Vladimir Dubrovsky (Valentino), a Cossack serving in the Russian army, comes to the notice of the Czarina (Louise Dresser) when he rescues Mascha (Vilma Bánky), a beautiful young lady, and her aunt trapped in a runaway stagecoach. He is delighted when the Czarina offers to make him a general, but horrified when she tries to seduce him. He flees and the Czarina puts a price on his head.
Soon afterwards, he receives a letter from his father informing him that the evil nobleman Kyrilla Troekouroff (James A. Marcus) has taken over his lands and is terrorizing the countryside. Hurrying home, Vladimir learns that his father has died. Vowing to avenge his father and help the victimized peasantry, he adopts a black mask and becomes the Black Eagle, a Robin Hood figure. Discovering that Kyrilla is Mascha’s father, he takes the place of a tutor who has been sent for from France, but not previously seen by anyone in the household. Vladimir is thus able to become part of Kyrilla’s household.
As Vladimir’s love for Mascha grows, he becomes more and more reluctant to continue seeking revenge against her father, and the two eventually flee the Troekouroff estate. Vladimir is captured by the Czarina’s men, but the Czarina, once determined to have him executed, has a last-minute change of heart, and she allows Vladimir, given a new French name, and Mascha to leave Russia for Paris.
By Clarence Brown (YouTube) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons