Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg directed, photographed, provides the voice-over narration and wrote the screenplay (from a based-on-actual event novel by Michiro Maruyana translated by Younghill Kang) ... See full summary »
Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't like her husband, but she likes Russia, and is very fond of Russian soldiers. She dutifully produces a son -- of questionable fatherhood, but no one seems to mind that. After the old empress dies, Sophia engineers a coup d'etat with the aid of the military, does away with Peter, and becomes Catherine the Great. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
Peter's Holstein guard is falsely referred to as Hessian. This may have been deliberate to make use of the bad reputation of Hessian mercenaries in the US war of independence. See more »
......I saw this years ago, but some of the images-Marlene on a swing, the charging horsemen, the bits w/ Sam Jaffe and C Aubrey Smith, most certainly stand out. It was definitely the director's way of putting his worship of Marlene on display for all to see, Catherine might as well have been Cleopatra or Eleanor of Aquitaine for all the historical accuracy-ha ha-they use.
This was a movie about excess as much as anything, curtains that go on forever, huge doors, loud music, etc. They just don't make them like this anymore and certainly couldn't afford to then, either.
I don't think I ever saw Marlene anymore sensual than in this film, and I agree, her idea of playing a 'poor innocent gal'-that isn't put across well at all. Sometimes you just can't fake it, no matter how hard you try.
*** outta ****, style over everything.
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