Rasputin (1996)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  23 March 1996 (USA)
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Reviews: 32 user | 6 critic

HBO biopic about the infamous "mad monk" Rasputin from the court of Tsar Nicholas in Russia.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheila Ruskin ...
Peter Jeffrey ...
Freddie Findlay ...
Julian Curry ...
László Áron ...
János Bata ...
Detective #1
István Bicskei ...
István Bubik ...


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 Ronos

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He Was A Magician. A Madman. A Savior And Seducer....

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

23 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


John Wood (Pyotr Stolypin) previously played Colonel Kobylinsky in Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), which depicted many of the same events. See more »


When Rasputin first arrives at Tsarskeo Selo to see the Tsarina, the exterior of the palace shows the Alexander Palace at Tsarskeo Selo, yet in interior is the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. See more »


Tsar Nicholas II: [to Alexandra] 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?
Tsarina Alexandra: 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.
[they kiss]
See more »


Version of Rasputin (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Too little politics, too much exposition
26 January 2005 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

Grigori Rasputin is one of history's most colourful and bizarre figures, and Alan Rickman, who stars in this HBO film of his life as part of a largely English cast, is one of the few actors with the charisma to play him. Unfortunately, the film doesn't get a lot else right: it's full of tiresome plot exposition, while offering little in the way of a convincing depiction of the daily life of the Russian court. Crucially, Rasputin's character (to the outsider, a mixture of visionary madman, drunken fool and cunning conman) is never adequately dissected: we see all aspects of his behaviour, but the film never dares suggests what it thinks might make him tick. It's also ludicrously sympathetic to the Russian royal family, Ian McKellan play the Tsar as a kindly uncle, and I never expected to see a portrayal of the brutal Stolypin (sometime Prime Minister) bathed in such a warm light. The story (or legend) of Rasputin's death is always amusing to recall; and there's some rarely seen real footage of the Eastern Front spliced into the film. But there's little real insight into the man or his times; a disappointment, especially given the cast list.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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