Catherine the Great (1996 TV Movie)
Catherine: [to Countess Bruce] My dear, I am about to seize the throne of Russia. What on earth shall I wear?
Catherine: [in Latin, quoting Vergil] Blessings on your courage, boy; that's the way to the stars.
[on building an empire]
Pugachev: To build a house, you must first level the ground!
Catherine: Oh no. You lay foundations.
Catherine: [voiceover] I'm told that in France they call me "Catherine le Grand." *Le* Grand... the masculine gender. "Catherine the Great."
Catherine: I was just thinking of a line from our favorite poet.
Potemkin: How like you. Which one?
Catherine: Nunc scio quid sit amor.
Potemkin: [smiles and translates] Now I know what love is.
[to Saltykov, regarding Catherine]
Elizabeth: I didn't bring her here to read books. I brought her here to breed sons.
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.
Razumovsky: [refering to his position as lover to Empress Elizabeth] The Emperor of the Night takes many positions, but none of them political.
[Catherine refuses to come to a state dinner]
Peter: This is an insult to an honored guest!
Catherine: Oh, you honor him, do you?
Peter: Yes, I do!
Catherine: Then why have you sent him to dinner on the arm of your whore?
Elizabeth: But now tell me, when I'm dead, will you seek to take power?
Schwerin: By the order of His Imperial Majesty Czar Peter, you are under arrest.
Catherine: What will you do, Count Schwerin? Shoot me? Here?
Catherine: Then shoot me.
[Schwerin hesitates, then lowers his pistol]
Catherine: It may take time, but together we are going to change this country.
Catherine: [in French] L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers.
Bestuzhev: [translating] "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains"?
Catherine: Rousseau. Don't you read him?
Bestuzhev: Um, he's a bit revolutionary for me, Ma'am.
[Catherine smiles knowingly; Bestuzhev does the same but looks uncomfortable]
Bestuzhev: [to Catherine] Politics is a brutal business, Ma'am. Are you sure you've got the stomach for it?
Catherine: [to Bestuzhev] All or nothing. If I commit myself to you, you must commit yourself to me!
Saltykov: I love you! How can you doubt it? My God, don't you remember that first night?
Catherine: [Detached] Oh, yes. It will always remind me that a man can practice the art of a whore as well as a woman.
Catherine: I can only assume you don't understand the position you're refusing.
Potemkin: Stallion-in-chief to her Imperial Highness? Emperor of the Night?
[she slaps his face]
Catherine: Language. I've been corresponding with Monsieur Voltaire on the subject. And he tells a delightful story about a lady at the court of Versailles. This... grand personnage was heard to say, "That dreadful bother at the Tower of Babel, language getting all mixed up... such a pity! Otherwise, everyone would always have spoken French."