Tsarist general Sergius Alexander (Emil Jannings) is basking in the glory of imperial Russia. After sending the revolutionary Lev Andreyev (William Powell) to prison, he starts romancing Andreyev's girl. But when the Bolsheviks seize power, the tide turns for Alexander, and he flees Russia. Years later, Alexander, broke and working as a bit player in Hollywood, bumps into Andreyev, who is now a director. Andreyev casts his old nemesis as a Russian general, intending to humiliate him on set.