IMDb > Rasputin and the Empress (1932)
Rasputin and the Empress
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Rasputin and the Empress (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Charles MacArthur (screen play)
View company contact information for Rasputin and the Empress on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 March 1933 (USA) See more »
Beautiful girls who came to pray! Caught in the web of debauched Rasputin, whose crafty mind toppled a throne!
A prince plots to kill the mad monk Rasputin for the good of the czar, the czarina and Russia. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Great as dramatic history but as for Russian history... See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ethel Barrymore ... The Czarina

Lionel Barrymore ... Rasputin

Ralph Morgan ... The Czar
Tad Alexander ... The Czarevitch

John Barrymore ... Prince Chegodieff

Diana Wynyard ... Natasha

C. Henry Gordon ... Grand Duke Igor

Edward Arnold ... Doctor Remezov
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adrienne Marden (as Mabel Marden)

Clarence Wilson ... (scenes deleted)

Luis Alberni ... Photographer's Assistant (uncredited)

Mary Alden ... (uncredited)

Robert Anderson ... (uncredited)

Oscar Apfel ... (uncredited)

Henry Armetta ... Photographer (uncredited)

Hooper Atchley ... Policeman (uncredited)

Mischa Auer ... Butler Pouring Drinks at Party (uncredited)
Reginald Barlow ... General Who Underestimated the Japanese (uncredited)
Barbara Barondess ... Woman Getting Cigarette (uncredited)

Max Barwyn ... Bald Man Trying to See Duna (uncredited)
Maurice Black ... Revolutionary Soldier (uncredited)

William 'Stage' Boyd ... Comrade General (uncredited)
Francesca Braggiotti ... (uncredited)
William Burress ... (uncredited)
Robert Cain ... (uncredited)
Emile Chautard ... (uncredited)
Clay Clement ... (uncredited)
Louise Closser Hale ... Lazy Spoiled Woman (uncredited)

Richard Cramer ... Revolutionary Given Birdcage (uncredited)

Nigel De Brulier ... Priest (uncredited)

Marie Deauville ... Pianist Surrounded by All Three Barrymores at Party (uncredited)

Jean Del Val ... (uncredited)
Helen Freeman ... Hysterical Woman About to Be Shot (uncredited)

Dale Fuller ... (uncredited)

Clarence Geldart ... (uncredited)
Miriam Goldina ... (uncredited)
Ben Hall ... Boy About to Be Shot (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Officer Watching Celebration Mass (uncredited)
Carey Harrison ... (uncredited)

Charlotte Henry ... Girl (uncredited)

Brandon Hurst ... Staff General (uncredited)

George Irving ... (uncredited)

Isabelle Keith ... Party Girl (uncredited)

Murray Kinnell ... Prof. Kropotkin (uncredited)

Henry Kolker ... Chief of Secret Police (uncredited)

Otto Lederer ... (uncredited)
Robert Lees ... (uncredited)
Frank Leigh ... (uncredited)

Lucien Littlefield ... Reveler at Party (uncredited)

Eily Malyon ... Woman Yelling 'Blessed Among Women!' (uncredited)

Margaret Mann ... Nurse (uncredited)
Mary Marden ... (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Revolutionary soldier (uncredited)

Eric Mayne ... Aristocrat (uncredited)
Jane Mercer ... (uncredited)

Geneva Mitchell ... (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Officer Watching Celebration Mass (uncredited)

Louis Natheaux ... Rasputin's Security Official at Party (uncredited)

Dave O'Brien ... Soldier (uncredited)

Sarah Padden ... Duna - Landlady (uncredited)

Jean Parker ... Princess Maria (uncredited)

Purnell Pratt ... Officer Quieting Grand Duke Igor (uncredited)

Frank Reicher ... German-Language Teacher (uncredited)
Ruth Renick ... (uncredited)
Helen Robinson ... (uncredited)

Evelyn Selbie ... (uncredited)

Frank Shannon ... Staff General (uncredited)

C. Montague Shaw ... (uncredited)

Anne Shirley ... Princess Anastasia (uncredited)

Martha Sleeper ... Party Girl (uncredited)

Larry Steers ... (uncredited)

Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Dr. Franz Wolfe (uncredited)
Milton Wallace ... Staff General (uncredited)

