The Living Corpse (after L. Tolstoys play) (subtitles)

The Living Corpse (after L. Tolstoy's play) (subtitles)

  • $14.99

The film is based on Leo Tolstoy's play written around 1900. It was only published shortly after his death — Tolstoy had never considered the work finished. An immediate success, it is still performed.

The central character, Fedor Protasov, is tormented by the belief that his wife Liza has never really chosen between him and the more conventional Victor Karenin, a rival for her hand. He wants to kill himself, but doesn't have the nerve. Running away from his life, he first falls in with Gypsies, and into a sexual relationship with a Gypsy singer, Masha. However, facing Masha's parents' disapproval, he runs away from this life as well. Again he wants to kill himself, but lacks the nerve; again, his descent continues.

Meanwhile, his wife, presuming him dead, has married the other man. When Protasov is discovered, she is charged with bigamy, accused of arranging her husband's disappearance. He shows up in court to testify that she had no way of knowing that he was alive; when the judge rules that his wife must either give up her new husband or be exiled to Siberia, Protasov shoots himself. Hysterically, his wife declares that it is Protasov whom she always loved.

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