American, 1934, 110 minutes, black-and-white Directed by Josef von Sternberg Starring Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe
Von Sternberg tells the story of Catherine the Great and her rise to power in uniquely ornate fashion with stunning lighting and camera work and fiery Russian music. It's a visual orgy and cinematically fascinating.
Garbo plays the title role of a Soviet envoy sent to Paris to clear up some problems with the sale of jewels from Tsarist Russia. Initially a political patriot, she finds herself falling in love with Western culture in Paris.
American, 1943, 105 minutes, black-and-white, 16 mm Directed by Lewis Milestone Starring Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston
Scripted by Lillian Hellman, THE NORTH STAR features good performances. The dramatic battle sequences in WW2 Russia depict the outrage committed upon a peaceful people by the invading armies of Nazi Germany.