BY THE LAW (1926):
This is apparently a shortened, edited version of the original 80 minute Soviet film.
A five-person team of gold prospectors in the Yukon has just begun to enjoy great success when one of the members snaps, and suddenly kills two of the others. The two survivors, a husband and wife, subdue the killer but are then faced with an agonizing dilemma. With no chance of turning him over to the authorities for many weeks, they must decide whether to exact justice themselves or to risk trying to keep him restrained until they can return to civilization. (approximately 58 minutes; very good quality. Russian intertitles with switchable English subtitles).
The story is about a family torn apart by a worker's strike. At first, the mother wants to protect her family from the troublemakers, but eventually she realizes that her son is right and the workers should strike. The plot is similar to other Soviet films of the era but does focus more on the individual than some of Eisenstein's films. The mother and son do represent the collective but they are also strong characters on their own. The best part of the film is the editing. It is always sharp and quick. When there is action, the edits are fast and give the viewer a sense of chaos. The Soviets were masters of montage and this film is a prime example. The acting is also better than in most silent films. It is clear that the actors come from the serious stage and not Vaudeville. The cinematography is somewhat average, though, and the film feels a little flat at times. It is not perfect, but it is worth seeing for all and essential viewing for those interested in Russian film or montage. (approximately 87 minutes; very good quality. Russian intertitles with hard-encoded, English subtitles).
DVD-R IS Approximately 145 minutes total.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SWITCHABLE (SOFT) SUBTITLES WILL NOT SHOW UP WHEN VIEWING THE SAMPLE BELOW. IF YOU SEE SUBTITLES, THEN THEY ARE HARD-ENCODED (meaning, they cannot be turned off when viewing the film):