6.5/10
490
13 user 7 critic

The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934)

Straightforward biography of the Russian empress, up to her assumption of the throne.

Directors:

Paul Czinner, Alexander Korda (uncredited)

Writers:

Lajos Biró (story) (as Lajos Biro), Arthur Wimperis (story) | 5 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

King Henry VIII marries five more times after his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Franklin Dyall
Rembrandt (1936)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark, sardonic turn that offends his patrons. By 1656, he ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Charles Laughton, Gertrude Lawrence, Elsa Lanchester
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

What do women want? Don Juan is aging. He's arrived secretly in Seville after a 20 year absence. His wife Dolores, whom he hasn't lived with in five years, still loves him. He refuses to ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Merle Oberon, Bruce Winston
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A German noblewoman enters into a loveless marriage with the dim-witted, unstable heir to the Russian throne, then plots to oust him from power.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The pilots of a Royal Air Force squadron in World War I face not only physical but mental dangers in their struggle to survive while fighting the enemy.

Director: Stuart Walker
Stars: Fredric March, Cary Grant, Jack Oakie
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An insurance lawyer unhappy with his rate of company advancement becomes a middleman in deals to recover stolen property from the Mob, thus earning a nice living. But his actions attract police attention and set him up for a double-cross.

Director: Harold F. Kress
Stars: Barry Sullivan, Arlene Dahl, George Murphy
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Living in India with her crude husband, a British aristocrat is reunited with an old flame at a party, though she truly has her sights set on a handsome doctor.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, George Brent
Blonde Venus (1932)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cabaret singer takes up with a millionaire to pay for her gravely ill husband's operation.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Herbert Marshall
Certificate: Passed Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel a true "bounder" Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance ... See full summary »

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Conrad Nagel, Leila Hyams, Margaret Wycherly
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Rory Calhoun, Lea Massari, Georges Marchal
Ekaterina (TV Series 2014)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The life of the Russian Empress Ekaterina II (Catherine the Great), a German born princess who came to Russia as bride for the young Peter III, chosen by his aunt Elisabeth, and who, once ... See full summary »

Stars: Marina Aleksandrova, Isabel Schosnig, Aleksandr Yatsenko
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Grand Duke Peter (as Douglas Fairbanks Jnr.)
Elisabeth Bergner ... Catherine
Flora Robson ... Empress Elisabeth
Gerald du Maurier ... Lecocq
Irene Vanbrugh ... Princess Anhalt-Zerbst
Joan Gardner ... Katushienka
Dorothy Hale Dorothy Hale ... Countess Olga
Diana Napier ... Countess Vorontzova
Griffith Jones ... Grigory Orlov
Gibb McLaughlin ... Bestujhev (as Gibb Maclaughlin)
Clifford Heatherley Clifford Heatherley ... Ogarev
Lawrence Hanray Lawrence Hanray ... Goudovitch
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Colonel Karnilov
Edit

Storyline

In 1745 a German princess, renamed Catherine, arrives to marry Grand Duke Peter of Russia, whom she initially likes. But his suspicious, unstable nature gradually estranges them, and Peter finds solace with pretty courtiers. Catherine invents her own (fictitious) lovers, temporarily improving matters. Alas, accession to the throne brings out the worst in Peter, and loyal Catherine is urged to assume power. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

9 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Katharina die Große See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was included in the first syndicated television presentation of a package of major studio feature films on USA television; it premiered in Philadelphia Friday 9 July 1948 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Chicago Monday 26 July 1948 on WGN (Channel 9), by Cleveland Sunday 15 August 1948 on WEWS (Channel 5), by Baltimore Saturday 13 November 1948 on WMAR (Channel 2), by New York City Friday, November 26, 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11), by Dayton Sunday 6 February 1949 on WHIO (Channel 13), by Atlanta Monday 28 February 1949 on WSB (Channel 8), and by Cincinnati Friday 6 May 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11). The package consisted of 24 Alexander Korda productions originally released theatrically between 1933 and 1942. See more »

Goofs

When the Grand Duke Peter is talking with the guard at the bottom of the stairs about Ivan Ivanovich, the guard's crossed belts on his chest are repositioned when the scene cuts to a close up of the guard. See more »

Crazy Credits

Openng credits prologue: RUSSIA 1745

THE HUNTING LODGE OF GRAND DUKE PETER, HEIR TO THE THRONE. See more »

Connections

Version of The Scarlet Empress (1934) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
CATHERINE THE GREAT (Paul Czinner, 1934) ***
2 June 2011 | by MARIO GAUCISee all my reviews

This is the first of 6 films I intend to watch about the famous Russian sovereign (albeit of German origins) as part of the Josef von Sternberg retrospective, whose masterpiece THE SCARLET EMPRESS – from the same year – also deals with her. It was obviously intended as the British response (through renowned producer Alexander Korda) of the afore-mentioned Paramount release; ironically, the latter had been made – as a vehicle for Marlene Dietrich – in the wake of the classic Greta Garbo title QUEEN Christina (1933)!

Even so, the result here is quite a good film taken on its own merits – though lacking the ornate visual sense and other idiosyncrasies that Sternberg deployed in his version (and which made it so fascinating to watch in the first place). In any case, this has all the virtues and faults of a typical Korda effort: low-key approach undermined by stiff production and buoyed by reliable casting. The latter sees Elizabeth Bergner – the director is her husband – in the title role (though she does well by the character on a human plane, there is little to suggest her 'great' qualities as monarch!), top-billed Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (an ambivalent characterization as he goes all-too-swiftly from being submissive to his Empress aunt through a pre-arranged marriage to tyranny: his is a valiant try, but the star's dashing looks makes this incongruity that more conspicuous!) and Flora Robson (as the ailing Empress who conspires with Catherine to depose her own unstable nephew: the distinguished actress would virtually make a career out of playing monarchs!).

Plot-wise, court intrigue (easily the more interesting aspect to the narrative) is too often swamped by romantic complications and that worst trapping of costumers i.e. archaic dancing…but, having grown up watching the Korda films on Italian TV (even if not among its very best examples, this one is solid enough), I kind of have a soft spot for them and, in fact, over the years I managed to collect virtually all of the more notable titles in that popular cycle (including the same year's THE PRIVATE LIFE OF DON JUAN which, coincidentally, starred Fairbanks pere!). By the way, while this one was originally released in the U.S. as THE RISE OF CATHERINE THE GREAT, it was recently issued on R1 DVD through Criterion's sister label Eclipse as part of a Korda Box Set (along with DON JUAN itself and two superb Charles Laughton vehicles – namely the Oscar-winning THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII {1933} and, arguably his masterpiece, REMBRANDT {1936}).


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed