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Tempest (1928)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 27 May 1928 (USA)
In Czarist Russia, a peasant officer, resented by the aristocrats, falls in love with a princess.


Sam Taylor, Lewis Milestone (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


George Marion Jr. (titles), Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko (story) (as V.I. Nemirovich-Dantchenko) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
John Barrymore ... Sgt. Ivan Markov
Camilla Horn ... Princess Tamara
Louis Wolheim ... Sgt. Bulba
Boris de Fast Boris de Fast ... The Peddler
George Fawcett ... The General
Ullrich Haupt Ullrich Haupt ... The Captain
Michael Visaroff ... The Guard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fred DeSilva Fred DeSilva
Jack Manick Jack Manick
Serge Temoff Serge Temoff


In the final days of Czarist Russia, a peasant is raised from the ranks to Lieutenant. The other officers, aristocrats all, resent him, and make his life difficult. He falls in love with a princess, who spurns him. When he is caught in her room, he is stripped of his rank and thrown into prison. Then comes the Red Terror, and the tables are turned. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 May 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tempestade See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Mono | Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Carole Lombard was considered for the role of Princess Tamara. See more »

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User Reviews

John Barrymore Sees Red
2 May 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Unfortunately, this is not John Barrymore starring in William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" - rather, "This is the storm-swept romance of a poor dragoon and a proud princess - of imperial Russia - in the last calm before the red tempest of terror. The year is 1914. The hour is midnight. The place is Volinsk - a garrison town near the Austrian border," as introduced in helpful title cards.

"'Tempest' was completed at the end of the silent era, and its release was delayed until it could be equipped with recorded musical accompaniment on Vitaphone discs. Seven of the discs have survived and are synchronized here; the gaps are filled by re-editing the available sound. A new digital stereo score performed by pianist Philip Carli is the primary soundtrack," according to the "Image Entertainment" DVD sleeve, "Our digital transfer is from a print made in the early 1950s from the camera negative."

Mr. Barrymore looks remarkable hale and hearty for an actor born in the early 1880s, showing off a still enviable physique in his shirtless scenes. He is often heavily made-up, and too obviously maneuvered into as many "Great Profile" photo opportunities as possible, but his performance as the upwardly mobile Russian peasant does not disappoint. Barrymore certainly delivers.

"Sam Taylor, who helmed some of Harold Lloyd's and Mary Pickford's most successful films, is the only credited director on 'Tempest'. However, in mid-production, Taylor replaced Russian-born Lewis Milestone, who in turn had taken over from Russian émigré director Victor Tourjansky," explains Image, "The original script by Erich von Stroheim was rewritten by Milestone and much modified by C. Gardner Sullivan, a reliable craftsman who received sole screen credit. Some original aspirations for authenticity survive in the contributions of several actual White Russian officers working as small-part players and technical advisers."

The film greatest strength is the outstanding work by the United Artists assembled technical crew. Titles by George Marion Jr., art direction by William Cameron Menzies, and photography by Charles Rosher were all praised at Hollywood's first annual "Academy Awards" banquet. Marion was mentioned for his work on Colleen Moore's "Oh Kay!" Mr. Menzies won for "Tempest and "The Dove". And, Mr. Rosher was mentioned for the winning "Sunrise", Ms. Pickford's "My Best Girl" and "Tempest".

Pretty princess Camilla Horn, who impressed in F.W. Murnau's "Faust" (1926), looks like she was producer (and then lover) Joseph M. Schenck's choice to take the Greta Garbo route to super-stardom. It doesn't work, herein, but neither is Ms. Horn a deterrent. Louis Wolheim and George Fawcett are marvelous as always. The Russian-born Boris de Fast makes an excellent impression as the gap-toothed socialist peddler. If the "Oscar" category for "Supporting Actor" had existed, Mr. Wolheim might have been noted, for some combination of acting effort; he appeared in no less than four films nominated during the eligibility year.

******* Tempest (5/17/28) Sam Taylor ~ John Barrymore, Camilla Horn, Louis Wolheim, Boris de Fast

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