Russia Cinema The Poet and the Tsar (1927)

The Poet and the Tsar (1927)

Directed by Vladimir Gardin; script by Vladimir Gardin and Yevgeny Chervyakov; camera by Naum Aptekman and Svyatoslav Belyaev; movie poster by monogrammist G. R.

Described as an “historical novel in eight parts,” this film was shot by famous Russian director Vladimir Gardin (1877–1965).

Tsar Nicholas I is enamoured by Natalia, the wife of Alexander Pushkin. To cover his tracks, the tsar encourages the suit of Georges d'Anthès, a French officer, with the help of Count Alexander von Benckendorff. Pushkin hears rumours of D’Anthès’s love for his wife and challenges him to a duel. The officer attempts to save his life by marrying Natalia’s sister Ekaterina. Returning from his country estate, Pushkin receives anonymous letters and insists on a duel with D’Anthès. Although the poet’s friends plead with the emperor to prevent the duel from taking place, his gendarmes arrive too late. D’Anthès mortally wounds Pushkin, whose condition worsens when he receives a letter from Nicholas I, promising to “take care” of the poet’s family. Pushkin dies. Fearing public protests, the tsar secretly removes the body to the poet’s country estate.

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