Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

(Please note the films reviewed on this site contain plot summaries and may contain SPOILERS.)

  • Mockery (1927) - Plot Summary - Introduced as an ignorant, slow-thinking peasant, shaggy haired, uni-browed Sergei (Lon Chaney) helps a beautiful, mysterious young peasant woman (Barbara Bedford) get past soldiers in Siberia and to the town of Novokursk at the time of the Russian Revolution. Stopping to rest overnight at an empty house along the way, he cares for her, bathes her feet, makes her a bed - but the house isn't empty and a revolutionary pops out who is onto her secret immediately (via her perfect lilly white hands and feet) - she is actually a Countess. The revolutionaries arrive, but Sergei stays loyal, and fights to make sure she gets to Novokursk. At the same time, he has fallen in love with her - - and she tells him when they get to their destination they will always be friends. But when they arrive she takes housing with a newly rich "war profiteer" and his snobby "higher-than-thou, looking-down-on-the-servants" wife. Out of pity, it seems like, the Countess sees to it that Sergei is offered employment at the house as a servant. A fellow servant becomes a sort of Svengali over Sergei, convincing him of the soon-to-be-found equality between servant and master that will come soon via the revolution. Sergei believes he will then be able to get the Countess for his own and give her kisses, like the brash, handsome Captain she is currently in the arms of. Soon revolutionaries and the servants try to take over the house, Sergei's drunken Svengali proclaims "It's time for us to be masters now!", and Sergei, tired of being called an "Idiot" by the house mistress, revolts (under the influence of alcohol) against the house masters and the Countess, which could lead him into the mouth of trouble.

    Review - Basically an upstairs/downstairs melodrama set at wartime, the film is a fast watch with interesting story that kept me entertained (but what's with that painted on "uni-brow"?). Chaney, of course, is always good (I love the wide range of facial expressions he gets), Barbara Bedford is sort of like a beautiful stone ornament here, but I guess it works for this. There is a small spy element to this film that is quickly passed by - and that is that the Countess is carrying a secret message to "headquarters" sewed into the lining of an apron (or some such item). Music composed by James Schafer works; the film was screened on Turner Classic Movies TCM. Rating - * 8/10 stars *

    Director: Benjamin Christensen
    Film Genre: Drama
    Film Runtime: 75 minutes

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10 = Absolutely Fabulous/Superb
9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed

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