The Red Dance. 1928. USA. Directed by Raoul Walsh. With Dolores del Río, Charles Farrell, Ivan Linow. Silent, with piano accompaniment. 103 min.
Director Raoul Walsh had given Mexican actress Dolores del Rio a grand Hollywood sendoff with his runaway hit What Price Glory? in 1927, so Fox entrusted him with two more vehicles for their new star: The Loves of Carmen (also in this program) and this rousing adventure film set in the early days of the Russian Revolution. Assigned to assassinate the Grand Duke Eugen (Charles Farrell), the peasant girl Tasia (Del Rio) is moved instead to let him live, a decision that proves fateful when she becomes the revolutionary heroine “The Red Dancer of Moscow,” while Eugen becomes an agent of the White resistance. The show is instantly stolen by Ivan Linow—a sort of lovable Russian Victor McLaglen—as a Red general whose love for Tasia undermines his revolutionary zeal. 35mm print from MoMA’s archive