Russia Cinema The Three Million Trial (1926)

The Three Million Trial (1926)

Directed by Yakov Protazanov; script by Yakov Protazanov; camera by Pyotr Yermolov; sets by Isaac Rabinovich; movie poster by Vladimir Stenberg and Georgy Stenberg; starring Igor Ilinsky, Anatoly Ktorov and Olga Zhizneva.

The film is based on Umberto Notari’s play I tre ladri. Ornano the banker needs money for speculative purposes and sells his house for three million. The banker’s wife informs her lover where the money is and the letters fall into the hands of a crook called Cascarilla. One night, Cascarilla breaks into the banker’s house, where he finds fellow thief Tapioca. The banker unexpectedly returns home and Tapioca takes to his heels. Cascarilla breaks open the safe and steals the money. Tapioca is arrested and becomes the centre of attention in prison as the stealer of the millions. Cascarilla appears at the trial and announces that it was he who stole the money. He throws a bag of false notes into the courtroom, everyone jumps up to catch the money, and Cascarilla and Tapioca escape in the ensuing melee. In the epilogue, a ragamuffin attempts to steal the gloves of Tapioca, who is now a rich man. Tapioca catches him and declares that what is important is not his gloves, but the “sacred principle of private property.”

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