The Vanquished

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"With wits, weapons, and women ... he fought for justice !"
  • Approved
  • 1953
  • 1 hr 24 min
  • 5.6  (225)

The Vanquished is a 1953 film noir directed by Edward Ludwig and starring John Payne, Jan Sterling, and Coleen Gray. It is a gripping tale of post-war trauma, love, and betrayal set against the backdrop of the the Russian Revolution in 1917. The movie opens with American soldier David Wanamaker, played by Payne, returning to his hometown in Michigan after being discharged from the Army. He finds his hometown changed, and struggles to find work to support himself. Frustrated with his civilian life, David decides to join the Russian forces in Siberia, where a civil war is raging. Along the way, he meets Jan Sterling's Anna, a former prostitute who joins him on his journey.

As the revolution sweeps through Russia, David and Anna are caught up in the chaos and confusion. They become separated as David joins the Whites, the anti-communist force led by General Semenov (played by Pedro de Cordoba), while Anna aligns herself with the Reds, the Bolsheviks led by Nika Turgenov (George Coulouris). David is convinced that he can end the fighting and bring a resolution that will stop the bloodshed, while Anna is determined to fight for the communist cause no matter the cost.

As the story unfolds, we see the harsh realities of war and its toll on the human psyche. David is wracked with guilt over the deaths of his fellow soldiers, and he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the violence and destruction around him. In contrast, Anna is consumed by the revolutionary spirit, and is willing to sacrifice everything for the cause.

The Vanquished is a visually stunning film, with sweeping shots of snow and ice in the Siberian landscape. The film's cinematographer, Lionel Lindon, does an excellent job of creating a sense of isolation and desolation in the face of war. The film's score, by Nathan Scott, is haunting and ominous, underscoring the sense of danger and uncertainty throughout the film.

At its core, The Vanquished is a story of two people caught up in a conflict that they cannot control. As the world around them changes, they must confront their own values and beliefs, and decide what is truly worth fighting for. Payne and Sterling give powerful performances as two people struggling to come to terms with their own identity and morality in the face of overwhelming violence.

Overall, The Vanquished is a gripping and dramatic film that explores the depths of human emotion in the midst of war. It is a powerful reminder of the devastation wrought by political upheaval, and the human cost of ideology. If you're a fan of classic film noir, or simply looking for a thought-provoking and visually stunning film, The Vanquished is a must-see.

The Vanquished
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 24 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.6  (225)