Rasputin and the Empress (1932)

Passed  |   |  Drama, History  |  24 March 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 525 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 12 critic

A prince plots to kill the mad monk Rasputin for the good of the czar, the czarina and Russia.


(as Richard Boleslavsky) , (uncredited)


(screen play)
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Complete credited cast:
Tad Alexander ...
The Czarevitch
Prince Chegodieff
Diana Wynyard ...
C. Henry Gordon ...
Grand Duke Igor
Doctor Remezov
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adrienne Marden ...
(as Mabel Marden)
Clarence Wilson ...
(scenes deleted)


As Europe looms on the edge of war in 1913, the family and members of the court of the Russian czar Nicholas come under the sway of a mysterious mystic named Rasputin. When Rasputin miraculously appears to cure the czar's son Alyosha of his hemophilia, the monk's reputation is cemented, particularly in the mind of the princess Natasha. Natasha's fiancé (and, later, husband) Prince Paul Chegodieff, however, suspects Rasputin is a charlatan who will cause the downfall of the royal family and perhaps of Russia itself. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beautiful girls who came to pray! Caught in the web of debauched Rasputin, whose crafty mind toppled a throne!


Drama | History


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Dämon Rußlands - Rasputin  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Irving Thalberg fired writer Mercedes de Acosta when she refused to write a scene involving a fictitious meeting between Grigory Rasputin and Princess Irene Romanov Yusupov, which she knew did not occur. Prince Feliks Yusupov, one of Rasputin's assassins, was a friend of de Acosta. After her firing, the scene was added. After the film's release, both Prince Yusupov and his wife sued Thalberg and MGM, as de Acosta warned he would, and won a large settlement. See more »


On the bulletin about the Zsarevitch's situation he is named by his real name in Russian but in the English translation he is simply called "Tsarevitch" See more »


Prince Chegodieff: I don't like him. I never shall.
Natasha: You never tried to.
Prince Chegodieff: Oh, it isn't that. There's something, clammy about him. I can't explain it. I've had the same feeling, brushing against something on a dark night.
See more »


Spoofed in Wake Up the Gypsy in Me (1933) See more »


Russian National Anthem
Composer unknown
Played during the opening credits and at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Three Barrymore's
25 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Rasputin and the Empress (1932)

*** (out of 4)

Lionel, John and Ethel Barrymore star in this film, which was the only one that all three legends appeared in together. After her son is near death, Czarina Alexandria (Ethel) lets the monk Rasputin (Lionel) pray with her son who eventually heals and the monk gives credit to God. Saving her son, the monk soon finds himself gaining power inside the government but this doesn't sit well with Prince Chegodieff (John) who will stop at nothing to prove the monk is mad. Apparently MGM was sued due to how inaccurate the story is here so if you want a history lesson you should go read a book but if you want to see all three Barrymore's together then this is the only film out there that will suit you. The film should have been a lot better than it is but the thing drags at several points and I'm sure fifteen or so minutes could have been trimmed from the 123-minute running time, although apparently the film ran longer when originally released. The performances aren't what you'd expect but it's certainly fun seeing the three Barrymore's working together. Lionel actually goes way over the top, which is something you'd expect from John but he actually manages to be quite calm and cool throughout the film. John certainly gives the best performance but it's Lionel who steals the film with his fake beard and over the top antics. Ethel is good in her role as is the supporting work from Ralph Morgan. The costumes and set design are wonderful and I really enjoyed the made up ending, which contains some pretty strong violence.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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