Tempest (1928)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 1928.  Feature Productions, Joseph M. Schenck Productions.  Screenplay by , Titles by , from a story by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

Inter-class romance occurs when Russian peasant  rises in the ranks of the Czar’s army through exemplary service and becomes a lieutenant.  He falls in love with a beautiful aristocrat () who scorns him because of his low birth and, thanks to his Pepe Le Pew-level methods of wooing her, gets himself accused of indecent behaviour, is stripped of his epaulettes and thrown into prison.  During the course of his sentence, Russia joins World War I and the 1917 revolution occurs, turning the tables on the upper classes and giving the peasants a chance to get revenge for the injustices of the past. This also includes the princess eventually showing up in a jail cell in rags at the mercy of Barrymore’s kindness. Interesting plot turns occur in this by-the-numbers romance, and the sets are incredibly rich and beautiful, but it’s about as deep as a thimble.

Academy Award:  Best Art Direction


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