This is how we make little Russians. Animated GIF


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.

In the name of all that is holy, save me from this woman! Animated GIF


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.)

The Burning Crucible (1923) A Silent Film Review

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.
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