IMDb > The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934)

The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.4/10   348 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
9 February 1934 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Straightforward biography of the Russian empress, up to her assumption of the throne. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Excellent Historical Drama Of Old Russia See more (12 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Grand Duke Peter (as Douglas Fairbanks Jnr.)

Elisabeth Bergner ... Catherine
Flora Robson ... Empress Elisabeth
Gerald du Maurier ... Lecocq
Irene Vanbrugh ... Princess Anhalt-Zerbst
Joan Gardner ... Katushienka
Dorothy Hale ... Countess Olga
Diana Napier ... Countess Vorontzova
Griffith Jones ... Grigory Orlov
Gibb McLaughlin ... Bestujhev (as Gibb MacLaughlin)
Clifford Heatherley ... Ogarev
Laurence Hanray ... Goudovitch
Allan Jeayes ... Col. Karnilov
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Heron Carvic ... Minor role (uncredited)
William Heughan ... Minor role (uncredited)
Arnold Lucy ... Minor role (uncredited)

Directed by
Paul Czinner 
Alexander Korda (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Lajos Biró  play "The Czarina"
Marjorie Deans 
Melchior Lengyel  play "The Czarina"
Arthur Wimperis 

Produced by
Alexander Korda .... producer
Ludovico Toeplitz .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Ernst Toch (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Georges Périnal 
 
Film Editing by
Stephen Harrison 
Harold Young 
 
Art Direction by
A. Hallam 
Vincent Korda 
 
Costume Design by
John Armstrong 
 
Production Management
David B. Cunynghame .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Geoffrey Boothby .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
A.W. Watkins .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Krasker .... camera operator
Robert LaPresle .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
B.J. Simmons .... costumier: King Street Covent Garden
 
Editorial Department
Stephen Bearman .... colorist
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... musical director
 
Other crew
Lajos Biró .... continuity
Melchior Lengyel .... continuity
Arthur Wimperis .... continuity
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min | Germany:100 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:M | Australia:G (TV rating) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Germany:(Banned) (after premiere) | West Germany:16

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:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Version of Great Catherine (1968)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Excellent Historical Drama Of Old Russia, 14 June 2000
Author: Ron Oliver (revilorest@juno.com) from Forest Ranch, CA

This is the story of CATHERINE THE GREAT, Czarina of All The Russias. Summoned by a fierce, dying Empress to marry the Russian heir, young princess Catherine soon learns that her bridegroom is both unfaithful & insane. After the death of the old Empress, Catherine's danger increases and she must learn to be very cunning in order to save herself from her unpredictable royal husband...

Vienna-born Elisabeth Bergner, in her first English-language film, is radiant as the obscure German princess who would become the most powerful woman in Russian history. Hers is an excellent performance in a difficult role, where it would have been easy to be upstaged by the other, flashier, characters. As Grand Duke Peter - later Czar Peter III - Douglas Fairbanks Jr. behaves like a homicidal Hamlet, all moodiness & flares of deadly temper. He makes an interesting effort to create a charmer out of a pathetic man who was obviously a maniac.

(Actual history relates that Catherine & Peter were married 17 years and had 3 children before Peter's ascension to the throne - a time period necessary for Catherine to build her strength, but which the movie makers ignore.)

Miss Bergner & Mr. Fairbanks are given an excellent supporting cast. Dame Flora Robson is wonderful as the Empress Elizabeth. Suspicious, domineering & rather wanton, Dame Flora makes the viewer want to know the story of this noteworthy monarch, overshadowed in history by her colorful successor. Celebrated stage actress Dame Irene Vanbrugh makes a rare screen appearance as Catherine's mother.

The small role of Peter's French valet is performed by Sir Gerald du Maurier, one of the great English actor-managers of the early days of the century. In this, his penultimate role & a few months from his death, Sir Gerald had become largely forgotten by his once enormous public. He gives his few lines great dignity. In his autobiography, Fairbanks relates that upon arriving at the studio prior to filming and before the other cast members, he discovered that he had been assigned a large dressing room, whilst Sir Gerald had been given a tiny one. Deciding this was not a proper way to treat the legendary actor, Fairbanks switched names on the doors. Sir Gerald soon arrived, sweeping majestically into the larger room, as if this was only natural...

It is fascinating to compare this very fine historical drama with Marlene Dietrich's SCARLET EMPRESS, also produced in 1934.

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