Marlene Dietrich and Robert Donat star in this gripping melodrama about the Russian revolution, based on the novel by James Hilton. Donat plays A.J. Fothergill, a British interpreter in St. Petersburg who is ordered to leave Russia after writing an article that criticized the czar. Fothergill meets a British secret agent who can arrange for him to stay in Russia if he will agree to spy for England and monitor revolutionary groups trying to depose the czar. Fothergill infiltrates a group planning to kill Russian nobleman Vladinoff (Herbert Lomas); the radicals bomb Vladinoff's coach, but he and his daughter, Alexandra (Marlene Dietrich) escape unharmed. Fothergill is arrested and sent to Siberia. When the monarchy is deposed during the Russian Revolution in 1917, Alexandra is arrested by Communist forces and put on trial. Fothergill is freed from prison with his friend Axelstein (Basil Gill), and they are now revolutionary heroes. Alexandra must go to Petrograd to face trial and Fothergill is chosen to escort her. When they reach the train station, Fothergill discovers the White Army (fighting to restore the czar) is coming. He leads Alexandra to safety behind the White Army lines, but the Red Army has surrounded the city and Fothergill, smitten with Alexandra, rescues her again before the city is shelled.
by Paul Brenner synopsis