The Case of Sergeant Grischa (film)

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The Case of Sergeant Grischa
The Case of Sergeant Grischa Film Poster.jpg
Film Poster
Directed by Herbert Brenon
Produced by William LeBaron
Written by Elizabeth Meehan
Based on the novel, The Case of Sergeant Grischa 
by Arnold Zweig
Starring Chester Morris
Betty Compson
Jean Hersholt
Alec B. Francis
Cinematography J. Roy Hunt
Edited by Marie Halvey
Production
  company
RKO Radio Pictures
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s)
  • March 23, 1930 (1930-03-23)[1]
Running time 82 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $467,000[2]
Box office $456,000[2]

The Case of Sergeant Grischa is a 1930 American drama film directed by Herbert Brenon, based on the German novel of the same name by Arnold Zweig.[3] The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Sound Recording (John Tribby).[4]

Plot[edit]

Grischa Paprotkin is a simple sergeant in the Russian Army, who has been captured by the Germans during World War I, and who sits in a Prisoner-of-war camp camp. When his chance comes to escape, he takes it, ending up staying with a young Russian refugee, Babka. However, after a time, he longs to return to his home in Russia. Babka, even though she has fallen in love with him, agrees to help him. Since he cannot travel under his real name, being an escaped POW, Babka obtains the credentials of a dead Russian soldier, Bjuscheff.

After leaving Babka's, on his way back to his home in Russia, he stops at a friend of Babka's, who lives in Mervinsk. When a German soldier arrives at the house, Grischa hides in the basement. As he is about to leave, the soldier notices the Russian soldier's cap which Babka has dropped on his way to the cellar. Babka is captured, after which it is discovered that his false identity is that of a Russian spy, for which he is sentenced to execution.

While in captivity, Babka's real identity is uncovered, but the German command refuses to reverse his sentence. Babka and her friends make plans to help him escape once again, at the same time as a powerful general in the German army, von Lychow, hears about his case and decides to intercede on his behalf. Grischa refuses the help of Babka, putting his trust with von Lychow. When von Lychow meets with the German Commander-in-Chief, General Schieffenzahn, they argue over Grischa's case, von Lychow pleading for leniency, while Schieffenzahn wanting the execution to go forward as soon as possible. They end their argument without seeing eye-to-eye, but after von Lychow departs, Schieffenzahn changes his mind and sends an order to cancel the execution. However, a storm has caused the wires to be down, and the message never arrives. Grischa is executed.

Cast[edit]

As per AFI:[1]

Reception[edit]

The film lost an estimated $170,000.[2] The New York Times film critic, Mordaunt Hall, gave the film a lukewarm review.[5]

John E. Tribby received an Oscar nomination for Best Sound for this film.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Case of Sergeant Grischa: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p57
  3. ^ "The Chester Morris Web: The Case of Sergeant Grischa". chester-morris.com. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  4. ^ a b "The 3rd Academy Awards (1929/30) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  5. ^ Hall, Mordaunt (March 8, 1930). "The Case of Sgt. Grischa". New York Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]