Actors: Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële, Alexandre Koubitzky
Director: Abel Gance
A massive six-hour biopic of Napoleon, tracing his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797 (the film stops there because it was intended to be part one of six, but director Abel Gance never raised the money to make the other five). The film's legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story, culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages projected simultaneously on three screens.
Actors: Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford, Nick De Ruiz
Director: Tod Browning
Alonzo is an armless knife thrower and gun shooter for a circus---or so he appears. He is actually a burglar with his arms intact. He and his accomplice, Cojo (a little person), are hiding from the police, and Alonzo views his disguise as perfect, especially since it keeps from view an unusual deformity of his left hand that would immediately give him away as the burglar. Nanon, the daughter of the circus owner, is the target in his act. Although Alonzo is in love with her, Nanon's father despises him. Nanon is attracted to Malabar, the circus strong man, but she is also repulsed by his uninhibited sexual advances and desire to touch and hold her. Apparently her phobia extends to the touch of any man. Alonzo feeds her fears in the hopes that Nanon will fall in love with him since he is "armless." Because Zanzi discovers Alonzo really has arms, Alonzo kills him, but Nanon witnesses the killing without seeing Alonzo's face; however, she does see the telltale deformity of his left hand. As Alonzo continues to plot to steal Nanon away from Mirabar, Cojo makes him realize that she will hate him once she discovers he has arms---and the deformity showing that he is her father's murderer. Alonzo decides to have his left arm amputated, which he succeeds in doing through blackmailing a surgeon. He thinks Nanon will forgive him for hiding the fact that he has ONE arm. While Alonzo is recuperating from the surgery, Nanon gets over her fear of being touched and falls completely in love with Mirabar. Discovering this upon his return, Alonzo hatches a scheme to kill Mirabar as he attempts his latest, most daring stunt. Although the stunt goes horribly awry, it is Alonzo who gets killed.
Actors: Roger Maxwell, Craighall Sherry, Hans von Slock
Director: Walter Summers
Dramatic reconstruction of two 1914 naval battles off Coronel and the Falkland Islands.The first a defeat of the British by Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee, the second a retaliation by the British under vice Admiral Sturdee.
Actors: Aleksandr Chistyakov, Vera Baranovskaya, Ivan Chuvelyov, V. Obolensky
Director: Vsevolod Pudovkin, Mikhail Doller
Country: Soviet Union
A peasant comes to St. Petersburg to find work. He unwittingly helps in the arrest of an old village friend who is now a labor leader. The unemployed peasant is also arrested and sent to fight in World War I. After three years, he returns ready for revolution.
Actors: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Albert Gran, David Butler
Director: Frank Borzage
In Paris, in the early years of the twentieth century, lives Chico, a sewer worker with lofty aspirations. One night, Chico saves a young prostitute named Diane from the murderous rage of her tyrannical sister. Despite her lifestyle, Diane is honest and innocent, and when the police arrive to arrest her, Chico spontaneously claims that she is his wife. Forced to maintain this facade or else both face prison sentences, Chico reluctantly allows Diane to live with him -- and in the process, love gradually blossoms between them. However, the dark spectre of World War I has begun to descend upon France, and Chico and Diane cannot help but fall under its shadow.
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