~Mockery~
1927
~Plot Synopsis~
This 1927 film directed by Danish director Benjamin Christensen is set in Siberia during the Russian
Revolution. Lon Chaney portrays a half-witted peasant Sergei whom discovers a young girl alone
(Countess Tatiana Alexandrova disguised as a peasant girl) played by Barbara Bedford. The
Countess convinces Sergei to escort her to the city and to tell anyone they meet along the way that
she is his wife. Soon the couple is discovered by the Bolsheviks and Sergei is beaten nearly to death
before the Russian army arrives to save them both.

In the city, Tatiana is offered to stay at the luxurious home of The Gaidaroff’s. As she waits at the
hospital to check on her hero and new friend Sergei, Tatiana meets a Captain of the army, Demitri,
played by Ricardo Cortez. Now, only Cortez’ good looks could survive the pick-up line “If you are
deaf and dumb, you can make signs.” But soon, Tatiana and the Captain are falling madly in love.
When Sergei recovers and shows up at the Gaidaroff’s home to see his new friend, Tatiana arranges
employment for Sergei as a servant for the Gaidaroff’s and considers their relationship is at its end.

Sergei soon becomes under the influence of The Gaidaroff’s gate keeper Ivan, skillfully played by
Charles Puffy. Ivan monopolizes on Sergei’s affections for The Countess. He tells Sergei that due to
the impending revolution that he will be as good as any man and that Tatiana will be his for the
taking.

Outside the gate walls, the revolution comes to town. As many city dwellers desert the town, Mr. &
Mrs. Gaidaroff and Tatiana await their dinner. But the servants, knowing the revolution is coming
soon, no longer feel the necessity to wait on their employers. In many scenes Mrs. Gaidaroff
implores Sergei to do his work and get the other staff to work by calling him an “idiot.” But not only
does this not work it incites Sergei’s feelings of inadequacies and fuels his anger. When The Gairaroff’
s also decide to desert, the only remaining residents are Sergei and Tatiana. Sergei feels empowered
to make Tatiana his own, and Tatiana fights him off to the best of her ability. Just when things
couldn’t get worst, the Bolsheviks search the home and find both Tatiana and Sergei. Before the
Bolsheviks can do much harm, the army led by Demitri, arrives to save them both. Demitri orders
the death of a Bolshevik, but before putting Sergei to death, recognizes him. He asks Tatiana if
Sergei was loyal. Tatiana knows that this is her chance to get rid of Sergei, but then glances down to
his chests and sees the scars that he bears due to defending her not so long ago. She tells Demetri
that not only was Sergei loyal, but he was protecting her from the Bolsheviks. As the Captain needs
to move on, he leaves his beloved Tatiana with Sergei to protect watch over her. Sergei finally seems
content that Tatiana and Demetri were made for each other and that by Tatiana showing Sergei
forgiveness, she truly is a friend.

Written by Kay Shackleton
Directed by: Benjamin Christensen

Written by:
Benjamin Christensen - story
Stig Esbern - story
Joseph Farnham  - titles
Bradley King - writer

Based on a short story by Stig Esbern (publication undetermined).
~Cast~

Lon Chaney ...  Sergei
Barbara Bedford ...  Countess Tatiana Alexandrova
Ricardo Cortez ...  Captain Dimitri
Mack Swain ...  Vladimir Gaidaroff
Emily Fitzroy ...  Mrs. Gaidaroff
Charles Puffy ...  Ivan - the Gatekeeper
Kai Schmidt ...  Butler
Johnny Mack Brown ...  Russian Officer
Albert Conti ...  Military Commandant at Novokursk (uncredited)
Jules Cowles ...  Peasant who robs Tatiana (uncredited)
Frank Leigh ...  Outlaw Peasant in Cabin (uncredited)
Buddy Rae ...  Russian Soldier (uncredited)
~Remaining Credits~

Produced & Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Settings by Cedric Gibbons & Alexander Toluboff
Wardrobe by Gilbert Clark
Photographed by Merritt B. Gerstad
Film Editing by John W. English

Length: 7 Reels
Runtime: 75 minutes
Released: August 13, 1927
~320-1-44: Lon Chaney~
Counter
~320-82: Barbara Bedford & Lon Chaney~
SilentHollywood.com
Follow silentworlds on Twitter
Share |
.