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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>
"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 »
I remember seeing this film in its uncut theatrical form in 70mm.
It was breathtaking.
The performances, music, sets and costumes were overwhelming. But most of all I remember the tremendous sense of doom that pervades the film and the sense of lost chances to avoid catastrophe, both for Russia and for the royal family.
There are certainly historical inaccuracies but ultimately they do not get in the way of central theme of the film: the genuine love story between Nicholas and Alexandra. (Nicholas was only able to marry Alexandra because his father Tsar Alexander III relented on his deathbed despite substantial objections of the court and and Tsarina to Alexandra.) Michael Jayston and Janet Suzmann are superb in the title roles bringing a heartrending portrayal of two people in love but totally out of their depth ruling the great Russian empire.
The final moments of the film remain amongst the most terrifying and memorable of any film I have seen.
I recommend this film to any lover of fine film making.
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