Port Arthur (1936)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - Czechoslovakia, France  |  
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Though the Czechoslovakian film industry had been "nationalized" by the Nazis after the 1938 invasion, a few pre-war productions managed to sneak into the U.S. without German interference. One of these was Port Arthur, originally released in 1936. Set in the Russian city of Port Arthur, the story takes place in 1904, at the height of the Russo-Japanese war. Heroine Youki (Danielle Darrieux) is half-Russian and half-Japanese, putting her in quite a bind in terms of loyalty. Also affected by Youki's contrary fidelities is her Russian-officer husband Boris (Anton Walbrook) and her enemy-spy brother Ivamoura (Jean-Max). In the end, Youki betrays the Russians on behalf of the Japanese, but it turns out that her motives were pure; Ivamoura had threatened to kill Boris unless Youki agreed to stab her homeland in the back. Port Arthur was released in America in two different versions; one of these, dubbed into English, made the rounds in 1939 as I Give My Life.