Down 10,074 this week

The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 307 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

Straightforward biography of the Russian empress, up to her assumption of the throne.


, (uncredited)


(play), , 2 more credits »
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 521 titles
created 11 Jun 2011
a list of 1372 titles
created 22 May 2012
a list of 940 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
a list of 612 titles
created 4 months ago
a list of 80 titles
created 3 months ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934)

The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Rise of Catherine the Great.

User Polls



Complete credited cast:
Elisabeth Bergner ...
Flora Robson ...
Empress Elisabeth
Gerald du Maurier ...
Irene Vanbrugh ...
Princess Anhalt-Zerbst
Joan Gardner ...
Dorothy Hale ...
Countess Olga
Diana Napier ...
Countess Vorontzova
Griffith Jones ...
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Bestujhev (as Gibb MacLaughlin)
Clifford Heatherley ...
Laurence Hanray ...
Allan Jeayes ...
Col. Karnilov


In 1745 a German princess, renamed Catherine, arrives to marry Grand Duke Peter of Russia, whom she initially likes. But his suspicious, unstable nature gradually estranges them, and Peter finds solace with pretty courtiers. Catherine invents her own (fictitious) lovers, temporarily improving matters. Alas, accession to the throne brings out the worst in Peter, and loyal Catherine is urged to assume power. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 February 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Rise of Catherine the Great  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1937, this film was re-released on a double bill with Wives Never Know (1936) in Canada. See more »


When Peter marries Catherine in a Russian Orthodox service, they respond to the the lines "Do you take this man/woman to be your lawful wedded husband/wife... until death do you part?" These lines are not part of a traditional Orthodox service. The bride and groom usually do not say anything during the service. See more »


Version of Catherine the Great (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Uneven, but generally pretty good
24 May 2009 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

From the new Eclipse box set Alexander Korda's Private Lives. I debated on whether or not to buy this one. I love The Private Life of Henry VIII, starring Charles Laughton, but haven't seen the others. They don't have very good reputations. And I usually say that I like neither biopics nor costume genres. Yet, strangely enough, I do like loopy historical biopics where the filmmakers have no real sense of history. They can be a lot of fun. The Rise of Catherine the Great is a pretty uneven film. It has its overly stuffy moments, and the acting is all over the place. The sets and visuals are nice, though not quite as opulent as in the other Catherine the Great movie made the same year in Hollywood, The Scarlet Empress. Neither of these movies are great, unfortunately. Neither are very well directed. The Rise of Catherine the Great works somewhat because of a couple of performances in it, as well as a small handful of excellent scenes. Elisabeth Bergner plays the titular character. Unfortunately, she's one of the most uneven parts of the film. As the ingénue Catherine, she's quite annoying. Her strong German-accented English makes her sound mentally retarded at times. But she is rather good later in the film when she is learning the ropes of royalty, or when she's trying to quell her husband's anger. The husband, Grand Duke Peter, is played by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. He might be the best thing about the film. Can't say I'm overly familiar with his career, but his performance is extremely good here. Flora Robson is also quite good as the empress Elisabeth.

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Available online now AgiaFotia
Discuss The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: