Cossack chief Taras Bulba, aiming to conquer neighboring Poland and her Tartar allies, sends his sons Ostap and Andrei to study in the Polish city Dubno to learn more about Polish customs ... See full summary »
During the 16th century the Cossacks and their Ukraine homeland is ruled by Poland. This is the story of the leader of the Cossacks and how his son was sent to study under the Poles to ... See full summary »
I happened to be in Paris when the Tony Curtis TARAS BULBA opened and noticed a reference to this showing in what was then the Studio Cujas, owned by François Trufaut. I figured it for a mistake but the tacky old thirties lobby cards were out front and the cash box woman assured me it was Harry Baur. In I went, expecting to be faced by Yul Brynner leading the Cossacks but no - there was the luminous cast thirties version.
End of good luck story. This must be next to Baur's worst film both in it's original French and in the gummed together British version REBEL SON. I will admit SECRETS DE LA MER ROUGE is worse - but just. The characters stand about on papier maché battlements declaiming their dialogue, with a feeble love story played by an anachronistically got up Darrieux and Aumant. The Gogol plot is there with all the juice sucked out.
The one imposing scene has the hoard, which appears distant on the horizon, keep on coming till it engulfs the camera but even here they chicken and drop an obvious studio inset in to break it's impact.
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