It's a tale of power and passions when a Russian siren, who wants the finer things in life, sinks her hooks into a judge, a decadent aristocrat and an estate superintendent, with surprising results.
George Sanders is the local magistrate "Petroff" in Czarist Russia in 1912. He is contentedly engaged to his rather uninspiring fiancée "Nadena" (Anna Lee) when he encounters the temptress peasant "Olga" (Linda Darnell). She quite literally knocks this otherwise pillar of the community figure off his feet much to the chagrin of "Nadena" who tells him to get lost. Turns out, "Olga" is a bit of a gold-digger, and when she has an affair with his close friend "Count Volsky" (Edward Everett Horton), "Petroff" is livid - and tragedy ensues. It's based on the Chekhov "Shooting Party" play and is a fair adaptation at that. Sanders and Darnell are well matched by director Douglas Sirk and the machinations of all concerned flow quite well. The production is a bit on the basic side, I'm not sure I recall any outside scenarios, but there is a good supporting cast (Hugo Haas and the usually reliable John Abbott) and the arrival of the Russian Revolution adds an extra twist to what can be, at times, just a little too melodramatic a romance. No, it isn't a great film - but it is quite enjoyable.