6.2/10
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Catherine the Great (1996)

Trapped in a loveless arranged marriage to the immature future Czar, a young German Princess proves a skillful political infighter and rises to become Catherine the Great.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Catherine
Paul McGann ... Potemkin
Ian Richardson ... Vorontzov
Brian Blessed ... Bestuzhev
John Rhys-Davies ... Pugachev
Craig McLachlan ... Saltykov
Hannes Jaenicke ... Peter
Agnès Soral ... Countess Bruce
Mark McGann ... Orlov
Karl Johnson ... Sheshkovsky
Stephen McGann ... Alexis Orlov
Veronica Ferres ... Vorontzova
Mel Ferrer ... Patriarch
Jeanne Moreau ... Elizabeth
Omar Sharif ... Razumovsky
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Storyline

In this romanticized biography, a small German principality's inexperienced princess, Catherine, becomes the bride of czarevitch Peter, the mad and abusive nephew and heir of the Russian czarina Elizabeth. From Elizabeth she learns the cynical ropes of wielding absolute imperial power at any cost, including sacrificing her lover, young guards officer Saltykov, who must give her an heir that Peter can't and is then sent abroad. After Elizabeth's death, she quickly moves to seize power with military and court support. She then works to enlarge and modernize the empire, again putting statesmanship ahead of her lover, a military genius who defeats the Ottomans and governs the conquered territories for her. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Germany | Austria | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 1996 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Catalina la Grande See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts) | (3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Catherine Zeta-Jones is connected to the Doctor Who franchise in a few ways. She co-starred with Sean Pertwee in Blue Jeans. Sean is the son of the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee. In this film, she co-stars with Paul McGann, who played the eighth Doctor in the television movie, and The Night of the Doctor special. See more »

Goofs

When Catherine trades in her virginity to get pregnant, the skin of her mate's back and legs is tanned, while his buttocks are perfectly white. There were neither sunbathing nor a pair of trunks in 18th century. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Catherine: The 21st of August 1745... my wedding day. I was fifteen. The Grand Duke Peter was two years older, and we were both pawns in a political game.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Approx. 80 minutes were deleted from the US version by A&E compared to the original German version which was shown in 2 parts a 90 minutes. See more »

Connections

Version of The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Superficial? Yeah...but GREAT FUN!!!
8 February 2002 | by Steve-602See all my reviews

Hey guys, After having read the preceding reviews and of course having seen the flick I just had to add this comment: I take my movies seriously and I take my history seriously---in general. I will easily admit that this film is a bit weak on both scores. But everybody obviously had a wonderful time!

And sometimes that counts for something. I had not seen Miss Zeta-Jones before but I am certainly glad to have seen her now. I will admit that Mae West was probably closer to the real Catherine (complexionwise, haircolorwise, and probably even sexualproclivitywise) but it was an absolute pleasure to watch a woman who is imperious as well as beautiful play a part in which she is required to be both those things! I mean, she pulled it off! And she looked absolutely great doing it! I Can't wait to see her again. Well now, the historic issues. I am really sorry that Potemkin didn't get a chance to show Catherine a Potemkin village in this particular version, but other than that the history didn't really bother me all that much. The fact is, I kind of liked the plot, even if it does come from never never land. So put me down as a complete Philistine if you will, I can't help but admit that I enjoyed this thing thoroughly, misguided as I may be. And let me throw in one more kudo. Anyone who cut his teeth on "Gunsmoke" as Mr. Chomsky did, and winds up directing a Russian Czarina quoting Rousseau can't be all bad. I hope you like it too.


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