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Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Horror | 6 April 1966 (USA)
Thrown out of his monestary for licentious and drunken behaviour, Rasputin travels to St Petersburg to try his luck. Through a daliance with one of the czarina's ladies in waiting he soon ... See full summary »

Director:

Don Sharp

Writer:

Anthony Hinds (screenplay) (as John Elder)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Christopher Lee ... Grigori Rasputin
Barbara Shelley ... Sonia
Richard Pasco ... Dr. Boris Zargo
Francis Matthews ... Ivan
Suzan Farmer ... Vanessa
Dinsdale Landen ... Peter
Renée Asherson ... Tsarina (as Renee Asherson)
Derek Francis Derek Francis ... Innkeeper
Joss Ackland ... The Bishop
Robert Duncan Robert Duncan ... Tsarevitch Alexei
Alan Tilvern ... Patron
John Welsh ... The Abbot
John Bailey ... The Physician
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Storyline

Thrown out of his monestary for licentious and drunken behaviour, Rasputin travels to St Petersburg to try his luck. Through a daliance with one of the czarina's ladies in waiting he soon gains influence at court with his powers of healing and of hypnotism. But he also makes enemies who wish to see him dead. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now the Astounding Truth About ... "Rasputin: The Mad Monk" See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicholas Pennell was by error listed in Hammer public relations materials as playing the role of Peter (Dinsdale Landen). See more »

Goofs

About fifteen minutes into the film, as Rasputin races round the corner in his hijacked horse and wagon, a figure in the background looks suspiciously like a member of the public in modern dress. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Doctor: No point in me staying here any longer. Keep her warm. If she recovers consciousness, give her a little brandy.
Innkeeper: And if she doesn't, doctor?
Doctor: Send for the priest.
Innkeeper: Oh God.
Doctor: Nothing more I can do.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The BBFC made the following cuts to this to this film for Uk theatrical release:
  • (a) the Rasputin/Sonia love scene was shortened to end on the shot of Rasputin tearing open the back of Sonia's dress. The uncut version continues the scene for another 20s climaxing as she gets into bed and Rasputin pulls the blanket off her (unseen) naked body.
  • (b) Two shots were shortened in the scene in which Peter is disfigured by acid in order to remove close shots of Peter's scarred face.
  • The severed hand shots were never cut by the BBFC having been waived following appeals by Hammer.
  • The R1 and R2 DVD's are uncut. The older UK VHS releases from Lumiere and Studio Canal are the cut theatrical version.
See more »

Connections

Version of Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) See more »

User Reviews

 
History, the Hammer way.
22 December 2004 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

The story of the monk that rose through Russia's hierarchy to become, arguably, more powerful than the Tsar and Tsarina seems, to me anyway, to be a rather strange choice of film for Hammer to take on. Of course, there are definite horror elements in the tale, but of all the stories in the world, this one is a rather odd choice in spite of this. However, Hammer are known for being innovative and doing things that most studios wouldn't even dream of, and I for one am very glad they did do a take on this tale; as it's actually a very good film. As you might expect, the film follows the story of Grigori Rasputin; a Russian monk with the power to heal. However, Rasputin is also a blasphemer; and the film follows his tribulations after he is thrown out of the monetary, as he drinks, sleeps and hypnotises his way across Russia, until he eventually falls in with Sonia; lady in waiting to the Tsarina. The rest, as they say, is history. Well, sort of.

As you might expect, the film isn't very historically accurate and Don Sharp appears to be more keen to focus on Rasputin himself than his place in history, which is no bad thing in my opinion as it makes for better horror. This film is a very different kind of horror to what we're used to from Hammer, as it's very character based and doesn't rely on blood and monsters to tell its story. Now don't get me wrong, I like blood and monsters as much as the next Hammer fan; but this film is a welcome departure in my opinion. The history surrounding Rasputin (SOME of which is shown in the film) is, actually, quite scary; how a blaspheming, crazy monk can rise through Russia's hierarchy like he did is surreal, and is made more so by the fact that it is actually true. The excellent Christopher Lee brings the monk himself to life. Who else but Christopher Lee could have played Rasputin? I wager that nobody else could have, and Lee is awesome in this role. His screen presence and charisma combine with what we expect Rasputin would have been like to great effect and although this is a campy horror film and cant really be taken seriously as a historical study; I think Lee has captured the essence of Russia's finest love machine to a tee, and I doubt it will ever be done to the same standard again.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Byakuya no in-jû See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

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