The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks

  • 86'
  • USSR
  • 1924
Lev Kuleshov’s first feature film pays homage to Hollywood films and film techniques in a number of ways. The title character Mr. West resembles Harold Lloyd, and the acrobatic cowboy Jeddy, Mr. West’s bodyguard, is based on Douglas Fairbanks, both of whom were quite popular with Russian audiences. The film is a political comedy, but it draws on other genres that Kuleshov identified with Hollywood, including Westerns, action-adventure films and slapstick.
The film’s main comic target was the political divide between Soviet Russia and the United States, caused, Kuleshov suggests, by international misunderstandings. Although many Americans in the 1920s may have feared the intentions of Revolutionary Russia, Kuleshov saw around him a Russian population that embraced America’s cultural exports, especially its movies. It is telling that Kuleshov applied an American model of film making to a Soviet film that he hoped might help bridge the political gap between the United States and the USSR.

Director
Lev Kuleshov
Country of production
USSR
Production Year
1924
Festival Edition
IFFR 2011
Length
86'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Neobychainye priklyucheniya mistera Vesta v strane bolshevikov
Production Company
Goskino
Sales
Mosfilm Cinema Concern
Screenplay
Nikolai Aseyev, Vsevolod Pudovkin
Cinematography
Aleksandr Levitsky
Editor
Aleksandr Levitsky
Production Design
Vsevolod Pudovkin
Cast
Boris Barnet, Porfiry Podobed