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Spectre is Haunting Europe

1923, Second Film Studio VUFKU (Yalta), 8 parts / 2,630 m

Vladimir Gardin
Borys Zaveliev
Vladimir Egorov
Oleg Frelikh (the emperor), Zoia Barantsevych (the empress), Iona Talanov (a chamberlain), Larysa Iskrytska-Gardina (Elka, a young fisher), Vasilii Kovrigin (an old sailor, her father), Ivan Kapralov (a pilot), Vladimir Egorov (Pokhmuryi), Karl Tomskyi, Yevhen Hriaznov

The film is based on Edgar Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death.

The action takes place in an imaginary country where revolutionary changes impend. The emperor moves from the capital to a remote region. During one of his walks, he meets a shepherd girl and falls in love her. She is a daughter of a fisher who was exiled for his participation in a revolutionary movement. When the empress finds out, she starts an affair with a minister.

The emperor starts having nightmares where rioters punish him. The courier sent to the capital returns with the news that the city is seized by the revolutionaries. The emperor gets angry and kills the courier. The shepherd girl’s father finds the message about the revolution in the country in the papers of the killed man. He urges fishers to riot. Tasked by the rioters, the shepherd girl distracts the emperor and his guards by her dance during a ball in the palace. The fishers set the palace on fire. Both the emperor and the girl die in the fire. 

Due to the lack of funds, the “emperor” had to be filmed in his own jacket.

The film is stored at the Russian Gosfilmofond.