6.7/10
1,101
8 user 19 critic

Archangel (1990)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 September 1990 (Canada)
An amnesiac soldier, seeking his lost love, arrives in Archangel in northern Russia to help the townsfolk in their fight against the Bolsheviks, all quite unaware that the Great War ended three months ago.

Director:

Guy Maddin

Writers:

John B. Harvie (story suggestion), Guy Maddin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Gottli Michael Gottli ... Jannings
David Falkenburg David Falkenburg ... Geza
Michael O'Sullivan Michael O'Sullivan ... Doctor
Margaret Anne MacLeod Margaret Anne MacLeod ... Baba
Ari Cohen ... Philbin
Sarah Neville Sarah Neville ... Danchuk
Kathy Marykuca Kathy Marykuca ... Veronkha
Kyle McCulloch Kyle McCulloch ... Lt. John Boles
Victor Cowie Victor Cowie ... Sea Captain
Ihor Procak Ihor Procak ... Monk
Robert Lougheed Robert Lougheed ... Kaiser Wilhelm II
Stephen Snyder Stephen Snyder ... Stage Kaiser Wilhelm II (as Snyder)
Michael Powell Michael Powell ... Red Cross Nurse
Sam Toles Sam Toles ... Young Philbin
Lloyd Weinberg Lloyd Weinberg ... Priest
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Storyline

Lt. John Boles, a one-legged soldier, is assisting the White Russians in the Russian Arctic during World War I. He finds himself in Archangel, a crystalline city of spires and domes, inhabited by some very confused people. Boles loves Iris, who is dead, and meets Veronkha, whom he mistakes for Iris. But Veronkha is already married to Philbin, who forgets he is married to Veronkha. Veronkha thinks Boles is Philbin... Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Tragedy of the Great War

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1990 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Arcángel See more »

Filming Locations:

Manitoba, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,592, 21 July 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$33,308

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,679
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Guy Maddin has stated that audience members viewing the film for the first time often confused the characters Veronkha and Danchukh because of the physical similarities between Kathy Marykuca and Sarah Neville. Marykuca was a natural blond and wore a dark wig for the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lt. John Boles: Goodbye Iris.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
both humorous and haunting-an out of this world cinematic thrillride!
22 February 2017 | by framptonhollisSee all my reviews

Part black comedy, part romantic drama, and part horrific war film-"Archangel" manages to blend these genres with its consistent surrealist style, the style that practically all of Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin's films are made of. Before I continue this review I'd like to point out that I absolutely ADORE the films of Guy Maddin. I think of him as the Canadian David Lynch (and Lynch is my all time favorite filmmaker, so that's high praise), but comparing him to other icons doesn't truly do his work justice. He certainly has his own, distinct style, his films always mimic the visuals of a silent film, particularly those of Eisenstein. He also experiments a lot with use of overdubbing dialogue, a dreamlike atmosphere, and bizarre, dark humor. His style is not for everybody, but for those that can appreciate this oddball genius his films come across like underrated treasures, and "Archangel" may just be my very favorite.

This film is both gruesome and powerful, it makes a statement about dealing with love and loss, while also entertaining us with its wacky plot and laugh out loud humor. I had a ball watching this bizarre, tragicomic tale, mainly due to its fast paced nature and heavy surrealism. Those who seek an other wordly experience will likely adore this film, for I think it best captures Maddin's famously odd style. The acting is at times somewhat wooden, but its obvious that this is the movie's intent. Much of the jokes are performed in a completely deadpan and slightly awkward manner, which makes them even funnier.

The dialogue is great, the visuals are beautiful, the story is brilliantly weird, and I cannot find a single problem with this little masterpiece. Those who enjoy the avant garde must see this film as soon as possible!


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