MovieChat Forums > Knight Without ArmorĀ (1937) Discussion > Which side has the firing-squad?

Which side has the firing-squad?


Am I right in thinking that the hero is in fact almost shot by the Whites -- who are nominally British allies! -- at the end of the film?
The others who are marched out to face the firing squad look more like Red partisans than Whites (especially the girl who grabs the gun), and I think that the Black Sea location (Odessa?) is introduced with a shot of the Tsarist double-eagle flag rather than the Communist banner... it would also explain the presence of the English-speaking hospital staff, and the favourable treatment of the Countess.

If this is the case, it's another of the picture's rather effective ironies; its strongest point is in its depiction of the mutual brutality of both sides.

~~Igenlode

Gather round, lads and lasses, gather round...

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Yes at the end of the movie its the Whites who are involved in the executions

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Your question is natural and posing it is one of the subtle and intelligent points of the film. They are both (Reds and Whites) machine-gunning prisoners whenever they can.

Panic, paranoia and extremism have gripped both sides. Human life has become very cheap to both.

This would be replayed twenty years later in the titanic battles between the Germans and their allies against the Russian Communists.

Figures higher than SIXTY MILLION killed on all sides have been talked about from 1917-1948. It takes machine-gunning people every damn day to pull this off.

That the movie also finds moments of true and even desperate love (portraying them well) is a more pleasant point in its favor.

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Actually, I think the point of dual-sided brutality was made clear in the earlier scenes where Dietrich first escapes to the Whites. As she is dining with the White Army general and officers, the film cuts to the Whites machine-gunning Reds against a nearby wall. After the White encampment is overrun, we then see the Reds shooting the Whites - same wall, same machine gun.

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the picture's rather effective ironies; its strongest point is in its depiction of the mutual brutality of both sides.
I agree; the use of the flags makes the same point. The only way we can tell which group is in control is by the flag that's being flown. Otherwise, the same things continue to happen: people are being questioned, accused, and executed. Vast numbers of refuges are being driven out of their homes and there's complete chaos throughout the country. The two sides are fighting a bloody war with huge numbers of casualties on each side but to what end? We can't even tell the difference between them.

What's more, the Reds who were so against the privileges and excesses of the Aristocracy, enjoy a lot of privileges themselves. They check hands to see who the workers are and assume those who did not have calloused, bruised, and blistered hands must not have worked.


Woman, man! That's the way it should be Tarzan. [Tarzan and his mate]

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