Storm at Daybreak


1h 18m 1933
Storm at Daybreak

Brief Synopsis

Fictionalized account of the events leading up to Archduke Ferdinand's assassination and the start of World War I.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
Strange Rhapsody
Genre
Drama
Historical
Adaptation
Release Date
Jul 14, 1933
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Fekete száru Csereszyne ( Blackstemmed Cherries ) by Sándor Hunyady (copyrighted 17 Jul 1931).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

On 28 Jun 1914, in the town of Sarajevo, Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his consort are assassinated by a Serbian nationalist while parading in an open automobile. After war is declared by Austria against the kingdom of Serbia, many Serbian villagers are drafted into the Hungarian army. Because of their in-bred hatred of the Hungarians, the Serbian men resist the draft and a few risk desertion. Three such deserters hide out at the estate of Dushan Radovic, a small-town mayor, and are protected by Dushan's sympathetic wife Irina. When Captain Geza Petery, the commander of the local Hungarian forces, arrives at the estate to search for the deserters, he is met by the beautiful Irina, who feigns ignorance of the situation. Unaware of Irina's actions, Dushan, an old friend of Geza's then innocently gives his word that he is not hiding any deserters. Although suspicious, Geza declines to search Dushan's grounds and accepts an invitation to dine. During the evening, Irina reveals the truth about the deserters to Dushan and begs him to aid in their escape. While Irina then distracts Geza with mild flirtation, Dushan arranges for the deserters to flee. Later, Geza quietly reveals to Irina that he was well aware of the escape plan, then confides in Dushan that Panto Nikitch, his steward, had informed him of the deserters' presence. Furious at Panto's betrayal, Dushan orders his servant to sign a retraction and dismisses him. On the eve of their departure to the front, Geza and his unit return to Dushan's estate for a last night of revelry. During the drunken festivities, Geza finds Irina alone and confesses that he is in love with her. Although Irina also admits to loving Geza, she insists that, for Dushan's sake, they not act on their passions. Sometime later, while distributing apples to wounded Hungarian soldiers on a train, Irina comes across Geza, who has been seriously injured. Unable to remain with him, Irina tells Dushan about Geza's condition, and the unsuspecting Dushan arranges for Geza to recuperate on his estate. Although Irina is overjoyed that Geza is alive, she worries that his constant presence in her home will dissolve her will. Later, Dushan confides in Geza his suspicion that Irina is not in love with him and adds that, if he ever lost Irina to another man, his world would crumble. Thus warned, Geza decides to assume a new command in town and, after kissing Irina farewell, leaves the estate. After the Armistice, Serbia declares its independence from Hungary, and Geza is replaced by Dushan's former steward, Panto, who has risen to the rank of commissioner. As Geza prepares to leave Dushan's town, Irina comes to him and begs him to take her with him. As soon as Geza agrees, however, Irina realizes that, as long as Dushan lives, neither she nor Geza will find happiness together. At that moment, Dushan finds Geza and offers him a job as overseer of his estate. When Geza refuses the offer, Dushan finally senses the emotions between Geza and Irina and begins to brood. That night, during a party at Dushan's house, Panto shows up and brags that he has a warrant to search Geza's official papers for possible evidence of treason. Sure that the search will result in Geza's demise, Irina begs Dushan to warn the Hungarian before Panto finds him. Enraged with jealousy, Dushan refuses, forcing Irina to go to Geza's post herself. While Irina is with him, Geza is confronted by a crazed Dushan, who starts to strangle him for refusing to admit to adultery. Eventually Dushan calms down, and while maintaining her fidelity, Irina confesses that Geza and she are indeed in love. Although crushed by the admission, Dushan informs Panto that Geza and Irina have already fled together. Panto is amused by Dushan's apparent humiliation and agrees to ride with him to find the officer. While driving his carriage, however, Dushan becomes wild and, after revealing his deception to a terrified Panto, steers the coach into a raging river. Thus freed, Geza and Irina face the future together.

Photo Collections

Storm at Daybreak - Lobby Card
Here is a lobby card from MGM's Storm at Daybreak (1933), starring Kay Francis. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Film Details

Also Known As
Strange Rhapsody
Genre
Drama
Historical
Adaptation
Release Date
Jul 14, 1933
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Fekete száru Csereszyne ( Blackstemmed Cherries ) by Sándor Hunyady (copyrighted 17 Jul 1931).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

Storm at Daybreak -


World War I provides a vivid backdrop for this tale of a romantic triangle complicated by international tensions. MGM borrowed Kay Francis from Warner Bros. to play a woman torn between her husband, Serbian mayor Walter Huston, and her husband's best friend, Hungarian Army captain Nils Asther. She tries to keep her distance from Asther, but the war keeps throwing them together. Director Richard Boleslawski had studied under Constantin Stanislavsky in Russia before coming to the U.S., where his American Laboratory Theatre trained such future acting teachers as Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. When his theatre company went bust, he moved to Hollywood, where he had a promising career as a director until his early death of a heart ailment at just 47. He had just come off MGM's epic Rasputin and the Empress (1933) -- the only film to star John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore -- when he made this picture. His direction really takes off in the scenes connected to the war, particularly a convincing re-creation of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (with Mischa Auer as the assassin) and scenes of Hungarian soldiers marching off to war.

By Frank Miller
Storm At Daybreak -

Storm at Daybreak -

World War I provides a vivid backdrop for this tale of a romantic triangle complicated by international tensions. MGM borrowed Kay Francis from Warner Bros. to play a woman torn between her husband, Serbian mayor Walter Huston, and her husband's best friend, Hungarian Army captain Nils Asther. She tries to keep her distance from Asther, but the war keeps throwing them together. Director Richard Boleslawski had studied under Constantin Stanislavsky in Russia before coming to the U.S., where his American Laboratory Theatre trained such future acting teachers as Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. When his theatre company went bust, he moved to Hollywood, where he had a promising career as a director until his early death of a heart ailment at just 47. He had just come off MGM's epic Rasputin and the Empress (1933) -- the only film to star John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore -- when he made this picture. His direction really takes off in the scenes connected to the war, particularly a convincing re-creation of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (with Mischa Auer as the assassin) and scenes of Hungarian soldiers marching off to war. By Frank Miller

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Strange Rhapsody. According to the Variety review, Sándor Hunyady's play was bought by M-G-M two years before the film went into production. Variety also notes that the play was produced in Budapest and Vienna, although no dates for these stagings have been found.