The Soldier and the Lady (1937)

83 or 85 mins | Adventure | 9 April 1937

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Michael Strogoff , and it was reviewed as such by several trade journals. According to a HR news item, Joseph Ermolieff, who was credited on screen as associate producer, was a White Russian who made films in Russia before the Revolution. In 1935, Ermolieff produced French and German versions, entitled Michel Strogoff and Der Kurier des Zaren , respectively, of Jules Verne's novel; the first was directed by Richard Eichberg and Jacques de Baroncelli and starred Adolf Wolhbrück, the second was directed by Eichberg and also starred Wolbrück. Both films used much of the same footage. The Society Jules Verne, which is credited on screen with assigning the movie rights, is an active organization in France that is dedicated to preserving Verne's home and birthplace, and publishes a quarterly journal devoted to study of the author's works. According to the HR review, RKO producer Pandro S. Berman bought the rights to Ermolieff's French version for $75,000. By importing Wohlbrück, who changed his name to Anton Walbrook for his American screen debut, RKO was able to use approximately twenty-two scenes from the French version. These scenes, according to HR , were filmed in Siberia and included views of thousands of horsemen in battle, Tartar camps and a river on fire. The HR review commented that old and new scenes were expertly blended. Walbrook and stage actress Fay Bainter are introduced by a title at the end of the movie as "two new RKO Radio Pictures personalities." HR news items add Pete Rasch, Harry Semels, Philip Morris, Bud ... More Less

The working title of this film was Michael Strogoff , and it was reviewed as such by several trade journals. According to a HR news item, Joseph Ermolieff, who was credited on screen as associate producer, was a White Russian who made films in Russia before the Revolution. In 1935, Ermolieff produced French and German versions, entitled Michel Strogoff and Der Kurier des Zaren , respectively, of Jules Verne's novel; the first was directed by Richard Eichberg and Jacques de Baroncelli and starred Adolf Wolhbrück, the second was directed by Eichberg and also starred Wolbrück. Both films used much of the same footage. The Society Jules Verne, which is credited on screen with assigning the movie rights, is an active organization in France that is dedicated to preserving Verne's home and birthplace, and publishes a quarterly journal devoted to study of the author's works. According to the HR review, RKO producer Pandro S. Berman bought the rights to Ermolieff's French version for $75,000. By importing Wohlbrück, who changed his name to Anton Walbrook for his American screen debut, RKO was able to use approximately twenty-two scenes from the French version. These scenes, according to HR , were filmed in Siberia and included views of thousands of horsemen in battle, Tartar camps and a river on fire. The HR review commented that old and new scenes were expertly blended. Walbrook and stage actress Fay Bainter are introduced by a title at the end of the movie as "two new RKO Radio Pictures personalities." HR news items add Pete Rasch, Harry Semels, Philip Morris, Bud Fine, Pat Somerset, John Northpole, Murray Kinnell and Raoul Harvey to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed.
       According to modern sources, two special editions of the Verne book, published by Grosset and Dunlap and A. L. Burt, were issued with the movie. In addition, modern sources note that although the production cost a modest $400,000, the film production barely broke even at the box office. A television release title of the film was The Adventures of Michael Strogoff . In 1946, The Soldier and the Lady was re-released by Bell Distributing under the title The Bandit and the Lady , with Fay Bainter and Akim Tamiroff receiving top billing. In 1938, Ermolieff returned to France, hoping to produce Le fils de Michael Strogoff , but that sequel was never completed. In 1943, Ermolieff made a fourth production based on the original footage, this time in Mexico under the title Miguel Strogoff, El Correo del Zar , directed by Miguel M. Delgado. Among the many film adaptations of the Verne novel are the following: Michael Strogoff , a 1908 Essanay one-reeler; Michael Strogoff , a 1910 picture from the Edison Manufacturing Co., directed by J. Searle Dawley; Michael Strogoff , a feature made in 1914 by Popular Plays and Players (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.2917); a 1926 Universal-Films de France production directed by Victor Tourjansky and starring Ivan Mosjoukine, also titled Michael Strogoff ; three European co-productions, Michael Strogoff , made in 1956, released in the United States in 1960 by Continental Distributing, directed by Carmine Gallone and starring Curt Jurgens, Strogoff , produced in 1970, directed by Eriprando Visconti and starring John Philip Law (not released in the United States), and a 1975 television mini-series directed by Jean-Pierre Decourt. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Feb 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Feb 37
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 36
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 36
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 36
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 37
p. 3.
Life
22 Mar 37
pp. 40-43.
Motion Picture Daily
17 Feb 37
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Dec 36
p. 39.
Motion Picture Herald
27 Feb 37
p. 55.
New York Times
10 Apr 37
p. 11.
Time
15 Mar 37
p. 33.
Variety
14 Apr 37
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Pandro S. Berman Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Orch arr
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Michel Strogoff by Jules Verne (Paris, 1876) and the French film Michel Strogoff , screenplay by Hans Kyser (Productions Joseph N. Ermolieff, Richard Eichberg-Film, 1935), motion picture rights assigned by Society Jules Verne.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Michael Strogoff
Release Date:
9 April 1937
Production Date:
19 November--28 December 1936
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
9 April 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7190
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83 or 85
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2901
SYNOPSIS

