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Franklin J. Schaffner
The tragic story of Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia, set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. It is an inside look into the private lives of Nicholas and his wife Alexandra, their daughters, their only son and the painful secret about their son and heir apparent which bound the Imperial Couple to the mystical Rasputin, and the eventual execution of the entire family. Written by
Gailene Va. Holley <email@example.com>
The 1918 wintertime scene where the family is exiled in a log cabin is wrong.
The royal family was exiled to a Governor's Mansion, not a cabin, when they were in the custody of Kerensky's Provisional Government, before the Bolsheviks took over. See more »
Murder, arson, terror, I'll agree to anything that gives us power. Power! And we can't have power if we compromise. Even though it takes years, terror and power.
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This picture is historically quite accurate, a good history lesson. Unfortunately, as drama, it is quite dreary. The score is essentially non-existent. The cast in workmanlike but uninspiring as is the directing. The script, too, is factual and well done as history but never quite rises to great drama. In other words, this is no 'Dr. Zhivago'. The film makers rather hammered home the fact that Nicholas and Alexandra 'loved' each other, but it never rises to the passion or interest of Zhivago and Laura.
Perhaps the real problem are Nicholas and Alexandra themselves. They were average, decent, conscientious, church going people as we would know them today. Nicholas would have risen to middle management, would have been a good lieutenant in the Fire Department.
But that's the dramatic problem, they were just pretty damned average people placed in extraordinary power and circumstances in which they were completely unsuited to cope. They have no intrinsic interest themselves anymore than your neighbors do. Do you want to sit through a three hour picture about your neighbor? How 'bout a three hour movie about Paris Hilton? No .. rich but boring.
The areas the picture does excel is in costumes and sets, where it quite justly won Academy awards. However, this is not sufficient to redeem it.
If you are someone who is not inclined to read a book but would like to know something of the history of this period, this would be an excellent picture for you to view. However, if you are already well versed in the subject the movie will seem rather dull.
18 of 31 people found this review helpful.
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