The Night They Killed Rasputin (1960)
"Les nuits de Raspoutine" (original title)

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Rasputin was a lusty steppes peasant, a god revealed, a cunning patriot, all that, or a mystifier? An intriguing biography.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gianna Maria Canale ...
Jany Clair ...
Ugo Sasso ...
Nerio Bernardi
Livio Lorenzon
Yvette Lebon
Marco Guglielmi
Enrico Glori
Piero Palermini
Jole Fierro
Miranda Campa
Rita Rubirosa
Anita Todesco


During the last days of Imperial Russia, Rasputin (Edmund Purdom) cures the Czar's daughter and endears himself to the royal family, but he is persecuted by envious and conniving officials who seek his ruin. A young prince (John Drew Barrymore) is given the task of murdering Rasputin, but the conspiracy fails. However, they continue trying to kill him, but he keeps escaping - as if the claims he was a saint were true... However, his manners with the women, noble or not, were certainly not what one would expect from a Christian saint. Written by Artemis-9

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No Woman Could Resist Him...No Power Could Stop Him...UNTIL See more »


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Release Date:

October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Giant Monster  »

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Did You Know?


John Drew Barrymore's character Prince Felix Yousoupoff served as the basis for Prince Paul Chegodieff, his father John Barrymore's character in Rasputin and the Empress (1932). That film also starred his uncle Lionel Barrymore and aunt Ethel Barrymore as Grigori Rasputin and Tsarina Alexandra respectively. See more »

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User Reviews

Hard times in Russia.
31 July 2010 | by See all my reviews

After he came back from South America,Pierre Chenal's career became unfocused as ever;not that his movies were bad;"Jeux Dangereux"(1958) and "La Bete A l'Affut"(1959) are entertaining thrillers ;and "L'Assassin Connait La Musique"(1963) is a funnier comedy ,at least to my eyes ,than his "Clochemerle" .Between his two films Noirs and his slapstick farce he made another version of Raspoutine ;it was not the first time he had filmed a "Russian" story :"Crime Et Châtiment" (1935) owed a good deal to his cast:Harry Baur and Pierre Blanchar.

Here the cast cannot save a desultory script :for instance war scenes come at the most awkward moment and these scenes seem to belong to another movie (it's WW1 honestly )-stock footage?-;rather satisfying in its first part,the plot becomes incoherent when everybody including the head of the police wants to get rid of the mad(?) monk.Many historical mistakes do not help: the murderer's wife (princess Irina)did not know very well the monk,she probably never spent an evening with him;the empress did not know anything about the murder and she did not suspect the Iusupov -who were part of the Imperial family- and of course she did not phone them on that fateful night.People interested in the story of the murder should try and see Robert Hossein 's "J'Ai Tué Raspoutine"(1967) which was based on the assassin's own memories.

As for the cast ,the actors are not well chosen;Edmund Purdom portrays a passable Raspoutine (but inferior to Harry Baur (1937),Gert Froebe (1967) and mainly Pierre Brasseur (1953));Purdom was a specialist of the costume drama ,in America ("the Egyptian" "the prodigal son" etc) and in Europa (dozens of sword and sandals).Gianna Maria Canale's good looks and her Femme Fatale side do not make her a believable empress ;as for the emperor ,he does not look at all like Nicolas the Second (there are plenty of photographs of the monarch ,some of which have been published in a big album).John Drew Barrymore as Iusupov does not display any screen presence.

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