NEOBYCHAINIYE PRIKLUCHENIYA MISTERA VESTA V STRANYE BOLSHEVIKOV (1924)

Soviet pioneer Lev Kuleshov’s entertaining comedy is part action movie, part western, part detective film, part light-hearted political satire and part pioneering cinematic manifesto.

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Film details

Alternative titles

  • The EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF MISTER WEST IN THE LAND OF THE B OLSHEVIKS Alternative
  • The EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF MR WEST IN THE LAND OF THE BOLSH EVIKS Alternative

Introduction

“Kuleshov’s film is a masterpiece of technique, a brilliant demonstration of the possibilities of cinema both to entertain and instruct.”
David Gillespie, Early Soviet Cinema: Innovation, Ideology and Propaganda, 2000

When naïve Mr West (Porfiri Podobed) travels to Moscow to see the barbarous Bolsheviks at first hand, he discovers that his bodyguard Cowboy Jeddy (future director Boris Barnet) cannot protect him from the gang of resourceful petty-bourgeois criminals who attempt to steal his dollars, but the Bolsheviks can.

Described by Lev Kuleshov as “a verification” of his innovative cinematic theories, the film satirises US attitudes to the Soviet Union while unashamedly borrowing American cinematic methods and popular genre devices. Rapid cutting, skillful juxtaposed shots and extensive close-ups combine with chases, kidnappings, well-staged fights, romance, slapstick clowning and impressive physical stunts to create an exuberant film whose ideological stance is not unambiguous.

Kuleshov’s first film was Engineer Prait’s Project (1918). He made silent films throughout the 1920s, turning to sound in The Great Consoler (1933).

Cast & Credits

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