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Rasputin and the Empress (1932)

Passed  |   |  Drama, History  |  24 March 1933 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 517 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.

Directors:

(as Richard Boleslavsky) , (uncredited)

Writer:

(screen play)
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Title: Rasputin and the Empress (1932)

Rasputin and the Empress (1932) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Dämon Rußlands - Rasputin  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The model for the character of Princess Natasha in the movie was Princess Irina Romanoff Youssoupoff. She filed a lawsuit against Thalberg and MGM, claiming invasion of privacy and libel in portraying her as a mistress and, later, a rape victim of Grigory Rasputin. She won an award of $127,373 in an English court and an out-of-court settlement in New York with MGM, reportedly $1 million. As a result of the success of Princess Youssoupoff's lawsuit against MGM over this movie, Hollywood studios began inserting the disclaimer "This motion picture is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental" in the credits of virtually every film released since. See more »

Goofs

In the movie Rasputin is showed how he was giving the Tsar advices to go to WW1. However in real life he wasn't giving these advices during World War 1. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Soda Squirt (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
The Three Bs
9 August 2010 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

The only film featuring all three Barrymores preserves an acting style that was once considered top-line and now looks rather over-emphatic. Certainly Lionel is the biggest ham, looking like Alec Guinness in "Oliver Twist" and rolling his eyes, laughing maniacally, and all but twirling his cape as the contemptible, going-mad Rasputin. By contrast, Ethel is stately as the Empress Alexandra, but also rather uninteresting, mainly emphasizing womanly dignity and reserve, as she so often did. Often she and Diana Wynyard seem to be in a contest to see who can employ a more highfalutin pronunciation style. So it falls to John to give the best performance: He's comparatively naturalistic and understated, and seems most comfortable in front of a camera. The director, Richard Boleslawski, goes in for needlessly arty compositions and drags out the playing time, and Herbert Stothart, the composer, seems the hardest worker: so much Russian-cliché music, and so loud. Charles MacArthur's screenplay is literate but wordy and inaccurate (and resulted in an expensive lawsuit against MGM). But as a distillation of the Barrymore acting style in miniature, it's a valuable artifact, and pretty entertaining on its own terms.


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