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The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 357 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

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

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, (uncredited)

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(play), , 2 more credits »
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Title: The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Grand Duke Peter (as Douglas Fairbanks Jnr.)
...
Flora Robson ...
Gerald du Maurier ...
Lecocq
Irene Vanbrugh ...
Princess Anhalt-Zerbst
Joan Gardner ...
Katushienka
Dorothy Hale ...
Countess Olga
Diana Napier ...
Countess Vorontzova
Griffith Jones ...
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Bestujhev (as Gibb MacLaughlin)
Clifford Heatherley ...
Ogarev
Laurence Hanray ...
Goudovitch
Allan Jeayes ...
Col. Karnilov
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 February 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Catherine the Great  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When the Grand Duke Peter is talking with guard at the bottom of the stairs about Ivan Ivanovich. The guards crossed belts on his chest are repositioned when the scene cuts to a close up of the guard. See more »

Connections

Version of The Scarlet Empress (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sumptuous Korda production
14 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Alexander Korda produced this lavish film, "The Rise of Catherine the Great," starring Elizabeth Bergner, Flora Robson, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. It's the story, not wholly accurate but still interesting, of, as the title suggests, Catherine the Great's (Bergner)ascension to the throne as it was wrested from her crazy husband Peter (Fairbanks). Though in the film this all seems to happen somewhat quickly, Catherine and Peter were married for 17 years and had children before the Empress Elizabeth dies and Peter becomes tsar.

In the film, Peter cheats on Catherine on their wedding night, and she pretends to take many lovers. This makes him jealous, and the two reconcile. However, after the Empress Elizabeth dies, the decisions that he makes as tsar on behalf of Mother Russia are outrageous, and Catherine is encouraged to go along with a coup.

Wide-eyed, girlish Bergner is Catherine. Bergner was a noted stage actress in Europe who unfortunately never caught on in Hollywood; nevertheless, she worked in Europe until she was 87 years old. Supposedly an incident in her life was the inspiration for "All About Eve." Tiny, she nevertheless had authority as an actress, with line readings that were at times reminiscent of Garbo. She is a good Catherine. The showier roles were those of the Empress Elizabeth and Grand Duke Peter. Flora Robson is a wonderful Empress Elizabeth, and Fairbanks, always an underrated actor, is brilliant as the volatile, mad Duke.

Worth seeing for the performances.


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