Russia Cinema The Man from the Restaurant (1927)

The Man from the Restaurant (1927)

Directed by Yakov Protazanov; script by Yakov Protazanov and Oleg Leonidov; camera by Anatoly Golovnya and Konstantin Vents; movie poster by Grigory Borisov.

The film is based on Ivan Shmeleyov’s story of the same name and is set in 1916 and 1917. A meek man is dismayed at the forced work he peforms as a waiter in a restaurant in Moscow. His son is killed in the First World War and his wife dies. His only consolation is his daughter, who plays the violin in the restaurant.

The waiter’s rebellion and the dawning of his revolutionary consciousness are expressed in the scene when he strikes a factory owner with a napkin for making advances on his daughter. Although the script has all the features of a banal melodrama, the film is saved by the outstanding performance of Michael Chekhov as the waiter.

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