In Siberia, in 1879, allied Tartar and Mongol hordes, under the leadership of the vulgar rebel Ivan Ogareff, pillage the land and threaten the Tsar Alexander II's rule. From Russia, Alexander II dispatches courier Michael Strogoff to deliver secret military plans to Grand Duke Vladimir, 2,500 miles away at Irkutsk, a Siberian town that is now isolated because telegraph lines have been cut. Because his journey will take him through the town where his mother Martha resides, Michael must deny his natural inclination and pledge not to see her, so that his true identity will not be discovered. While en route by train, the disguised Michael meets the lone girl Nadia and the spy Zangarra, along with two amusing war correspondents, Cyril Blount and Eddie Packer. On a boat to Omsk, Michael saves Zangarra from a bear attack, and in appreciation, she prevents his assassination by Ogareff's henchman Vasiley. Then while Michael, Zangarra and Nadia are traveling by ferry, Tartars attack, and Nadia is captured and Michael, wounded. After awakening in a shepherd's hut, Michael realizes he is behind enemy lines. At a nearby inn, Martha recognizes her son, who must deny her presence to preserve his cover, but he reveals himself when Ogareff orders her flogged. Michael is sentenced to be blinded by a white-hot blade passed before his eyes, but Zangarra bribes the executioner to save Michael's sight by positioning the sword over his forehead. Although Martha dies and Zangarra is later executed, Michael continues on his mission with Nadia and is ignored by the Tartars because they believe he is blind. Upon arriving in Irkutsk, Ogareff pretends he is ... +


In Siberia, in 1879, allied Tartar and Mongol hordes, under the leadership of the vulgar rebel Ivan Ogareff, pillage the land and threaten the Tsar Alexander II's rule. From Russia, Alexander II dispatches courier Michael Strogoff to deliver secret military plans to Grand Duke Vladimir, 2,500 miles away at Irkutsk, a Siberian town that is now isolated because telegraph lines have been cut. Because his journey will take him through the town where his mother Martha resides, Michael must deny his natural inclination and pledge not to see her, so that his true identity will not be discovered. While en route by train, the disguised Michael meets the lone girl Nadia and the spy Zangarra, along with two amusing war correspondents, Cyril Blount and Eddie Packer. On a boat to Omsk, Michael saves Zangarra from a bear attack, and in appreciation, she prevents his assassination by Ogareff's henchman Vasiley. Then while Michael, Zangarra and Nadia are traveling by ferry, Tartars attack, and Nadia is captured and Michael, wounded. After awakening in a shepherd's hut, Michael realizes he is behind enemy lines. At a nearby inn, Martha recognizes her son, who must deny her presence to preserve his cover, but he reveals himself when Ogareff orders her flogged. Michael is sentenced to be blinded by a white-hot blade passed before his eyes, but Zangarra bribes the executioner to save Michael's sight by positioning the sword over his forehead. Although Martha dies and Zangarra is later executed, Michael continues on his mission with Nadia and is ignored by the Tartars because they believe he is blind. Upon arriving in Irkutsk, Ogareff pretends he is the Tsar's courier and delivers a message to trick Vladimir. Michael and Nadia arrive just as Ogareff sets fire to the town. Michael kills Ogareff, who is stunned to discover that his enemy can see, and explains the truth to Vladimir. Leading a sortie, Michael routs the invaders and is later decorated by the Tsar and marries Nadia. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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