During the 16th Century, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots engages in over two decades of religious and political conflict with her cousin, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, amidst political intrigue in her native land.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As Nicholas signs his abdication papers it says "March 15" as he says "The Ides of March". apparently, Russia was still using the Alexander calender (which is 13 days behind the Georgian one) at this time, so it should read "March 2", as it read on the actual papers. See more »
[reading the dead Rasputin's will]
"I feel that I shall leave life before January the first. If any of your relatives have brought my death, then none of your family, none of your children, or relatives, will remain alive. They will be killed by the Russian people. Brother will kill brother and there will be no nobles left in the country."
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"By courtesy of the National Theatre of G.B." is written underneath Tom Baker and Laurence Olivier's names in the end credits. "By courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company" is written underneath Janet Suzman's name. See more »
Nicholas was King George V's cousin and Alexandra was Queen Victoria's granddaughter, so the casting of British actors Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman was a stroke of genius (and they are hardly "unknown" actors, at least in Britain). You actually believe they ARE the couple. Michael Jayston is truly remarkable as Nicholas and even resembles him. The rest of the cast is superb, especially Tom Baker's portrayal as Rasputin . . . marvelous!
The movie sticks pretty much to the facts. Keep in mind, Nicholas was not a bad man, but he didn't want to be Czar. He would have preferred to be a potato farmer. You feel the fear growing as Nicholas and his family slowly withdraw into their own world because of Alexis' Hemophilia. Nichola's stand that "God meant for me to rule" causes him to rarely listen to the good advice of the people around him and not heed the warning that he not go to the front to "take charge." Add to this the rumor of Alexandra being a German spy, Rasputin's death by Prince Yusupov and Grand Duke Dimitry, the loss of thousands of soldiers, the starving Russian people . . . and Nicholas leaves the door wide open for Lenin and his eventual return to power. After he abdicates, he and his family are shuttled around until they end up in Ekaterinburg and "The House of Special Purpose."
This is a great movie. See it if you have a long afternoon with nothing to do, you won't regret it.
BTW, the DVD version adds deleted scenes that sew up some loose ends.
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