Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
General Suvorov was the third directorial collaboration between the great V. I. Pudovkin and his talented pupil Mikhail Doller. N. P. Cherkasov stars as Suvorov, the Russian general responsible for Russia’s victories over the Turks and the French in the late 1700s. The film climaxes with the Suvorov army’s dangerous crossing of the Alps. It was clearly the directors’ intention to draw propagandistic parallels between Suvorov’s victory and the more recent stand against the Nazis during the invasion of 1941. The winner of the Stalin Prize, General Suvorov garnered mostly negative reviews when it was released in the US, with some commentators decrying its “poor direction.” When seen today, it stands up as one of Pudovkin’s best talkie efforts, and one of the few post- 1933 films which truly lives up to his genius.
Chess Fever is a comedy about a man who, though soon to be married, already has a mistress – chess. His bride-to-be, knowing nothing of the game but seeing that his heart resides on the sixty-four squares of the chessboard, freaks out and storms onto the snow-covered streets in hysteria. Continue reading
Filmed to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 1917 Russian revolution, End of St. Petersburg was the second feature-length effort of director V. I. Pudovkin. Utilizing many of the montage techniques popularized by his contemporary Sergei Eisenstein, Pudovkin details the fall of St. Petersburg into the hands of the Bolsheviks during the revolution. Unlike Eisenstein, Pudovkin concentrates on individuals rather than groups (his protagonist is a politically awakened peasant played by Ivan Chuvelyov) humanizing what might otherwise have been a prosaic historical piece. The mob scenes, though obviously staged for ultimate dramatic impact, are so persuasive that they have frequently been excerpted for documentaries about the Russian Revolution, and accepted by some impressionable viewers as the real thing. Filmed just after his 1926 masterwork Mother, The End of St. Petersburg was followed by the equally brilliant Storm Over Asia.- allmovie.com