• Romance doesn’t come easy in this week’s festival of free films on Hulu, Love Under Pressure. Whether separated by circumstances beyond their control or challenged by their own neuroses, the couples in these films are up against many obstacles. In Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus, Orfeu must travel all the way to the underworld to save Eurídice; in Jacques Becker’s Casque d’or, things are rocky for a gangster’s moll and an ex-con in belle epoque Paris; a newly engaged couple must contend with the difficulties posed by a long-distance relationship after he accepts a far-off job in Ermanno Olmi’s I fidanzati; a real-life squabbling husband and wife allow a camera into their home for Allan King’s documentary A Married Couple; a passionate affair turns ugly in Luchino Visconti’s melodrama Senso; an adulterous relationship shakes up a marriage in François Truffaut’s The Soft Skin; young love blossoms and then quickly withers in Ingmar Bergman’s Summer with Monika; and Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh bring to life the scandalous affair between Lord Horatio Nelson and a British ambassador’s wife in Alexander Korda’s That Hamilton Woman.

    Also included is Jacques Feyder’s intense—and intensely romantic—Russian Revolution drama Knight Without Armour, starring Marlene Dietrich as a Russian general’s daughter and Robert Donat as the British spy who loves her. The film is unavailable on disc, but you can watch it below or at Hulu. And remember, if you sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month, you can see these and hundreds of other Criterion films commercial-free, anytime.

     

2 comments

  • By Lassothemovies
    February 18, 2014
    04:26 PM

    This film has many things going for it, including magnificent camera work by Harry Stradling and a realistic worn-torn atmosphere that is second to none. Dietrich and Donat have great chemistry together, and make their love that much more believable. All around, Knight Without Armour" is highly enjoyable, and it's a shame it has been embraced by a wider audience.
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  • By Chris Arturo
    February 18, 2014
    07:10 PM

    "Knight Without Armour" really needs to be given the Criterion treatment of fine restoration and re-release. In 1937 it was superbly directed by French filmmaker Jacques Feyder, produced by Alexander Korda under his London Films banner, art directed by Vincent Korda, and featuring the very first film score by (later Oscar-winning) Hungarian composer Miklos Rozsa. It starred Robert Donat (just two years after his triumph as the male lead in Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps") and Marlene Dietrich (after a string of hits directed by Josef von Sternberg) in one of her very last 'ingenue' roles. Amongst the great supporting cast are Hay Petrie in another of his memorably eccentric cameos, and Peter Bull, Miles Malleson, and John Clements as Red commisars who are respectively dour and irritable, drunkenly amiable, and tragically over-sensitive. Clements' performance as the latter was his largest and most sustained yet for a Korda production, followed by a bigger role the following year opposite Ralph Richardson in "South Riding" and culminating in the lead role (again, opposite Richardson) of "The Four Feathers" in 1939. "Knight Without Armour" is in some ways a thematic predecessor to "Doctor Zhivago" (directed by David Lean in 1965), and compares quite favorably to that film.
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