Wednesday, February 25, 2015


On the Russian front during World War I, Captain Orloff (Ivan Lebedeff) is ordered to retreat but he doesn't; he ends up injured but months later, his bravery gets him picked for a spy mission to Rumania. Ostensibly, he is to deliver a verbal message to a French agent, but his super-secret mission is to find the sexy female spy who keeps leaking their codes. He meets all kinds of suspects: the flirty blond Countess Diana (Genevieve Tobin), the Baroness Alma (Betty Compson), and the chatterbox Madame Blinis (Ilka Chase), and at a party thrown in his honor, all the women fuss and coo over him. A man is shot dead in the garden, someone breaks into Orloff's room, and Orloff finds himself falling for Diana. But could she be the spy? This early talkie has some nice visual touches but is otherwise a disappointment; it has a light tone but isn't quite a comedy, there is little tension and no real action, and the acting is only average all around, with the exception of Tobin (pictured with Lebedeff). Lebedeff is particularly weak as the romantic hero, seeming neither very romantic nor very heroic. [TCM]

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