Leo White ... Reveler at Party (uncredited)
Carol Wines ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Boleslawski  (as Richard Boleslavsky)
Charles Brabin (uncredited)
Writing credits
Charles MacArthur (screen play)

Mercedes de Acosta  uncredited
Lenore J. Coffee  uncredited
John Colton  uncredited
Ben Hecht  uncredited
Bernard H. Hyman  uncredited
John Lee Mahin  uncredited
John Meehan  uncredited
Milton Raison  uncredited
Robert E. Sherwood  uncredited
Laurence Stallings  uncredited
C. Gardner Sullivan  uncredited
Carey Wilson  uncredited

Produced by
Bernard H. Hyman .... producer (uncredited)
Irving Thalberg .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Herbert Stothart 
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (photographed by) (as William Daniels)
Film Editing by
Tom Held (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Alexander Toluboff 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Makeup Department
Cecil Holland .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cullen Tate .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
G.A. Burns .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Milton Brown .... still photographer (uncredited)
Clarence Sinclair Bull .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
William Axt .... music adaptor: celebration music (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
General Lodijensky .... cavalry trainer (uncredited)
John Peters .... cavalry trainer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
121 min (Turner library print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:13 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:15 (video) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #2412-R, 1 July 1936 for re-release) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

In 1989 Sir David Napley published 'Rasputin in Hollywood', which covered in detail the 1934 libel lawsuit by the Youssoupoffs against MGM over the film.See more »
Anachronisms: 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 »
The Czarina:I need you.
Prince Chegodieff:Yes, your Majesty.
The Czarina:I've injured you. But, I've injured Russia more.
Prince Chegodieff:Your Majesty, I know how much you love Russia. Everything in your heart, everything that you've done, you thought was for Russia's good.
The Czarina:My heart is broken. What are we to do?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Russian National AnthemSee more »


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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Great as dramatic history but as for Russian history..., 7 August 2010
Author: calvinnme from United States

...forget about it. This film is completely inaccurate in its portrayal of actual events in Russian history. As for the nature and character of the historical figures involved, the three Barrymores give good renditions. There is Ethel Barrymore looking every inch the empress and giving a convincing portrayal of a woman concerned for the welfare of her very ill son - and I would expect that. What I didn't expect is how weird it would be to watch a film in which John Barrymore is the shining hero and Lionel Barrymore is a truly diabolical villain, and each are spectacularly convincing in their portrayals. Lionel is really the center of attention here as he plays the evil Rasputin whose ability to sidestep assassination attempts is legendary, and here a few logical explanations are given to some of his alleged abilities. However, none can explain what happened at the end of his life - how he was poisoned, bludgeoned, shot, and finally thrown into an icy river and still managed to cling to life for awhile.

Although Tsar Nicholas is accurately portrayed as a rather weak willed man and the Romanov marriage is also accurately portrayed as one of the few royal arranged marriages that also turned out to be a love match, there is a mischaracterization of the Tsar as being progressive and wanting a Duma only to have Rasputin defeat that plan. In fact, Nicholas was autocratic in his outlook and distrusted any attempt to give the people more say in their government. This sets up one of the great ironic struggles in the film - that of aristocrat Prince Paul Chegodieff (John Barrymore) wanting more for the peasants in the way of both bread and democracy, and that of peasant mystic Rasputin (Lionel Barrymore) saying that it was God's will that the peasants were poor and powerless. Paul wants to save Russia, Rasputin wants to rule it.

Another piece of fiction shown in the movie for dramatic measure are the public proclamations about the illness of Tsaravich Alexai, the heir to the Russian throne. In fact one of the things that turned the Russian people against the royal family - besides the fact that they were starving during WWI - was that the people assumed that Rasputin's hold over the empress was because they were lovers. The Romanovs did not want it to be known that the only son in the family and heir to the throne had a serious disease - in this case hemophilia - that kept him in very delicate health and would likely lead to a greatly shortened lifespan. They felt it would leave them vulnerable to the overthrowing of their rule. Ironically hiding the truth and leaving Rasputin's relationship to the empress unexplained also led to exactly that.

Watch this one for the high production values and compelling performances by the members of Hollywood's royal family during its golden age, but as for a Russian history lesson, look elsewhere.

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