Poruchik Kizhe (1934)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Satire  |   Run Time - 69 min.  |   Countries - USSR  |  
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Czar Wants to Sleep is a remake of a considerably shorter 1919 Russian film. Based on a well-known (and possibly apocryphal) anecdote, the film is set during the regime of the "mad" Czar Paul I. The developmentally challenged ruler is awakened from his slumbers by a scream, brought about when a lady's maid capriciously pinches her lover in the backside. The Czar demands that everyone be summoned to his bedchambers to face punishment for awakening him. To save the maid, a story is fabricated that the screamer was a member of the military staff. The angry Paul banishes this non-existent officer to Siberia -- then changes his mind and orders the phantom soldier back to command the entire Imperial Army! Innocently swept up in all this is one Lieutenant Kizhe, who thanks to his non compos mentis Czar becomes a hero.

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Keywords

banishment, cover-up, craziness, Czar, demands, insomnia, lies, palace, Russia, servant, sleep, soldier