Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't like her husband, but she likes Russia, and is very fond of Russian soldiers. She dutifully produces a son -- of questionable fatherhood, but no one seems to mind that. After the old empress dies, Sophia engineers a coup d'etat with the aid of the military, does away with Peter, and becomes Catherine the Great.Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In his autobiography, director Josef von Sternberg claimed that he borrowed ten feet of film (all of which was a crowd scene) from Ernst Lubitsch's film The Patriot (1928). When von Sternberg showed the film clips featuring the borrowed footage to Lubitsh, he not only failed to recognize his own film, he chastised von Sternberg for "willful waste and disregard of costs." See more »
When the flag is being lowered for the dead empress, we see the flag flapping in the wind but the fake backdrop is flapping also. See more »
......I saw this years ago, but some of the images-Marlene on a swing, the charging horsemen, the bits w/ Sam Jaffe and C Aubrey Smith, most certainly stand out. It was definitely the director's way of putting his worship of Marlene on display for all to see, Catherine might as well have been Cleopatra or Eleanor of Aquitaine for all the historical accuracy-ha ha-they use.
This was a movie about excess as much as anything, curtains that go on forever, huge doors, loud music, etc. They just don't make them like this anymore and certainly couldn't afford to then, either.
I don't think I ever saw Marlene anymore sensual than in this film, and I agree, her idea of playing a 'poor innocent gal'-that isn't put across well at all. Sometimes you just can't fake it, no matter how hard you try.
*** outta ****, style over everything.
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