The tragic story of Nicholas II (Michael Jayston), 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 (Janet Suzman), their daughters, their only son, and the painful secret about their son and heir apparent which bound the Imperial Couple to the mystical Grigori Rasputin (Tom Baker), and the eventual execution of the entire family.Written by
Gailene Va. Holley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Michael Jayston was asked about starring in the film at a con. He stated he had several misgivings with it. With the way director Franklin J. Schaffner and producer Sam Spiegel were managing the production and what they wanted him to do. He also claimed he did not know anything about Tsar Nicholas at the time he was hired. Additionally, due to the film's poor US box office performance and also the fact that he did not get nominated Best Actor Oscar, Jayston rarely suck-out another starring role in a theatrical film. See more »
The depiction of Rasputin's murder is almost totally incorrect. No one was partying or smoking opium. Felix Yusopov may have been the only person who interacted with Rasputin. The poison in the cakes and wine seemed to have no effect. Rasputin was preparing to leave when Felix shot him. Rasputin collapsed, and a doctor pronounced him dead. A while later, Rasputin revived and began choking Felix. After Felix broke free, Rasputin ran outside. A Tsarist guard shot him a few more times as he approached a black gate, then Felix clubbed him. They put Rasputin, unconscious, in a body bag and threw it into the icy river, where he drowned. His body was found washed up on shore later. See more »
"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 »
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 »
It may have something to do with the fact that I was at Princeton at the same time as the screenwriter's hemophiliac son, but everyone seems to be falling over themselves in finding fault with this nearly perfect movie. Tom Baker didn't "fade into obscurity," he became the most famous Doctor Who. The principals are exemplary and totally true to every historic account I've read. One commentator mentions inanely that Nikolaus was a cousin of King George while Alexandra was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Excuse me folks, we all know that. It makes them first cousins, which is one of the reasons the heir to all the Russias had a deadly hereditary disease. (Nikolaus, George V, and Kaiser Wilhelm were all first cousins.) This movie knocks one out with its combination of costume drama and realism. I don't make ten favorites lists but if I did it might be there. An absolute must see, over and over again.
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