This Russian comedy-drama runs a mere 43 minutes -- just long enough to do justice to the one-act Anton Chekhov play on which it was based. O. Androvska plays Elena, a headstrong widow who refuses to honor a promise made by her husband to neighboring landowner Smirnov (M. Zharov). It is Smirnov's loud, boorish attitude that offends Elena the most; for his part, he can't abide her fierce independence and unwillingness to bow to his "superiority." One thing leads to another, and by the time the piece is two-thirds over, Smirnov has challenged Elena to a pistol duel! Any thoughts of "satisfaction" by bullet are dispensed with when Elena and Smirnov realize that they're madly in love with one another.
Hal Erickson, www.allmovie.com