6.3/10
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Catherine the Great (1996)

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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Cast

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Alexis Orlov
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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

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

28 April 1996 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Catalina la Grande  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts) | (3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Catherine Zeta-Jones is connected to the Doctor Who franchise in a few ways. She co-starred with Sean Pertwee in Blue Jeans. Sean is the son of the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee. In this film, she co-stars with Paul McGann, who played the eighth Doctor in the television movie, and The Night of the Doctor special. See more »

Goofs

When Catherine trades in her virginity to get pregnant, the skin of her mate's back and legs is tanned, while his buttocks are perfectly white. There were neither sunbathing nor a pair of trunks in 18th century. 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.
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Connections

Featured in Neighbours: A 10th Anniversary Celebration (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Falls short of A&E expectations
10 January 2005 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

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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