"The favourite actor of the day was Mozzhukhin"

Ivan Ilyich Mozzhukhin (1889—1939), known as the "Russian Valentino", was a silent film actor and the star of Tsarist cinema and later the French cinema (for which he spelled his name Mosjoukine). After leaving Russia he achieved instant stardom in 1920 with L'Angoissante Aventure, his first French film, which told the story of a troupe of Russian actors fleeing the Revolution and heading to Paris.

For a decade thereafter, Mozzhukhin's hypnotic face stared out of film magazines all over Europe. (Nabokov describes it here thus: "Mozzhukhin would drive up to it in a smart sleigh and fix a steely eye on a light in one window while a celebrated little muscle twitched under the tight skin of his jaw.") It is his face, in fact, and not necessarily his acting, which has been his most memorable legacy: in the 1910s and 20s Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov used old footage of Mozzhukhin's face to demonstrate his film montage effect now known as the Kuleshev Effect.