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In 1910s Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra find their son Alexei, sole heir to the Romanov dynasty, suffering from hemophelia and conventional medicine failing to help him. Alexandra looks into finding holistic treatment and finds Father Grigori Rasputin, a destitute monk who claims he had a vision from the Virgin Mary telling him that the Tsar needed him. Though Nicholas and the royal doctor are both skeptical of Rasputin's alleged healing abilities, young Alexei quickly bonds with the charleton/prophet, so he remains in the Royal Court. But Rasputin's constant boozing and womanizing angers the aristocracy and worsens the already unstable tensions between Nicholas and his subjects. With the seeds of revolution brewing, it becomes increasingly apparent that a bad end awaits for the entire Royal Family. Written by
The film's cliffhanger ending suggests Alexei may have survived the massacre at Ipatev House, as his body (along with one of his sisters') had never been recovered. However, some 11 years after this film's release, remains found near the Ipatev House site were unearthed and confirmed to be Alexei's, thus rendering this film's ambiguous finale anachronistic. See more »
When Rasputin arrives in St. Petersburg he is shown standing before the Winter Palace in Palace Square. The palace appears as it does today, painted green with white and gold accents. At the time of Rasputin's arrival in 1911 however, the palace was painted entirely in dull red. The palace's current color scheme was not applied until the 1930s. See more »
Tsar Nicholas II:
Smile. I never see you smile. Do you remember the little cottage we stayed in when we visited your family in Germany? And the picnics we used to have, and the songs we sang under the chestnut trees?
What in the world made you think of that?
Tsar Nicholas II:
And how those fisherman splashed us with their oars and didn't know who we were. We were soaked all over. And how we never ever wanted to leave... we are locked in, the key has been lost and now we must stay there forever.
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HBO's "Rasputin" is an Emmy winning retelling of an old story around which swirls as much legend as fact. The film stretches the emotional and dramatic moments while condensing the history as it goes for the viscera with Rickman painting a sensationalized portrait of the enigmatic and shadowy title character. A stuttering drama dumbed down for prime time audiences, "Rasputin 1996" should be an entertaining watch for those who like a little history with their television dramas.
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