Directed by Viktor Tourjansky, this film has it all, epic sweep, pulsating action, intrigue, romance and even a little comedy relief. Despite a 3 hour length, the pace never lags and the story is compelling throughout. Technically this is cutting edge 1926-style, with it's use of colour and tinting as well as some dazzling editing of the type associated with Gance and Eisenstein.

It left me stunned and exhausted.

But what raises this film to true classic status is the incredibly charismatic performance of Ivan Mousjoukine, who draws us effortlessly into Strogoff's mission to reach the Tsar in time to save the empire from the Tartars. From his first appearance Mousjoukine exerts a magnetic hold on our attention. He never overplays, yet conveys a wide range of emotions and thoughts with the subtlest of movements.

This is acting on a level with the very best silent cinema has to offer and I found myself longing to know more about this figure

There wasn't much on the web but my friend Henry, who introduced me to the film gave me some more details.

Mousjoukine was a major star in Russia until the revolution when he and other Russian directors and writers fled to France. They helped put together Film Albatross productions which also attracted directors like Jean Epstein and Marcel l'Herbier. Mousjoukine also did some writing and directing as well as acting (A film he directed, THE BURNING STAKE, inspired Jean Renoir to switch from ceramics to film!)

Unfortunately, in the late twenties Albatross went under. Sound came and Mousjoukine was hampered by his really heavy Russian accent (some of the other Russians didn't even know how to speak French) and his roles became fewer and smaller. He had been a very popular star in France but he was also a big spender and his income quickly dwindled in the thirties. He died of tuberculosis in the charity ward of a hospital.

Though this was a tragic and premature end (he was only 50) at least it's possible to experience the power of his acting and appreciate a figure who's overdue for re-evaluation.

Come on Film Four or TCM USA, give this magical film the audience it deserves.

10 out of 10


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