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Mockery (1927)

During the Russian Revolution, a mentally challenged peasant saves then obsesses over a beautiful countess.

Writers:

Benjamin Christensen (story), Stig Esbern (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... Sergei
Ricardo Cortez ... Captain Dimitri
Barbara Bedford ... Countess Tatiana Alexandrova
Mack Swain ... Vladimir Gaidaroff
Emily Fitzroy ... Mrs. Gaidaroff
Károly Huszár ... Ivan - the Gatekeeper (as Charles Puffy)
Kai Schmidt Kai Schmidt ... Butler
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Storyline

There is hunger in Siberia during the Russian Civil War. Dim-witted peasant Sergei is searching corpses for food. He meets a mysterious young woman looking for the town of Novokursk. She asks Sergei to tell anyone they might meet that he is her husband. They find an abandoned house where they can rest... but a stranger is hiding inside. Sergei washes the woman's feet and prepares a bed for her. The stranger reveals himself and is soon joined by cossacks; they do not believe that the woman is a peasant's wife. They beat Sergei but he does not betray her. The two are rescued by White cavalry. The woman is in fact the Countess Alexandrova. In Novokursk, the countess stays with the rich Gaidaroff family. When Sergei leaves hospital, he goes to see his "friend". The countess begrudgingly provides a job in the household. Sergei is exposed to the revolutionary talk of Ivan, a servant. When the Whites leave town to counter an attack, the Reds are free to act... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The high-water mark of Chaney achievement is reached by him in this powerful drama. (Print Ad-Daily Times, ((Longmont, Colo.)) 22 October 1927) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terror See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$187,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mrs. Gaidaroff: Are you so weak-kneed that you fear such ruffians?
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Connections

Referenced in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Chaney performance but the story is lacking in every way...
6 July 2009 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

LON CHANEY is a Russian peasant during the Russian Revolution befriended in the forest by a woman (BARBARA BEDFORD) who turns out to be a Countess. He helps her return to her household safely and thinks their friendship is something that can bloom into love.

He's sadly mistaken, being a dumb peasant--uncouth and ill mannered. She, nevertheless, allows him to stay on in her household as a servant. He's induced by another servant to rebel against being a mere nobody--that he's as good as anyone else and can win the lady's heart.

This sets up the plot which is a more of a two-character struggle between the Countess and the peasant--deepened when she finds true love with a handsome officer (RICARDO CORTEZ).

It's heavy going--a very cumbersome plot that fails to truly involve the viewer. Chaney grimaces and gives dirty looks and broods for most of the story, probably wishing the story had some meat on it. And this is a shame because the photography is excellent, the settings are fine and his co-star BARBARA BEDFORD is a good actress, capable of a more nuanced style that belies the fact that this is a silent film.

James Schafer's music, as heard on the TCM soundtrack, is an asset--but the story flounders around in search of a satisfying plot and comes up empty.


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