|Directed by||Benjamin Christensen|
|Written by||Stig Esbern (story)|
Joseph Farnham (titles)
Bradley King (continuity)
|Produced by||Erich Pommer|
|Cinematography||Merritt B. Gerstad|
|Edited by||John W. English|
Mockery (1927) is an American film about the Russian Revolution starring Lon Chaney. The movie was the second film made in Hollywood by Danish director Benjamin Christensen and stars Chaney as a Siberian peasant who aids a countess (played by Barbara Bedford) who is threatened by the encroaching insurgency.
The film is set during the civil war between White (aristocratic) and Red (Communist) Russians after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Sergei, a peasant in the Siberian countryside, is starving, and searching the dead bodies of victims of recent battle for something to eat (though when a dying man calls for water, he goes to give him some before realizing he has died). Countess Tatiana Alexandrovna, who is carrying dispatches for the White side, hails him, gives him food, and persuades him to escort her to the nearby town, Novokursk, and protect her from anti-aristocrat fighters by saying she is his wife. They stop at a peasant's hut to rest, and Sergei bathes Tatiana's feet and improvises a bed for her with his fleece vest. An outlaw hiding there seizes Tatiana and calls in his friends, who menace her and beat Sergei to make him tell who she really is (which he doesn't know). A troop of White soldiers, led by handsome Captain Dmitri, shows up and rescues the two; Tatiana, moved by Sergei's loyalty to her, has him conveyed to the hospital in Novokursk and oversees his recovery. Dmitri finds her there, and love blooms between them.
Tatiana becomes the guest of the Gaidaroffs, a war profiteer and his wife, in their rich mansion. Sergei, recovered, comes to remind her she said they would always be friends (he never had one before); all she feels she can do is to get him a job as a servant of the Gaidaroffs. In their kitchen, he is influenced by the brutal gatekeeper, Ivan, and other servants to resent Tatiana as well as the Gaidaroffs for treating him with contempt. He begins ignoring their summons, is cowed into obeying again, and is angry about it.
The Red army nears the town, and the lower classes rise up to join them. The Gaidaroffs escape from their mansion, but Tatiana is trapped there. Ivan announces that he is going to have her before Sergei, so Sergei traps him and the other two kitchen servants in the cellar with a barrel on the trapdoor. He then goes up and demands that Tatiana treat him as an equal and kiss him as she kissed Dmitri. There is a prolonged struggle; she gets away from him.
Dmitri and his men show up again, and start executing Red fighters. They catch Sergei, and Dmitri asks Tatiana if he is one of them. She looks long at Sergei and the scars on his chest from the whipping he took for her sake in the hut, and tells Dmitri he was loyal to her and stayed to protect her. Dmitri tasks him with continuing to do so, and leaves. Sergei, very moved by her mercy, falls at her feet to implore pardon.
Ivan and the others escape from the cellar, and Ivan comes up to threaten Tatiana. Sergei fights him and strangles him, but Ivan fatally wounds him before dying. Tatiana forgives him and says he will stay with them always. Dmitri comes back and he and Tatiana embrace, and Sergei smiles at this and dies.
- Lon Chaney as Sergei
- Barbara Bedford as Countess Tatiana Alexandrova
- Ricardo Cortez as Capt. Dimitri
- Mack Swain as Vladimir Gaidaroff
- Emily Fitzroy as Mrs. Gaidaroff
- Charles Puffy as Ivan, the Gatekeeper
- Kai Schmidt as Butler
- Johnny Mack Brown as Russian Officer
- Albert Conti as Military Commandant at Novokursk (uncredited)
- Jules Cowles as Peasant who robs Tatiana (uncredited)
- Frank Leigh as Outlaw Peasant in Cabin (uncredited)
- Russ Powell as Man taking Sergei to Ivan (uncredited)
- Buddy Rae as Russian Soldier (uncredited)
- Michael Visaroff as Cossack whipping Sergei (uncredited)
- Silents Are Golden entry
- Lon Chaney website
- "Museum of Modern Art press release/book review of Lost Films" (PDF). Museum of Modern Art. August 24, 1970. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
- "Archival Film Prints Available From George Eastman House" (PDF). George Eastman House (eastmanhouse.org). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 23, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.