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Catherine the Great (1996)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  28 April 1996 (Germany)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 885 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

Trapped in a loveless arranged marriage to the immature future Czar, a young German Princess proves a skillful political infighter and rises to become Catherine the Great.

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Title: Catherine the Great (TV Movie 1996)

Catherine the Great (TV Movie 1996) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Craig McLachlan ...
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Mark McGann ...
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Stephen McGann ...
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Storyline

In this romanticized biography, a small German principality's inexperienced princess, Catherine, becomes the bride of czarevitch Peter, the mad and abusive nephew and heir of the Russian czarina Elizabeth. From Elizabeth she learns the cynical ropes of wielding absolute imperial power at any cost, including sacrificing her lover, young guards officer Saltykov, who must give her an heir that Peter can't and is then sent abroad. After Elizabeth's death, she quickly moves to seize power with military and court support. She then works to enlarge and modernize the empire, again putting statesmanship ahead of her lover, a military genius who defeats the Ottomans and governs the conquered territories for her. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

power | princess | heir | empire | crown | See All (110) »


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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

28 April 1996 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Catalina la Grande  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts) | (3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Catherine borrows the wooden cross from Potemkin, it is hanging from a simple string. But when she gives it back, it has been strung with matching wooden beads. There is no explanation if this is a different prop or if Catherine added the beads herself. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Catherine: The 21st of August 1745... my wedding day. I was fifteen. The Grand Duke Peter was two years older, and we were both pawns in a political game.
See more »

Connections

Version of Great Catherine (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Catherine the not so great.
21 September 2002 | by (Tilburg, the Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Having read the other comments on this film (by the way, I saw the 180 minute TV version), it seems to be the general opinion that Catherine Zeta-Jones was excellent. I beg to differ. Not one moment was there in the entire movie where I felt she was the protagonist, as she was supposed to be. If the real Catherine did do things that earned her the nickname "the Great", they were kept out of this movie. Going to extreme lengths to avoid one inch of her body being seen during one of the many nude scenes (then why play them at all?), Zeta-Jones never convinces as a woman of the world, a strong character, able to stand up to her mother-in-law (played brilliantly by Jeanne Moreau), and toying with the emotions of every man around. Instead she is an ice queen. No warmth, no passion, no sincerity. On the other hand, the movie has many fine performances. Ian Richardson, Brian Blessed, John Rhys-Davies (yes, he is well-cast as a violent peasant-soldier), Tim McInnerny as Iwan, aka prisoner number one. And production is beautiful, just look at Catherine's diamonds. They sparkle whereas their wearer doesn't. Does this movie enlighten the viewer about an important era in Russian history? No, but that would be asking a bit much in so little time. But it does tell a story quite entertainingly. Alas, as with many international productions, some people are simply miscast... All in all, 3 out of 4.


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