Mission to Moscow

Overview

More so than most wartime films, Mission to Moscow must be viewed within the context of its times. Requested by President Roosevelt to make a film supportive of America's Russian allies, Warner Bros. turned to the memoirs of Ambassador Joseph H. Davies, who spent several years prior to WWII in the Soviet Union. As played by Walter Huston, Davies is a pillar of incorruptable integrity, reporting the facts "as I saw them" (only in later years was Davies revealed to be something less than a paragon of virtue who was...
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Overview

More so than most wartime films, Mission to Moscow must be viewed within the context of its times. Requested by President Roosevelt to make a film supportive of America's Russian allies, Warner Bros. turned to the memoirs of Ambassador Joseph H. Davies, who spent several years prior to WWII in the Soviet Union. As played by Walter Huston, Davies is a pillar of incorruptable integrity, reporting the facts "as I saw them" (only in later years was Davies revealed to be something less than a paragon of virtue who was willing to alter opinions for political, personal and financial expedience). Sent to Moscow by FDR as a means of finding out if Russia is a potentially trustworthy ally in case of war, Davies and his family are given the royal treatment by the Commissars, who display the social, technological, agricultural and artistic advances made under the Stalin regime. Invariably, the Russian citizens are shown to be singing, smiling, freedom-loving rugged individuals-in contrast to the Nazis, who are depicted as humorless automatons. In its efforts to present the USSR in the best possible light, the film glosses over the notorious Purge Trials of 1937, presenting the trials as scrupulously fair and the defendants as unabashed traitors to the Soviet cause. At one point, Russia's annexation of Finland in 1939 is "justified" by Davies' explanation that the Soviets merely wanted to protect their tiny neighbor from Nazi domination! It is unfair to label Mission to Moscow as Communistic or even left-wing, since it was merely parroting the official party line vis-a-vis US/Soviet relations in 1943. Even so, screenwriter Howard Koch found it very difficult to get film work after the war because of his contributions to this "Pinko" project (conversely, Jack Warner pulled a Pontius Pilate, washing his hands of the matter by insisting that he was strongarmed into making the film). Seen objectively, Mission to Moscow is top-rank entertainment, superbly and excitingly assembled in the manner typical of Warners and director Michael Curtiz. The huge cast includes Gene Lockhart as Molotov, attorney Dudley Field Malone as Winston Churchill, Maynart Kippen as a benign, pipe-smoking Stalin, Charles Trowbridge as Secretary Cordell Hull, Leigh Whipper as Hailie Selassie, Georges Renavent as Anthony Eden and Alex Chirva as Pierre Laval, along with the more familiar faces of Ann Harding (as Mrs. Davies), George Tobias, Eleanor Parker, Moroni Olsen, Minor Watson, Jerome Cowan, Duncan Renaldo, Mike Mazurki, Frank Faylen, Edward van Sloan, Louis-Jean Heydt, Monte Blue, Robert Shayne and even Sid (sic) Charisse. Original prints of Mission to Moscow include a 6-minute prologue delivered by the real Joseph Davies.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/20/2009
  • UPC: 883316213391
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 2:03:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 40,894

