Josef von Sternberg's first encounter with Emil Jannings, which led to their collaboration on The Blue Angel two years later, was in this late silent Hollywood masterpiece (1928) about a Russian general (Jannings) reduced to the status of a Hollywood extra in a film about the Russian Revolution. Lajos Biros wrote the story, Jannings's performance here and in The Way of All Flesh won him an Oscar, and Sternberg's direction makes this second only to The Docks of New York as the most accomplished of his silent films. With Evelyn Brent and William Powell.
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