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Mockery (1927)

During the Russian Revolution, a mentally challenged peasant saves then obsesses over a beautiful countess.

Writers:

Benjamin Christensen (story), Stig Esbern (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... Sergei
Ricardo Cortez ... Captain Dimitri
Barbara Bedford ... Countess Tatiana Alexandrova
Mack Swain ... Vladimir Gaidaroff
Emily Fitzroy ... Mrs. Gaidaroff
Károly Huszár Károly Huszár ... Ivan - the Gatekeeper (as Charles Puffy)
Kai Schmidt Kai Schmidt ... Butler
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Storyline

There is hunger in Siberia during the Russian Civil War. Dim-witted peasant Sergei is searching corpses for food. He meets a mysterious young woman looking for the town of Novokursk. She asks Sergei to tell anyone they might meet that he is her husband. They find an abandoned house where they can rest... but a stranger is hiding inside. Sergei washes the woman's feet and prepares a bed for her. The stranger reveals himself and is soon joined by cossacks; they do not believe that the woman is a peasant's wife. They beat Sergei but he does not betray her. The two are rescued by White cavalry. The woman is in fact the Countess Alexandrova. In Novokursk, the countess stays with the rich Gaidaroff family. When Sergei leaves hospital, he goes to see his "friend". The countess begrudgingly provides a job in the household. Sergei is exposed to the revolutionary talk of Ivan, a servant. When the Whites leave town to counter an attack, the Reds are free to act... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"It is fate"

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terror See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$187,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$448,400, 31 December 1927
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Quotes

Sergei: Now I am the master here! Now... I am as good as any man! Kiss me... like you kissed that Captain!
Countess Tatiana Alexandrova: Go downstairs where you belong!
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Connections

Referenced in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Upstairs, Downstairs in Russia
16 July 2009 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

During the Russian Revolution, "slow-thinking and ignorant" peasant Lon Chaney (as Sergei) promises to help beautiful waylaid countess Barbara Bedford (as Tatiana Alexandrova) travel to safety in the militarily protected city of Novokursk. In return, Ms. Bedford offers Mr. Chaney food and friendship. Before the couple are rescued, Bolsheviks whip Chaney and attempt to rape Bedford. When they are safe, Bedford gives Chaney a menial job; and, she falls in love with handsome Russian rescuer Ricardo Cortez (as Dimitri).

Oafish Chaney begins to realize Bedford never offered true friendship, as she is a member of the aristocratic class. Another of Chaney's peasant class, rotund Charles Puffy (as Ivan), encourages Chaney to attack his former companion, and her ilk. When the Revolution is won, Chaney believes, "I will be good enough for the Countess," and he hopes to "kiss her" like Captain Cortez kisses her. Fueled with liquor, Chaney decides to rape Bedford. Will his secret love for Bedford be his salvation, or damnation?

Nicely directed, in the last act, by Benjamin Christensen. An interesting earlier scene, wherein Chaney lovingly bathes Bedford's feet, can be seen as the point where Bedford is set up as Sergei's potential "Madonna"-type savior. Mr. Puffy makes a relatively good impression, neatly balancing comic with menacing. Handsome 1940s western star Johnny Mack Brown can be seen as a Russian officer; he quickly became an MGM co-star for no less than Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer.

***** Mockery (8/13/27) Benjamin Christensen ~ Lon Chaney, Barbara Bedford, Ricardo Cortez, Charles Puffy


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