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The Gadfly is a 1955 Soviet historical drama film based on the novel by Ethel Lilian Voynich and directed by Aleksandr Faintsimmer. In 1955 the film was third in attendance in the Soviet Union, collecting 39.16 million ticket sales.

Plot

Young student Arthur Burton says goodbye to his beloved teacher, the priest Montanelli, who is departing to Rome on the orders of the Pope. Arthur participates in activities of the organization "Young Italy". He is resentful of its leader, Giovanni Bolla; he experiences jealousy towards him regarding his girlfriend Gemma and confesses this to the priest, father Cardi. After the confession all revolutionaries end up arrested by the gendarmes. Arthur is walking through the prison courtyard and admits to Giovanni what he told in the confessional and Giovanni calls him a traitor. Arthur gets released from prison and tries to tell Gemma about what happened but she slaps him and runs away. Back home Arthur learns from his uncle Burton that his real father is Montanelli. Arthur's world falls apart before his eyes, he breaks his crucifix and runs out of his home. Everyone considers him dead.