In 18th-Century Russia, the Czar, Paul, is surrounded by murderous plots and trusts only Count Pahlen. Pahlen wishes to protect his friend, the mad king, but because of the horror of the king's acts, he feels that he must remove him from the throne.
I can only agree with what has already been said in this forum, for heaven's sake save this copy before it's too late, it's an invaluable piece of film history! The last piece in a longer story of artistic struggles between the actor and the two directors Sternheim and Lubitsch. Both films complement each other, The Patriot being Lubitsch' and Jannings' artistic reply to the predecessor. Just look at the difference in Janning's acting styles in the two films. From what I've read it was also the final nail in the silent film coffin, and Jannings, with the first ever Oscar in his hands, left for Germany, and ended up with a ban on working by the Allies after WW2.
(And may I say that it only costs coppers to digitise it, but that's not really the argument here)
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