Rasputin and the Empress (1932)

Passed  |   |  Drama, History  |  24 March 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 528 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)
0Check in

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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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?


Upon its initial release in 1932, the movie was the subject of a lawsuit issued by Prince Feliks Yusupov, who had actually been involved in the death of the real Grigory Rasputin. Although names in the film were changed (Yusupov's character, as portrayed by John Barrymore, was called Prince Paul Chegodieff), Yusupov also recognized Diana Wynyard's character of Princess Natasha to be that of his wife, Princess Irina. the Yussoupovs sued for libel as a result of a scene which suggested that his wife had been raped by Rasputin. MGM lost the suit, and the scene was cut from later releases. It rendered Wynyard's character somewhat incomprehensible if the viewer of the film is unaware of the cut - in the first half of the film, Princess Natasha is a supporter of Rasputin, and in the second half, she is inexplicably extremely afraid of him. The laserdisc release of this film includes the original theatrical trailer, which contains a portion of this deleted scene. See more »


At the beginning of the movie it is told that Sergei Alexandrovich, Grand Duke of Russia, is killed. However this happened in 1905, 8 years before the scene's setting. See more »


Natasha: You don't like him because he's so outspoken. You don't like his manners. Isn't that it?
Prince Chegodieff: No, that's not it. It, its his, smile. It's like a man-eating shark with a bible under his fin.
See more »


Referenced in Mickey's Gala Premier (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

Good film but...
25 September 1999 | by (So*Cal) – See all my reviews

The only film with all three Barrymores together and it's a good film, however, the direction is very poorly done, especially the ending scene.

Other than that, Lionel Barrymore portrays an excellent Rasputin and Ethel Barrymore is wonderful as the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. John Barrymore is great as Prince Paul, the assassin of Rasputin (in real life, it was Prince Yussupov who assassinated Rasputin).

This is a good film, but if you want a better interpretation of Rasputin's "reign," rent the 1996 HBO version with Alan Rickman or the 1971 movie, "Nicholas and Alexandra."

16 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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