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The Case of Sergeant Grischa

Original title
The Case of Sergeant Grischa
Running time
91 min.
United States United States
Elizabeth Meehan (Novel: Arnold Zweig)
J. Roy Hunt
J. Roy Hunt
, , , , , ,
RKO Radio Pictures
Synopsis / Plot
Grischa Paprotkin is a simple sergeant in the Russian Army, who has been captured by the Germans during World War I, and who sits in a Prisoner-of-war camp camp. When his chance comes to escape, he takes it, ending up staying with a young Russian refugee, Babka. However, after a time, he longs to return to his home in Russia. Babka, even though she has fallen in love with him, agrees to help him. Since he cannot travel under his real name, being an escaped POW, Babka obtains the credentials of a dead Russian soldier, Bjuscheff.

After leaving Babka's, on his way back to his home in Russia, he stops at a friend of Babka's, who lives in Mervinsk. When a German soldier arrives at the house, Grischa hides in the basement. As he is about to leave, the soldier notices the Russian soldier's cap which Babka has dropped on his way to the cellar. Babka is captured, after which it is discovered that his false identity is that of a Russian spy, for which he is sentenced to execution.

While in captivity, Babka's real identity is uncovered, but the German command refuses to reverse his sentence. Babka and her friends make plans to help him escape once again, at the same time as a powerful general in the German army, von Lychow, hears about his case and decides to intercede on his behalf. Grischa refuses the help of Babka, putting his trust with von Lychow. When von Lychow meets with the German Commander-in-Chief, General Schieffenzahn, they argue over Grischa's case, von Lychow pleading for leniency, while Schieffenzahn wanting the execution to go forward as soon as possible. They end their argument without seeing eye-to-eye, but after von Lychow departs, Schieffenzahn changes his mind and sends an order to cancel the execution. However, a storm has caused the wires to be down, and the message never arrives. Grischa is executed.
1929: Academy Awards: Nominated for Best Sound, Recording
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