7.7/10
4,948
45 user 41 critic

The Scarlet Empress (1934)

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.

Writers:

Catherine II (based on the diary of), Manuel Komroff (diary arranged by)
Reviews

On TV

Airs Fri. Nov. 16, 10:00 AM on TCM

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man is warned by a captain about a temptress; nonetheless, he finds himself falling in love with her.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Atwill, Edward Everett Horton
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
Dishonored (1931)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Austrian Secret Service sends its most seductive agent to spy on the Russians.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Victor McLaglen, Gustav von Seyffertitz
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A loose woman rediscovers a former lover during a dangerous train ride to Shanghai.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong
Morocco (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cabaret singer and a Legionnaire fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the results of his womanizing and due to the appearance of a rich man who wants her for himself.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Adolphe Menjou
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Blue Angel is a sleazy bar and the local boys go there to see Lola who is the dancer. The teacher goes there to confront his students only to fall for the dancer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
Desire (1936)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, John Halliday
Angel (1937)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After two years as a Czarist British agent posing as a Russian Commissar, he rescues a Russian countess from her Bolshevik captors.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Robert Donat, Irene Vanbrugh
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Lily falls in love with the sculptor who leaves her out of fear of commitment.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlene Dietrich ... Princess Sophia Frederica / Catherine II
John Lodge ... Count Alexei
Sam Jaffe ... Grand Duke Peter
Louise Dresser ... Empress Elizabeth Petrovna
C. Aubrey Smith ... Prince August
Gavin Gordon ... Capt. Gregori Orloff
Olive Tell ... Princess Johanna Elizabeth
Ruthelma Stevens ... Countess Elizabeth 'Lizzie'
Davison Clark Davison Clark ... Archimandrite Simeon Todorsky / Arch-Episcope
Erville Alderson ... Chancelor Alexei Bestuchef
Philip Sleeman Philip Sleeman ... Count Lestoq (as Phillip Sleeman)
Marie Wells Marie Wells ... Marie Tshoglokof
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ... Ivan Shuvolov (as Hans von Twardowski)
Gerald Fielding Gerald Fielding ... Lt. Dmitri
Maria Riva ... Sophia as a Child (as Maria)
Edit

Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Reigning Beauty of the Screen!

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 September 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Catherine the Great See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Archimandrite Simeon Todorsky: [collecting money for the poor] Your Imperial Majesty, something for the poor?
Grand Duke Peter: [slaps him]
Archimandrite Simeon Todorsky: That was for me. Now what have you got for the poor?
Grand Duke Peter: There are no poor in Russia! Get out!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Mavericks (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Composition
(uncredited)
Written by Josef von Sternberg
Played at the wedding feast
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Luminous black and white ode to Marlene...
1 August 2004 | by gazzo-2See all my reviews

......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.


19 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 45 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