Father Sergius (film, 1918)


May 22, 2022

Father Sergius (1918) is a silent feature film by Yakov Protazanov. Screen version of the story of the same name by Leo Tolstoy.


The plot of the film is close to the literary source. The young prince Stepan Dmitritch Kasatsky (Ivan Mozzhukhin) treats Tsar Nicholas I (Vladimir Gaidarov) with reverence and seeks his favor in every possible way. The prince falls in love with the beautiful Mary Korotkova (V. Dzheneeva), not suspecting that she is the sovereign's mistress. Upon learning the truth, he is shocked and faces the need to completely reconsider his life. The prince renounces the title, goes to the monastery and takes the tonsure under the name of Father Sergius. In the monastery, life seems to him too vain and subject to temptations. In search of peace of mind, he becomes a hermit. Six years later, a merry company passed by his cell at Shrovetide, and with it the beautiful Makovkina (actress Natalya Lisenko). She decides to seduce Father Sergius on a bet and persuades her friends to bring her to him at three in the morning. She asks Sergius to warm up in Sergius's cell and takes off her wet clothes. Father Sergius is embarrassed, seeing in this the machinations of the devil. Makovkina replies that she is just a sinful woman and begins to seduce him. Sergius, under pretense, retires to the hallway, where he cuts off the index finger of his left hand with an ax in order to "pacify the flesh." Makovkina sees blood and begs for forgiveness. A year later, she herself leaves for the monastery. The righteousness of Father Sergius attracts to him both believers and secular loafers, who are eager to mock the recluse. Temptations find him even in solitude. Unable to find peace and come to terms with his conscience, Father Sergius falls into despair and becomes a nameless vagabond...


Ivan Mozzhukhin - Prince Stepan Kasatsky - Father Sergius Vera Dzheneeva - Mary Natalya Lisenko - Makovkina Vera Orlova - daughter of a merchant Vladimir Gaidarov - Tsar Nicholas I Olga Kondorova as Countess Korotkova Nikolai Panov - Kasatsky's father Iona Talanov - merchant Pyotr Baksheev as a young monk Polikarp Pavlov - the gatekeeper of the monastery Nicholas of Rome - Bishop


Vladimir Balluzek, Alexander Loshakoff, V. Vorobyov

History of creation

For the first time about the intention to film the story of Tolstoy