March 06, 1978 12:00 PM

There are two reasons to see this Franco-German movie. One is marginally historical—it portrays the long-forgotten skirmishes between Russian Bolsheviks and remnants of the German army in the Baltic states after World War I. The other is an effective performance by Margarethe von Trotta as a woman who turns Marxist after failing to seduce a German commander. (He seems to be a Johann Wayne sort, more interested in battles than blondes, though there are hints that he may be gay too.) Director Volker. Schlondorff—von Trotta’s husband, with credits like A Free Woman and The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum—has un-clarified a lot of confusion. For one thing, why do the same characters speak French to each other one minute and German the next? Magnifique? Nein. With English subtitles. (Unrated)

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