5.6/10
242
7 user 4 critic

Great Catherine (1968)

G | | Comedy | 6 December 1968 (UK)
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
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Controversial tragicomedy about a brother's obsessive love for his sister. Having left her husband, Hilary moves in with her unbalanced brother, Pink, who uses wit and humor to hide his amorous yearnings.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Susannah York, Michael Craig
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

At the beginning of WW2, Liviu, a Romanian count, and his wife Julia come to live on an uninhabited tropical island, where they hope to escape the war and their past. They bring with them ... See full summary »

Director: Arturo Ripstein
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Charlotte Rampling, Max von Sydow
Man Friday (1975)
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During the 17th century, shipwrecked English seaman Robinson Crusoe, after years of solitude, spots natives on his deserted Pacific island and befriends one who he names Friday.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Richard Roundtree, Peter Cellier
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1901, a group of IRA members decides to rob the Bank of England in order to finance their movement and to embarrass the British government.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Aldo Ray, Elizabeth Sellars, Peter O'Toole
Power Play (1978)
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A group of military officers, angered and frustrated by the corruption and repression of the current government, finally decide that for the good of the country they must overthrow the ... See full summary »

Director: Martyn Burke
Stars: Peter O'Toole, David Hemmings, Donald Pleasence
Murphy's War (1971)
Certificate: GP Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A lone survivor from a British naval ship is obsessed with getting revenge on a German U-boat crew that massacred his shipmates in the water.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Siân Phillips, Philippe Noiret
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

This is a delightful if peculiar story of a day in the life of a small, Welsh fishing village called "Llareggub" (read it backwards). We meet a host of curious characters (and ghosts) ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Sinclair
Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O'Toole
Lord Jim (1965)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After being discredited as a coward, a 19th century seaman (Peter O'Toole) lives for only one purpose: to redeem himself. Based on Joseph Conrad's novel written in 1900.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Peter O'Toole, James Mason, Curd Jürgens
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A shy, withdrawn English schoolteacher falls for a flashy showgirl.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave
Rosebud (1975)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

In a bold coup, a Palestinian terrorist group captures the yacht Rosebud and kidnaps the millionaire's five daughters on it. At first they demand film clips to be shown on major European ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Richard Attenborough, Cliff Gorman
Wings of Fame (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A famous movie actor (Peter O'Toole) claims that he has written a book. As result, a real author, not a very well known writer, vengenfully kills him but then dies as a result of an ... See full summary »

Director: Otakar Votocek
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Colin Firth, Marie Trintignant
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Story of a young woman journalist who becomes enmeshed in the politics of the annexation of Morrocco from Algeria at the turn of the twentieth century. The focus is on her hardships because... See full summary »

Director: Ian Pringle
Stars: Mathilda May, Tchéky Karyo, Peter O'Toole
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The last film in which Jack Hawkins' voice is heard. In subsequent films he would be dubbed by other actors due to his problems with throat cancer. See more »

Quotes

Potemkin: Is true. The English despise men who are half drunk. I must make myself completely drunk.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of Young Catherine (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Distant Memory Now
14 August 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

Bernard Shaw wrote GREAT CATHERINE (WHOM GLORY STILL ADORES) back in the teens, and it is occasionally revived. Not all of his plays get revived. In particular his "short" plays. GREAT CATHERINE is a one act play, and it runs about ninety minutes (short, in comparison to say PYGMALION or MAJOR BARBARA). As it is a historical play, one has to note that Shaw - while he tried to be accurate on his history in his plays - based his history on the current state of knowledge, which was usually not as correct as we now know.

Basically, GREAT CATHERINE is about how a young British officer is sent to the court of Catherine the Great of Russia, one of the most fascinating rulers in Europe in the 18th Century. He is involved not only with her, but with her crafty chief minister, Potemkin (whom the battleship in the classic Eisenstein silent film is named for). The officer attracts her attention because he is handsome, and the British Minister is fully willing to let him see the Empress, as he may hear something of use and he may "ease" Anglo-Russian relations. As it turns out, the young ninny is such a believer in middle class morality that he blows a great opportunity, loses a chance to witness a great figure in world history, and even - unwittingly - so misunderstands things that he accidentally insults her. Only her own sense of values keeps her from taking up an offer from a furious Potemkin to have the young man killed.

The basics of the play are kept in the movie, but it was jazzed up a bit. Jeanne Moreau makes a very attractive, sexy, alluring Empress. Peter O'Toole is a proper aristocratic numskull. Akim Tamiroff is a comic guard, browbeaten by his boss Potemkin (played with relish by Zero Mostel - a nice historical part for him for a change). Also, in one of his last roles, the now tragically silenced Jack Hawkins, giving his all as the British Ambassador.

I have given the film a 6, for it's attempt to record a minor play by Shaw, for it's cast, and for a scene I liked that dates the play - when O'Toole is supposed to show how the battle of Bunker's Hill was fought. The confrontation ends with the total demolition of the model of the battlefield. It is a minor sequence, but I did like it. But for all I do like about the film, if you are interested in the best work of George Bernard Shaw I would not go to this film first.


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed