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Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)

Czar Nicholas II (Michael Jayston), the inept last 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 (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 <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

Language:

English | French | German | Russian

Release Date:

13 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nicholas and Alexandra 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 Best Actress Oscar nominated performance was the only one in the category in a Best Picture nominee that year. See more »

Goofs

At c.22 minutes the orchestra performing at the ball are very obviously miming. See more »

Quotes

Tsarina Alexandra: [about Alexandra spending all day with Alexei] My place is where I'm needed most.
Tsar Nicholas II: It must be hard to have so many people need you. I'll be patient. If I wait my turn will come.
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

The present DVD issue is slightly longer than the original VHS versions and includes several scenes not featured in the earlier versions e.g. a Russian general committing suicide and more scenes of the royal family in captivity. See more »

Connections

Version of Rasputin (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Russlan and Ludmila, Act II, Scene 3
(uncredited)
Music by Mikhail Glinka
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The sadly forgotten epic
5 October 2013 | by clarneSee all my reviews

"Nicholas and Alexandra" is one of the last of the grand, sweeping epics that dominated the box office in the 50's and 60's. With the new wave of young, reckless directors who took to the scene in the 70's this kind of filmmaking seemed strangely dated. Ironically enough it kind of mimics the fate of the Romanov family, holding on to ideals that can no longer protect them. The genre, which had started with aplomb with movies like "Gone With The Wind" didn't draw the numbers it used to, and after seeing this movie I can't help but think of what a shame that is.

The movie is off to a slow start, and doesn't really grab the viewer until after the introduction of Rasputin. From there on in it's pure cinematic joy to witness the fate of the Tzar and his family unravel.

The actors do a tremendous job. It's obvious that the producers wanted their actors to look as much like their characters as possible, and while this doesn't necessarily strengthen the movie by itself it clearly gives it a stronger feel of authenticity. Furthermore they perfectly embody their flawed characters. The czar, beautifully played by Michael Jayston is a warm, caring man who unfortunately is totally unfit to be a czar. He is out of touch with his people, and feebly clings to his autocratic power. Jayston manages to portray an almost absurd certainty in his divine right, and ability to rule while at the same time exposing his uncertainty and fright. Janet Suzman is equally impressive as the loving, but domineering Alexandra.

The look and feel of the movie is also fantastic. The jaw-dropping visuals of Russia perfectly accommodates the story, and the music is wonderful all the way through. The pace is slow, and it's easy to see why critics who had just witnessed the exhilarating pace of movies like "A Clockwork Orange" or "The French Connection". But this was how these kinds of movies were made, and "Nicholas and Alexandra" does not shame the genre. It's actually a beautiful end to a spectacular genre which is well worth a look for anyone with a soft spot for David Lean-like movies.


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