Ivan Mosjoukine wrote, directed and starred in this dramedy about a wealthy playboy whose life is turned upside-down when he discovers a baby boy on his doorstep. We all know where this is going but getting there is all the fun.
Ivan Mosjoukine steps off the deep end in this genre mishmash. He plays a Tibetan prince who must flee his country and ends up in Paris where he becomes a film star. Speaking of stars, there is also a plot twist that we are most familiar with in Star Wars.
Ivan Mosjoukine takes the title role in this biopic of legendary English Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean, whose brilliance on the stage was undercut by his eccentric and self-destructive personal life. Yet another example of the astonishing films being made by the Russian emigres who fled their country’s political turmoil for the relative safety of Paris.
Ivan Mosjoukine and Nathalie Lissenko’s romance in The Burning Crucible is best described as… energetic. There is something really wonderful about the wacky chase that they engage in. This time around, he has located a briefcase that she stole and she needs it back and so… Oh forget it. Just enjoy. The scene culminates with them both leaping on chairs and he stands on his head at one point. Did I mention how much I love this movie?
(You can read my review here.)
Availability: Available on DVD as part of the French Masterworks: Russian Emigres in Paris 1923-1928 box set. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful this box is and how highly I recommend it.
This just cracks me up. The Burning Crucible is one of the maddest films to come out of the silent era, combining the zany humor of not one, but two nations, Russia and France. Poor Ivan Mosjoukine is a legendary detective who just does not know what to do about Nathalie Lissenko. She finds this hilarious. So do I. (You can read my full-length review here.)
(In real life, Mosjoukine and Lissenko were married.)
Availability: Available on DVD as part of the French Masterworks: Russian Emigres in Paris 1923-1928 box set. The phone bill can wait. Rent? Feh! They can’t evict you for a while yet. Get this box set instead.
(Note: Not actually advocating financial irresponsibility.)
What a dramatic title! Is it about Salem witch trials? The horrors of war? Terrors unknown? Nope! It is the wacky tale of a wandering wife called Elle and the mysterious detective known only as Z, who has been charged with returning her affections to her husband. One of the oddest and most stylish films of the silent era and pretty funny to boot.
Continue reading “The Burning Crucible (1923) A Silent Film Review”