The Patriot (1928 film)

The Patriot is a 1928 semi-biographical film that was directed by Ernst Lubitsch and released by Paramount Pictures. While mainly a silent film, the film did have a synchronized soundtrack as well as some talking sequences. The movie is a biographical story of emperor Paul I of Russia, starring Emil Jannings, Florence Vidor and Lewis Stone.[1]

The Patriot
Directed byErnst Lubitsch
Written byHanns Kräly
Alfred Neumann (Novel)
Ashley Dukes (Play)
Dmitry Merezhkovsky (Play)
StarringEmil Jannings
Florence Vidor
Lewis Stone
Neil Hamilton
Music byMax Bergunker
CinematographyBert Glennon
Edited byErnst Lubitsch
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
August 17, 1928 (1928-08-17)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English sequences
Budget$1 million


In 18th-Century Russia, the Czar, Paul, is surrounded by murderous plots and trusts only Count Pahlen. Pahlen wishes to protect his friend, the mad king, but because of the horror of the king's acts, he feels that he must remove him from the throne. Stefan, whipped by the czar for not having the correct number of buttons on his gaiters, joins with the count in the plot. The crown prince is horrified by their plans and warns his father, who, having no love for his son, places him under arrest for his foolish accusations. Pahlen uses his mistress, the Countess Ostermann, to lure the czar into the bedroom, where she tells the czar of the plot. The czar summons Pahlen, who reassures him of his loyalty. Later that night the count and Stefan enter his bedroom, and presently the czar is dead. But moments later Stefan turns a pistol on Pahlen. As the count lies dying on the floor, the countess appears and embraces Pahlen as he says, "I have been a bad friend and lover—but I have been a Patriot."


Tullio Carminati and Carmencita Johnson appear uncredited in this movie.



The film was written by Hanns Kräly; it is an adaptation of two plays: Paul I by Dmitry Merezhkovsky and The Patriot by Ashley Dukes (based on the novel Der Patriot by Alfred Neumann). The Dukes play was performed on Broadway in January 1928.[2] John Gielgud made his Broadway debut in that play.



It won the Academy Award for Best Writing Achievement and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Lewis Stone), Best Art Direction, Best Director and Best Picture.[3][4] It was the only silent film nominated for Best Picture that year and the last to ever receive a Best Picture nomination until The Artist won for Best Picture in 2012.


The film was remade in France in 1938 with the same title.

Preservation status

Only pieces of this film are left, including trailers. The UCLA Film and Television Archive is in possession of 2500 feet of footage (out of 10,000), and one reel was found in Portugal,[1] but to date no complete copy has been located.[5][6]

See also


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