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Walter Huston Ambassador Joseph E. Davies
Ann Harding Mrs. Davies
Oscar Homolka Maxim Litvinov
Gene Lockhart Vyacheslav Molotov
George Tobias Freddie
Eleanor Parker Emlen Davies
Helmut Dantine Maj. Kamenev
Frieda Inescort Mme. Molotov
Richard Travis Paul Grosjean
Victor Francen Vyshinsky
Henry Daniell Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop
Barbara Everest Madame Litvinov
Dudley Field Malone Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Roman Bohnen Krestinsky
Maria Palmer Tanya Litvinov
Moroni Olsen Col. Faymonville
Minor Watson Loy Henderson
Vladimir Sokoloff Mikhail Kalinin
Maurice Schwartz Dr. Botkin
Jerome Cowan Spendler
Manart Kippen Joseph Stalin
Kathleen Lockhart Lady Chilston
Kurt Katch Semer Timoshenko
Felix Basch Dr. Hjalmar Schacht
Frank Puglia Judge Ulrich
John Abbott Grinko
Charles Trowbridge Secretary of State Cordell Hull
Leigh Whipper Haile Selassie
Clive Morgan Anthony Eden
Doris Lloyd Mrs. Churchill
Olaf Hytten Parliament Member
Arthur Gilmore Commentator
George Sorel
Duncan Renaldo
Nino Bellini Italian Reporter
Ferdinand Schumann-Heink
Rolf Lindau
Peter Michael German Reporter
George Davis
Jean del Val French Reporter
Emory Parnell Speaker of House
Pat O'Malley Irish-American
Mark Strong Englishman
Albert D'Arno Frenchman
Rudolf Steinbeck German
Gino Corrado Italian
Glenn Strange Southerner
Oliver Cross
Ray Walker
Frank Faylen Reporter
Joseph Crehan Reporter
Ross Ford
Warren Douglas
Barbara Brown
Wallis Clark
Hans Schumm
Ernest Golm
Lisa Golm
Henry Victor
Louis Arco
Erwin Kalser
Pierre Watkin Naval Attache
Edward Van Sloan German Diplomat
Michael Visaroff
Alex Akimoff
Sam Savitsky
Henry Guttman
Elizabeth Archer Elderly Woman
Sandor Szabo Sr.
Virginia Christine
Daniel Ocko
David Hoffman
Lumsden Hare Lord Chilston
Ernie S. Adams
Herbert Ashley
Hooper Atchley Father
Oliver Blake
Monte Blue
Eugene Borden French Minister
Egon Brecher
George Carleton
Maurice Cass
Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
Luke Chan
Cyd Charisse Specialty Dancer
Edmund Cobb
Harry Cording Blacksmith
Noel Cravat
Jacqueline Dalya
William B. Davidson
Jean de Briac
John Dilson
Ben Erway
Fred Essler
Frank Ferguson
Robert C. Fischer Von Schulenberg
James Flavin
Lee Tung Foo
William Forrest American Newsman
Jack Gardner
Gene Gary Russian Foreman
Sam Goldenberg
Gregory Golubeff
Christine Gordon
William Gould Isolationist
Alexander Granach Russian Air Force Officer
John Hamilton
Ernst Hausman
Frank Hemphill Grandfather
Louis Jean Heydt
Herbert Heyes
Mauritz Hugo Hecklers
Ted Jacques
Frank Jaquet
Allen Jung Japanese Diplomat
Joseph Kamaryt
Eddie Kane
Zoya Karabanova
Edward Keane
Bill Kennedy
Jack Kenney
Al Kunde Father
Charles La Torre
Ivan Lebedeff
George Lessey
Marion Lessing
Edgar Licho Bookseller
Arthur Loft Man with Microphone
Billy Louie
Michael Mark
John Maxwell
Mike Mazurki Workman
Marie Melesch
Alex Melesh
Tina Menard
Howard Mitchell
Forbes Murray
Martin Noble
Michel Panaieff Specialty Dancer
Frank Penny
Francis Pierlot Doctor
Emil Rameau
Frank Reicher
Georges Renavent President Paul Van Zeeland
Betty Roadman Mother
Lionel Royce Dr. Schmitt
Dick Ryan
Loulette Sablon
Irina Semochenko
Konstantin Shayne Nikolai Bukharin
Robert Shayne
Tamara Shayne Russian Nurse
Evelynne Smith Daughter
Leonid Snegoff Kommodov
Ivan Triesault
Tom Tully Engineer
Peggy Watts
Frank Wayne
John Wengraf
Marek Windheim
Joan Winfield
Isabel Withers Woman
Victor Wong
Jean Wong
Jack Young
Alfred Zeisler
Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
Robert Buckner Producer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Bert Glennon Cinematographer
Howard Koch Screenwriter
Jay Leyda Consultant/advisor
Owen Marks Editor
LeRoy J. Prinz Choreography
Don Siegel Consultant/advisor
Max Steiner Score Composer
Carl Jules Weyl Production Designer
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