In direction and camerawork the picture [based on a play by Lajos Biro] stands out, but the story isn’t one that is going to give anyone a great thrill. Mauritz Stiller and Erich Pommer have done their work well, and they have made Pola Negri look like a gorgeous beauty in some shots, and effectively handled her in others, such as her scenes with the Russian general, but to what avail are good direction and supervision, plus acting, when the story isn’t there?
It has to do with the advance of Russian armies into Galicia after their defeat of the Austrians. The Hotel Imperial is located in one of the border towns of Austria-Hungary. Here a fleeing Austrian hussar seeks rest and is caught behind the lines of the enemy when they move into the town.
Negri, as the hotel slavey, shelters him and suggests that he act as the waiter to cover himself. The Russian general makes the hotel his headquarters and falls for the girl. The waiter, in turn, loves her also and she reciprocates his feeling.
A corking leading man is James Hall. He has an air that denotes that he is capable of real things in picture work. George Siegmann, as the Russian general, puts all that there should be into the heavy.