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Knight Without Armor (1937)

Knight Without Armour (original title)
Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 23 July 1937 (USA)
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

The poem quoted by Fothergill, aka Ouronov, is "Prospice" by Robert Browning. The one quoted by the Countess is "I have outlasted all desire" (1821) by Alexander Pushkin. See more »

Goofs

When Robert Donat enters the train station with the stationmaster, the shadows of the camera and crew are clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Countess Alexandra Vladinoff: [Asking about a bribe] And all he wanted was your wristwatch?
Ainsley J. Fothergill aka Peter Ouronov: [Rhetorically] Well, what use is a wristwatch when trains are to be a week late?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: ASCOT 1913 See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: La monnaie de l'absolu (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Dietrich & Donat In Intelligent Adventure Film
18 June 2005 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A British spy acts like a KNIGHT WITHOUT ARMOUR as he courageously helps a Russian Countess escape the Revolution.

Sir Alexander Korda's London Films produced this lavish drama which puts beautiful Marlene Dietrich & handsome Robert Donat into one mortal peril after another as they attempt to flee a chaotic Red Russia. While full of escapes & near misses, the script takes it for granted that the viewer has the necessary background to understand the causes for the Russian Revolution, and to be able to tell the difference between the Whites and the Reds. A little bit of knowledge adds to the enjoyment of the film immensely, as does the obvious chemistry between Donat & Dietrich, who play their parts with serious conviction.

A fine cast lends their support to the film: David Tree as an enthusiastic young revolutionary; Allan Jeayes as a hospitable White general; and chinless Miles Malleson as a drunken commissar. Legendary stage actress Dame Irene Vanbrugh appears very briefly in a few opening scenes as an elderly Duchess escorting Dietrich.

Especially good are little Hay Petrie as a mad stationmaster waiting for trains which will never arrive, and plummy voiced Sir John Clements as a youthful Red official with a tragic secret.

Movie mavens will recognize Torin Thatcher as a London passport official and corpulent Peter Bull as a bullying commissar, both unbilled.

The film has excellent bones, as it were, based as it is on a novel by James Hilton, which was adapted by the legendary Frances Marion. Lajos Biro wrote the screenplay. The score by Miklós Rózsa incorporates rousing Russian singing and was performed under the baton of Muir Mathieson. Jacques Feyder was the director.

While the White Russians are ostensibly the 'good guys' in the plot, the film is judicious in showing the casual brutality practiced by both sides, as in the scene where Dietrich presides over a dinner table with her White hosts, only to have her meal disturbed by the execution of the Red prisoners. Shortly thereafter, with a change of fortune, the Communists shoot their enemies on the same spot.


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