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Knight Without Armor (1937)

Knight Without Armour (original title)
After two years as a Czarist British agent posing as a Russian Commissar, he rescues a Russian countess from her Bolshevik captors.

Director:

Jacques Feyder

Writers:

James Hilton (from the novel by), Frances Marion (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlene Dietrich ... Alexandra
Robert Donat ... A.J. Fothergill
Irene Vanbrugh ... Duchess
Herbert Lomas Herbert Lomas ... Vladinoff
Austin Trevor ... Colonle Adraxine
Basil Gill ... Axelstein
David Tree ... Maronin
John Clements John Clements ... Poushkoff
Frederick Culley Frederick Culley ... Stanfield
Lawrence Hanray Lawrence Hanray ... Forrester
Dorice Fordred Dorice Fordred ... The Maid
Franklin Kelsey Franklin Kelsey ... Tomsky
Laurence Baskcomb Laurence Baskcomb ... Commissar (as Lawrence Baskcomb)
Hay Petrie Hay Petrie ... Station Master
Miles Malleson ... Drunken Red Commissar (as Miles Malieson)
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Storyline

Because he can pass as a Russian, A.J. Fothergill is recruited to spy on the revolutionary movement in Russia in 1913. He becomes imprisoned in Siberia, as a revolutionary, until the 1917 uprisings. Amid the turmoil of the civil war between the red and white armies, he tries to flee Russia along with the beautiful Countess Alexandra. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The woman of flame -- the man of steel -- together !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

23 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jacques Feyder's Knight Without Armor See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the bathtub scene, Marlene Dietrich slipped on a bar of soap, falling naked and spreadeagled before cast and crew. Ever the professional, she picked herself up, laughed and continued shooting. See more »

Goofs

As Fothergill and Alexandra escape through the unguarded border crossing, they quickly move through heavy brush. The shadow of the cameraman and his equipment can be seen upon their clothes as they walk. See more »

Quotes

Ainsley J. Fothergill aka Peter Ouronov: [the darkness of the gulag is making him lose his mind. Shouting] Night... night... night! Night all the time! Ceaseless night! Nothing but night all over the earth! The sun must be dead! Everything must be dead! We're the last things alive!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: ASCOT 1913 See more »

Connections

Featured in Shepperton Babylon (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Alexandra's Song
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Going Back In Time Turns Out To Be Time Well Spent
28 March 2009 | by Patriotlad@aol.comSee all my reviews

As usual, seeing this film via TCM or Turner Classic Movies was a most enjoyable experience. The subtext of "Knight ..." is that every known revolution is an entirely messy affair. Entirely.

The story is told in a rather straight-forward fashion and for most fans it will only augment their affection for, or resentment against, the female lead -- Marlene Dietrich. Like certain other stars of the cinema in the 1930s, she is always really just Marlene, take it or leave it alone. It works well in this mad adventure of a Russian Countess who awakes one morning to discover her world has crumbled.

The scene where she is confronted by a mob of revolutionaries, on her own beautifully manicured lawn, and without so much as one member of her staff there to speak up for her, is amazingly effective. It works and it works well in a fairly understated and yet unambiguous way.

Robert Donat, always one of my personal favorites, does yeoman's work.

He's the British secret agent who speaks Russian like a native and is clever enough to adapt to almost any situation. He is brilliant in this role ( and it is understood after the fact that Dietrich insisted that he not be replaced when he suffered a bad asthma attack as the production was just getting under way ).

All these decades later, those of us who are not so conversant with the historical basis of the Russian Revolution will probably be shocked by the casual slaughters that both the Reds, and the Whites indulged in.

There's much to recommend in this fine film and the Russian music that gets salted in here and there is tremendously emotional and workable.

Flat out, I really liked this rickety old movie and I could have used another fifteen minutes of Dietrich and Donat, no problem !! Eight of ten stars for the intrigue and this beguiling romance.


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