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Knight Without Armor (1937)

Knight Without Armour (original title)
Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 23 July 1937 (USA)
After two years as a Czarist British agent posing as a Russian Commissar, he rescues a Russian countess from her Bolshevik captors.

Director:

Jacques Feyder

Writers:

James Hilton (from the novel by), Frances Marion (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlene Dietrich ... Alexandra
Robert Donat ... A.J. Fothergill
Irene Vanbrugh ... Duchess
Herbert Lomas Herbert Lomas ... Vladinoff
Austin Trevor ... Colonel Adraxine
Basil Gill ... Axelstein
David Tree ... Maronin
John Clements John Clements ... Poushkoff
Frederick Culley Frederick Culley ... Stanfield
Lawrence Hanray Lawrence Hanray ... Forrester
Dorice Fordred Dorice Fordred ... The Maid
Franklyn Kelsey Franklyn Kelsey ... Tomsky (as Franklin Kelsey)
Laurence Baskcomb Laurence Baskcomb ... Commissar (as Lawrence Baskcomb)
Hay Petrie ... Station Master
Miles Malleson ... Drunken Red Commissar (as Miles Malieson)
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Storyline

Because he can pass as a Russian, A.J. Fothergill is recruited to spy on the revolutionary movement in Russia in 1913. He becomes imprisoned in Siberia, as a revolutionary, until the 1917 uprisings. Amid the turmoil of the civil war between the red and white armies, he tries to flee Russia along with the beautiful Countess Alexandra. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The woman of flame -- the man of steel -- together !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

23 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Knight Without Armor See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the bathtub scene, Marlene Dietrich slipped on a bar of soap, falling naked and spreadeagled before cast and crew. Ever the professional, she picked herself up, laughed and continued shooting. See more »

Goofs

When Peter Ouronov buries Alexandra in the fallen leaves, Alexandra is facing up. When he returns, she comes out from the leaves facing down. See more »

Quotes

British Host at Train Station: Goodbye, Your Excellency. I'm sorry you can't stay for shooting.
Vladinoff: Oh, thanks. But, there's plenty of shooting where I'm going.
British Host at Train Station: Bears? Wolves?
Vladinoff: No, everything. Even Ministers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: ASCOT 1913 See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: La monnaie de l'absolu (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Alexandra's Song
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Shared Experience Of Escape
12 August 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Knight Without Armour finds Robert Donat as a British agent, fluent in Russian, sent to spy on the revolutionary movement even before World War I started. Such things were done I'm sure as farsighted folks in the Foreign Office probably saw Europe headed for general war and Russia would have been the United Kingdom's ally in that case.

Donat plays his part all too well, he's captured as a revolutionary and sent to Siberia and spends most of World War I there. Whatever else it does it certainly helps his cover. The original revolution that brought Kerensky to power frees the political prisoners and Donat now has to try and make his way home.

In a parallel story aristocrat Marlene Dietrich gets the shock of her life when one day she wakes up and her servants have fled because the Russian Revolution has come to town. From hero{ine} to zero overnight, she's got to get out of a country that's now shooting her kind on general principles.

They become allies of convenience and of course the shared experience of escape forges a romance as well. Both turn out to be pretty clever at taking advantages of breaks as they are captured a couple of times during the film.

Robert Donat was one of the few of her leading men to not fall under Dietrich's amorous sway. But they became good friends and according to a recent biography of Marlene, Dietrich helped Donat with a special breathing technique she learned about to help control his asthma. Donat suffered from asthma all his life and it eventually killed him.

The film is based on a lesser known work of British novelist James Hilton who also wrote Random Harvest and Lost Horrizon and of course Goodbye Mr. Chips for which Donat won his Academy Award for. It seems as though Hilton wrote his books with either Robert Donat or Ronald Colman in mind for the screen, they played his heroes so well.

On screen Knight Without Armour suits the images and talents of Robert Donat and Marlene Dietrich well and fans of both will appreciate it.


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