~The Cossacks~
1928
~Plot Synopsis~
Based on a Leo Tolstoy novel, The Cossacks centers around Lukashka (John Gilbert), a young Russian
man who has no interest in fighting, unlike the other Cossacks around him. Because of his cheery,
peaceful ways, he is ridiculed by the others of his village, even though he is the son of Ivan the Ataman
(Ernest Torrence), who is the toughest man there. Finally, even Lukashka's ladylove, Maryana (Renee
Adoree), believes him a coward. The people of the village dress him up in an apron and throw grapes at
him, and this causes him to snap. Lukashka becomes a fierce fighter, killing any Turks that come his way.
Meanwhile, the Czar's messenger, Prince Olenin (Neil Neely) comes to town and decides to take Maryana
for his own. But when he makes his way back to the capital with the girl, Lukashka kidnaps her. As for
the Prince, he is killed by a pack of Turks. Although the set design and photography for this film were
well-done, other aspects miss. George Hill directed most of the picture but Clarence Brown was brought
in at the finish to clean it up -- Brown claims the film was a mess by the time he was assigned to work on
it. Many of the subtitles are poorly written and are not fair descriptions of the action. One example that is
especially -- and unintentionally -- hilarious: Gilbert's character is introduced with "He does not like the
smell of blood. He is a chewer of sunflower seeds." Needless to say, Gilbert was unhappy with The
Cossacks. While it received, for the most part, positive reviews, hindsight shows that it subtly marked the
beginning of a downward spiral for the M-G-M silent star.

Plot Synopsis by Janiss Garza, AllMovie.com
Directed by:
George W. Hill    
Clarence Brown - uncredited

Written by:
John Colton - titles
Frances Marion - adaptation & screenplay

Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy
~Cast~

John Gilbert ...  Lukashka
Renée Adorée ...  Maryana
Ernest Torrence ...  Ivan
Nils Asther ...  Prince Olenin
Paul Hurst ...  Sitchi
Dale Fuller ...  Ulitka (Maryana's mother)
Mary Alden ...  Lukashka's mother
Josephine Borio ...  Stepka
Yorke Sherwood ...  Uncle Eroshka
Joseph Mari ...  Turkish Spy
Lou Costello ...  Extra (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ...Koozma - Prince Olenin's Orderly (uncredited)
Neil Neely ...Cossack (uncredited)
Russ Powell ...Cossack (uncredited)
~Remaining Credits~

Produced & Released by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Cinematography by: Percy Hilburn
Film Editing by: Blanche Sewell
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Set Direction by: Alexander Toluboff
Costume Design by: David Cox
Technical Advisor: General Lodijensky

Length: 10 Reels
Runtime: 92 Minutes
Released: June 23, 1928
Filmed at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios - 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA