5.6/10
234
7 user 3 critic

Great Catherine (1968)

Slapstick comedy based on the play by George Bernard Shaw. A stiff English officer, captain Charles Edstaston (Peter O'Toole), and his fiancée Claire arrive in St. Petersburg. Edstaston is ... See full summary »

Director:

Gordon Flemyng
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... Capt. Charles Edstaston
Zero Mostel ... Potemkin
Jeanne Moreau ... Catherine
Jack Hawkins ... The British Ambassador
Akim Tamiroff ... Sergeant
Marie Lohr ... Dowager Lady Gorse
Marie Kean ... Princess Dashkoff
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ... Naryshkin
Angela Scoular ... Claire
Kate O'Mara ... Varinka
Gerald Lawson Gerald Lawson
Lea Seidl Lea Seidl ... Grand Duchess
Oliver MacGreevy Oliver MacGreevy ... General Pskov
Norma Foster Norma Foster ... Mongol
James Mellor James Mellor ... Colonel Pugachov
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Storyline

Slapstick comedy based on the play by George Bernard Shaw. A stiff English officer, captain Charles Edstaston (Peter O'Toole), and his fiancée Claire arrive in St. Petersburg. Edstaston is brought to the imperial court to seek audience with the empress Catherine (Jeanne Moreau). He obtains an interview with her courtier, the drunken Potemkin (Zero Mostel), who ends up carrying him in his arms to the empress and dumping him into her royal bed. From this moment on, the hapless Edstaston endeavours to escape from the clutches of the sex-crazed empress and leave the city with his English fiancée. Written by cocoken

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

By day she was Catherine the Queen. By night she was Catherine the Great.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

6 December 1968 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Catalina la Grande See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Keep Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Original director Elliot Silverstein, of " Cat Ballou " fame, quit after constant disagreements with star and co-producer Peter O'Toole. See more »

Quotes

Catherine: Let me help you, captain. If only to show you that a Russian savage can be kinder than an English one. Though I'm sorry to say that I'm German.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last line of the end credits reads: "With Scobie As The Ambassador's Dog". See more »

Connections

Version of The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the worst films ever made
15 January 2012 | by SHAWFANSee all my reviews

Great Catherine is the last Shaw play to have been made into a movie. And no wonder considering the slaughter these people made of this one. Not only is this the worst filming of a Shaw play ever created (though Sophia Loren's and Peter Sellers' The Millionairess gives it a good run in the awful department) it is for me one of the worst films of any kind that I've ever seen. If you think that people falling down drunk throughout a film (Zero Mostel's Potemkin) is amusing this film is for you. I however think this sort of baloney action is tedious and very unfunny. The only redeeming feature in this film is the Tiomkin score and the Russian peasants' greatly choreographed free for all at the ball. I used to think that what killed this film was the director's slowing down the action of the repartee from trippingly fast to turgidly slow but now having seen the film all the way through on TCM recently I've decided that every other part of the project likewise contributes to its stinkeroo lack of quality. Moreau and O'Toole swimming around fully clothed in the water of the destroyed model Bunker Hill battle---give me a break! To think of O'Toole participating in such a fiasco after Lawrence of Arabia, The Ruling Class, My Favorite Year, and countless other films in which he acts up a storm leaves me very unhappy and disappointed. I agree with another of your reviewers: if you want to see a film of a Shaw play this one should not be the one you see first! Both thumbs as far down as they can get.


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