The Extraordinary Adventures Of Mr. West In The Land Of The Bolsheviks

Soviet film teacher and theorist Lev Kuleshov was a spirited amateur director, and this first full-length feature (1924, 88 min.) from his experimental workshop shows him and his students at their most manic and inventive. As with some of their other projects (By the Law, The Great Consoler), the inspiration is largely American: a flag-waving YMCA director from the U.S., with horn-rims and a raccoon coat suggesting Harold Lloyd and a Wild West bodyguard acrobatically played by future director Boris Barnet, is hoodwinked by a gang of disreputable Russians into seeing all the horrors he expects in the wake of the revolution. Americans come in for some ribbing, but the thuggish Bolshevik pranksters, even more hilarious, aren’t exactly role models either. (JR)

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