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
Image patriot.jpg
Directed byErnst Lubitsch
Written byHanns Kräly
Alfred Neumann (Novel)
Ashley Dukes (Play)
Dmitry Merezhkovsky (Play)
StarringEmil Jannings
Florence Vidor
Lewis Stone
Neil Hamilton
CinematographyBert Glennon
Edited byErnst Lubitsch
Music byMax Bergunker
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
August 17, 1928 (1928-08-17)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguagesSilent 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."


Emil Jannings as emperor Paul I

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 and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Lewis Stone) and Best Art Direction.[3][4] It was the only silent film nominated for Best Picture that year and the last until The Artist won in 2011.


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

Preservation statusEdit

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]

It is the only Best Picture Academy Award nominee for which no complete or near-complete copy has been found.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The Patriot".
  2. ^ The Patriot by Ashley Dukes performed on Broadway January 1928, Majestic Theatre;
  3. ^ "NY Times: The Patriot". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2008. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
  4. ^ "The 2nd Academy Awards (1930) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  5. ^ The Library of Congress/FIAF American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:The Patriot
  6. ^ The Patriot at; Lost Films Wanted(Wayback Machine)..Retrieved July 21, 2018

External linksEdit