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
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 »
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.
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Once again, A&E brings us a beautiful looking production. The costumes, sets and, of course, performances by an exceptional cast, are stunning as always. However it seems that the writers were getting a bit tired while working on this one. It lacked the cleverness and vivacity of productions such as Vanity Fair and Pride and Prejudice, and the drama we enjoyed in Horatio and Tess. I was also disappointed to find that the version available in N.America is only 90 minutes long, and includes only Catherine's early reign. If you want to see the entire production you apparently need to get the 3-hour version, available in Germany.
All in all, it is worth watching, if only for the visuals and wonderful acting. Catherine Zeta Jones is brilliant and displays her versatility in this dramatic role. I cannot begin to comment on the equally strong performances of the rest of the cast, being restricted to 1000 characters here, but as I say, certainly worth the watch.
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