Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Jun 2018)
Brief Synopsis – A former Russian general is hired to play the part of a commander in a new Hollywood film.
My Take on it – I am generally not the biggest fan of silent films that don’t include slapstick humor a la Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton.
I was dreading watching this film for quiet some time because it actually didn’t sound very interesting, but in my quest to try and watch as many Best Actor nominee films, this came up on my list.
The fact that Emil Jannings won for this performance was an added reason for me to finally try and see this.
I was so impressed with this film from the start because it gives us such a great overview of how a man of such great power can lose it all and then find a way to relive his experiences through film.
Jannings is amazing in this role and despite having never seen the movie of his sole competitor that year – Richard Barthelmess in The Patent Leather Kid (1928), I think that Janning’s did an Oscar worthy performance here.
They do a wonderful job telling the story of a man who falls from power and must deal with the changes in his life since he was a relative of the Czar during the Russian Revolution.
This is a story that is perfect for the silent screen but I’m not really sure if it would work as well as a “talkie” which says a lot about how they present everything here.
I’m really glad that I got a chance to see this film and hope that I one day find some other films from this era that are just as powerful.
Bottom Line – Great film that does a wonderful job depicting life after one has power. Jannings won the first ever Best Actor Award at the Oscars for this role, and it seems to be quite deserving despite not having seen the film of his sole competitor. Really enjoyed the way they tell the story and how such a powerful man had to find a way to deal with the changes in his life due to being a cousin of the Czar at the time of the Revolution. This story is perfect for the silent screen and I’m not sure if it would work as well as a “Talkie”. Quite glad I finally got a chance to see this film. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In the first year of the Academy Awards, winners had been announced three months before the ceremony took place. Emil Jannings, who had been named Best Actor for his work in this particular film and The Way of All Flesh (1927), was planning to depart for his home in Germany, so he requested that he receive his award before he left. The Academy honored his request, effectively making Emil Jannings the first person to officially receive an Academy Award. He would also become the first no-show winner. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)
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