[Alla vigilia] T. int.: On the Eve. Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo di Ivan Turgenev. Scen.: Emmanuil Beskin. F.: Aleksandr Ryllo. Scgf.: Ivan Sukiasov. Int.: Ol’ga Preobraženskaja (Elena), Petr Kaševskij (Insarov), Vasilij Vasil’ev (Bersenev), M. Balinov (Šubin), A. Neverov (Uvar Ivanovič), Tat’jana Kraskovskaja (Zoja), Vladimir Gradov (Elena’s uncle), N. Lepetič (mother). S. Sergeev (Rendič). Prod.: Società “V. Vengerov e V. Gardin”. Pri. pro.: 3 settembre 1915. 35mm. L.: 170 m (fragment). D.: 8’ a 18 f/s. Bn
The memoirs of Vladimir Gardin reveal that in 1915 his company announced a project of great interest to those who ran the movie theaters: the adaptation of the great classics of Russian literature, among them On the Eve by Turgenev. With the participation of Ol’ga Preobraženskaja, already famous for her work in The Keys to Happiness and in Dvorjanskoe Gnezdo (Nest of the Gentry), and the direction of Gardin, the appeal to audiences would be enormous. On the Eve, like Granatovyj braslet (based on the story by Kuprin The Garnet Bracelet), was then finished by Nikolaj Malikov with the collaboration of Ol’ga Preobraženskaja: the statements made by Gardin allow us to conclude that Preobraženskaja did not only play the leading role but also participated in the direction, though she received no credit for that work. On the Eve tells the story of a young Russian woman who falls in love with a Bulgarian patriot and decides to follow him against the wishes of her family. When he dies in Vienna, she decides to dedicate her life to his cause. The short surviving fragment of the film seems to be made of snippets of scenes from different parts of the film; however it may just as well be a series of consecutive scenes, from what seems to be a rather chaotic film. In 1918 “Kino-bjulleten” commented that On the Eve appeared to be a “series of distinct and poorly linked scenes” and that the intertitles (subsequently lost) “neither corresponded to the text of the novel nor to the images”. Nevertheless, judging from what remains, the film is visually very interesting, particularly the scene set in the heroine’s boudoir, in which her image is doubled by her reflection in the mirror.