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Tovarich (25-Dec-1937)

Director: Anatole Litvak

Writer: Casey Robinson

From a play by: Jacques Deval; Robert E. Sherwood

Keywords: Comedy, Russia

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Curt Bois
5-Apr-1901 25-Dec-1991 Pickpocket in Casablanca
Charles Boyer
28-Aug-1899 26-Aug-1978 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Morris Carnovsky
5-Sep-1897 1-Sep-1992 Dead Reckoning
Claudette Colbert
13-Sep-1903 30-Jul-1996 It Happened One Night
Melville Cooper
15-Oct-1896 31-Mar-1973 The Adventures of Robin Hood
Fritz Feld
15-Oct-1900 18-Nov-1993 Bringing Up Baby
Isabel Jeans
16-Sep-1891 4-Sep-1985 Easy Virtue
Victor Kilian
6-Mar-1891 11-Mar-1979 Raymond Larkin on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Doris Lloyd
3-Jul-1896 21-May-1968 British-American character actress
Anita Louise
9-Jan-1915 25-Apr-1970 The Little Princess
Montagu Love
15-Mar-1877 17-May-1943 British character actor
Basil Rathbone
13-Jun-1892 21-Jul-1967 Played original Sherlock Holmes


Review by Deb (posted on 16-Mar-2005)

This movie is among my all-time favorites. Unfortunately it is unavailable for purchase, so I have to wait for the rare showings on Turner Classic Movies. Boyer and Colbert are marvelous together. They bring the exiled Russian couple to life with a gaiety and poignancy that's truly wonderful to watch. Although Boyer is a little stiff with slapstick elements, he remains debonair even when standing in a ragged shirt and fishing cigarette butts out of the cold stove to smoke. Colbert's performance shines all the way through.

The dinner scene where they're serving the guests, one of whom is their mortal Soviet enemy(played by Basil Rathbone), is outstanding for its subtext. Rathbone was once their jailer and torturer, possibly worse, and during the dinner he is toying with them like a cat with a mouse. The other dinner guests are either horrified or oblivious of the situation. It's where you start thinking about what they must have gone through in surviving torture in Lubyanka prison, and how brave they are to endure everything with their spirits unbroken. Yet the movie carries all this with a light, deft touch that's superb.

Take the Romanov tragedy and overlay it with courage and comedy, and you have a frothy, fun movie, a true classic that should not be forgotten.

Review by anonymous (posted on 27-Sep-2006)

I continue to love this movie! But, then again, I love most classic, older movies, because most were made without a political agenda. This is a funny, enjoiable, warmhearted, delightful film. I adore Claudette in this movie. She was an amazing personage during her time and she didn't even want to be a star. It just, sort of, happened to her. She was in demand by film makers, most likely because she was someone whom you'd want as a mother or sister or a close friend. This movie makes one feel as though this really could happen too. Most Royals did survive the revolution and had to go somewhere. Right? Maybe they're living next to you!

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