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Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)

Czar Nicholas II, the inept monarch of Russia, insensitive to the needs of his people, is overthrown and exiled to Siberia with his family.

Writers:

Robert K. Massie (book), Edward Bond (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Jayston ... Nicholas
Janet Suzman ... Alexandra
Roderic Noble Roderic Noble ... Alexis
Ania Marson ... Olga
Lynne Frederick ... Tatiana
Candace Glendenning ... Marie
Fiona Fullerton ... Anastasia
Harry Andrews ... Grand Duke Nicholas (Nikolasha)
Irene Worth ... The Queen Mother Marie Fedorovna
Tom Baker ... Rasputin
Jack Hawkins ... Count Fredericks
Timothy West ... Dr. Botkin
Katherine Schofield ... Tegleva
Jean-Claude Drouot ... Gilliard
John Hallam ... Nagorny
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Storyline

The tragic story of Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia, set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. It is an inside look into the private lives of Nicholas and his wife Alexandra, their daughters, their only son and the painful secret about their son and heir apparent which bound the Imperial Couple to the mystical Rasputin, and the eventual execution of the entire family. Written by Gailene Va. Holley <gvah@lava.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...is the story of the love that changed the world forever!


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French | German | Russian

Release Date:

13 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nicolás y Alejandra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Horizon Pictures (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (UK release)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Janet Suzman's aunt Helen Suzman, a South African activist, had famously befriended Nelson Mandela. Ironically, Mandela was born just the day after the Romanovs were executed in 1918. See more »

Goofs

Nicholas appears shocked when he's insisted to abdicate (and does so moments later). Apparently, he was first insisted to abdicate about two weeks before he actually did it. After being offered several more times, he had no choice but to do it, four days after his government lost control. See more »

Quotes

Tsarina Alexandra: What's the day like?
Tsar Nicholas II: I don't know now.
Tsarina Alexandra: It doesn't matter. It goes on and on. I don't know anymore. What can God have in mind for us?
See more »

Crazy Credits

"By courtesy of the National Theatre of G.B." is written underneath Tom Baker and Laurence Olivier's names in the end credits. "By courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company" is written underneath Janet Suzman's name. See more »

Alternate Versions

In a capsule review of the film dated 30 July 1972, when it had been on general release in the USA for 7 months, New York Times critic Vincent Canby comments, "the film has been cut by approximately 15 minutes since it originally opened, though the ads don't say so." He does not make clear what footage has been trimmed. See more »

Connections

Version of J'ai tué Raspoutine (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied (Cradle Song) Op.49, No.4
(uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Words from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Sung by Alexandra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dynasty - with a superior, intelligent script
5 July 2006 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

This truly beautiful movie with considerable artistic value should not be watched for its historical accuracy or its lack of geographical precision. It is mainly a story about a marriage of two weak but lovable people who somehow should not have been where fate put them. You could call Nicholas and Alexandra an anti-monarchistic manifesto.

The script really is first rate, it doesn't matter that all the characters are far more English than Russian, what counts is the way a tragic situation unfolds in front of the viewers. For many the last czar probably was a monster as he ordered the death of hundreds of thousands. Yet watching the movie you want to believe that he is the victim of circumstances, far removed from everyday life and a husband and father who cares deeply and, in spite of all his outrageous decisions and non-decisions, wants „to be good". Strange as it seems, but the intimate scenes between him and his wife are the highlights of the movie, as they really bring out the affection between two people who are attracted to each other although they are only too familiar with each other's flaws. It makes the tragic ending of the movie all the more sad.

I had the chance to visit Nicholas' palace in Yalta a few years back. It is full of family snapshots, as the czar was an avid photographer (and also movie maker). It is striking how modern those pictures are, how relaxed and „middle class" the imperial family, always in bathing suits or some elegant leisure wear, appears. In a strange way the Russian emperor comes through as being much less crusty than his contemporaries on the throne of Britain, Germany or Austria-Hungary. It gives you the idea that he was a modern man. Strangely, whenever he himself is in the photos, he is never in the center of the picture but always somewhere in a marginal position, seeming to be either bemused or slightly embarrassed. What a sad career!

An interesting side-effect of the movie is the fact that it shows that at the outset of World War I the crowned heads of Europe, many of them related to each other and on relatively intimate terms, could have prevented the bloodshed. They failed colossally and thus sealed the fate of a continent that still tries to find unity and a common denominator.


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