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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 »


Don Sharp


Anthony Hinds (screenplay) (as John Elder)




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


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


Ladies' Man - And Lady Killer! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Shown in the U.S. as a double feature with another Hammer movie, "The Reptile (1966)." See more »


When seen from the exterior, the front door of the Cafe Tzigane is different from that seen in the interior shots. See more »


[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.
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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.
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Version of Rasputin (1996) See more »

User Reviews

That's one hypnotic beard.
1 June 2007 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

After being thrown out of his monastery for his carefree sinful behaviour of drinking, womanising and gluttony. Rasputin a mysterious Russian monk heads to St Petersburg to use his hypnotic and healing abilities to gain power and influence, by manipulating Tsarina and the people around her.

Forget about the historical context of this icon, and simply enjoy Hammer's glum and hysterical fictional take on the factual story. Christopher Lee looking all scruffy and beady-eyed basically goes bananas in his tremendously larger than life portrayal of the unsettling figure. He bellows out his dialogue with plenty of blunt intensity and an underlining creepiness. Watch him dance, drink, dance, laughing, pigging out, drinking… etc. Lee is unforgettable and simply having the time of his life as the "Love-machine"! The inventive premise keeps clear from the politics and actual events, and its unique spin seems more concern of drawing up the interesting Rasputin character and how he played everyone he saw that was important to his development of his own needs. The hot-and-cold script is rather lukewarm and boggy to tell the truth, but this aspect was mainly overshadowed due to its fast pacing and brazen performances. A stylistic Barby Shelley is sensationally strong and a twitchy Richard Pasco is impeccably solid. There's also capable support by Susan Farmer, Francis Mathews and Dinsdale Landen. Director Don Sharp vividly heightens the film with suspenseful thrills, powerful visuals and convincingly raw and atmospheric set pieces. The baroque set-designs are assuredly handled and the murky backdrop is well conceived from its cheap origins to look a tad classier. Photography is constantly leering and the music score has that untamed grandiose sound we've come to expect in their presentations.

Maniac, volume changing fun by Hammer that's well worth the gander for a toweringly juicy Lee performance.

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Release Date:

6 April 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rasputin: The Mad Monk See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

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