Austrian Captain Karl von Raden attends the opera one evening, and meets Tania. After the performance, he takes her home, and the two of them spend the next day on a romantic outing. That evening, Karl must deliver some important plans to Berlin. Just before boarding his train, he learns that Tania is really a Russian spy. She comes to see him aboard the train, and admits that she set things up on purpose so as to meet him, but she also insists that she truly has fallen in love with him. When Karl rebuffs her coldly, she steals the plans, which leads to him being court-martialed and imprisoned. Karl’s influential uncle is able to provide him with one last chance to clear his name. —IMDb
Fred Niblo directed some of the most legendary stars of the 1920s in some of that decade’s biggest films: Blood and Sand (with Valentino); The Mark of Zorro and The Three Musketeers (Fair-banks); and Ben Hur. He guided Garbo through The Temptress (replacing her mentor, Mauritz Stiller) and The Mysterious Lady. He worked with Lillian Gish, Ronald Colman, Conrad Nagel, Lionel Barrymore, Vilma Banky, and Norma Talmadge. Valentino, Fair-banks, and Garbo first come to mind at the mention of their films with Niblo. The other actors’ best work was done elsewhere, for other more rightfully distinguished filmmakers.
Niblo’s one distinction is his credit on Ben Hur , the cinema’s first real super-spectacle. Ben Hur is the Titanic of its day, a boondoggle that ran way over budget and took two years to complete. It was begun by the Goldwyn Company, and passed along when Goldwyn, Loew’s Metro, and Louis B. Mayer joined together to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Ben Hur was initially shot on location… read more