- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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This film based on Robert Massey's incredible account of the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia is spectacular. Historically accurate, the lavish scenes in the Winter Palace and other haunts of the Romanov family add to the rich quality of this movie. Equally remarkable, the actors and actresses who play the major roles in this film actually look like their historical counterparts. Most are well trained and highly talented stage actors but their work in this film is exceptional. This is a tribute to Russian history made at a time when the Soviets would not even hint at what had become of the Romanov family in 1918. It is a love story, an historical account, a suspenseful drama and a tale of our common humanity. Nicholas II, the last Tsar, is portrayed exactly as he was: an incompetent divine right monarch trying to survive in the 20th Century. Deeply in love with his wife (who is of German ancestry) they have four beautiful daughters and one handsome son who suffers from hemophilia which the royal family keep secret from their subjects. Seeking spiritual understanding for her son's fate, Alexandra turns to a mad monk, Rasputin, in order to find some hope for her boy. Historians still struggle to explain how the drunken, lecherous Rasputin was able to halt young Alexis' bleeding episodes and save his life when doctors were helpless. As Russia slides into political chaos and the First World War takes millions of Russian lives, we watch a family fall victim to the violence and terror. We even feel for their plight and their fate (which shocked the world in 1969 when this film first told their story fifty years after the event) would break anyone's heart. Superb acting, historically accurate, lavish settings, brilliantly written--all combine to create a powerful story that altered the course of global history, In short, this is a beautiful film and well worth watching.
Nicholas and Alexandra
- Michael Whitty
An epic film of Russia, in the style of "Dr.Zhivago", "Nicholas and Alexandra" takes in the weakening of the Czar's power as the Russian revolution is about to begin during the World War I years. Mistakes happened around Czar Nicholas Romonov including letting the influence of mad monk Rasputin through the door. The Bolsheviks and Lenin later seized power and Communism entered in all through the weaknesses of Nicholas. Academy Award winner for art direction and costumes this was a sumptuous sight as the days of pageantry were coming to an end in Russia. Franklin J. Schaffner, who won the year before directing "Patton", gives another wide angle look into some history.
- kevin sellers
Well, I can say that I'm officially an old fart, since I found myself actually liking this stodgy, Masterpiece Theatre type history lesson, replete with cameos from scenery chewing Brits, such as Olivier, Redgrave, Jack Hawkins, Irene Worth, Harry Andrews etc. etc. It's the kind of movie where Olivier, his advice to Tzar Nicholas to stay out of WW1 ignored, declaims, "Madness! Madness!" Fortunately, this type of Royal Shakespearen hokum did not extend to the two leads, Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman. If anything they underplayed it (he more than she) and allowed their characters to come forth, both fascinating studies; he a weak ruler who, in an attempt to overcompensate for this flaw, makes one foolish decision after another, and she a fearful neurotic, so terrified for her hemophiliac son that she throws herself into the clutches of the dissipated charlatan, Rasputin. Franklin Schaffner's direction does a good job of not letting the epic elements overwhelm the psychological, although in so doing he sometimes gives short shrift to key events, like the Russian battlefield defeats and the Bolshevik takeover from Kerensky's provisional government. The execution scene, where Nicholas and Alexandra are shown passively waiting for what they think will be a train journey, both pathetically reduced from total power to the status of a typical middle age couple in a stark waiting room is, for me, the most memorable of the entire film. Give it a solid B. P.S. The actor who plays the chief executioner, someone I'd never heard of named Alan Webb, has his picture in the dictionary next to the word "callous."
Nicolas and Alexandria
I like gory movies but this picture stayed with me because of the way the family was slaughtered at the end. I felt so bad for the family. How could that man have done such a thing especially to the children.
Appropriate for content.
- J. Mecca
Not to be misunderstood, the actress was not Rita Hayworth...just a close look alike.
Appropriate for the content of the movie
- John Mecca, M.D.
The female actress in this movie has a very close features, hairdo and expressions of Rita Hayworth...I see it was distributed by Columbia.... Miss Hayworth's studio for many years....good choice for the part.
A Good Movie
- David Atkins
Sam Spiegel operated his Horizon Films from London and what a record he had: River Kwai, The African Queen, Suddenly Last Summer, Lawrence Of Arabia et al. Spiegel who released thru Columbia was a master producer on the style of David Selznick. Mr. Spiegel made his two greatest films: River Kwai and Lawrence with David Lean. The men parted but both were fascinated with Russia. Lean had a worldwide hit with Dr. Zhivago at MGM, Spiegel remained at Columbia and chose Robin Massie's magnificent book Nicholas and Alexandra about the last Czar, his wife German born Empress, and her infatuation with the mad Rasputin. Franklin Schaffner who brilliantly directed 20th's Patton tries valiantly here with at cast of fine English actors who try hard but fail to capture the riveting core of Massie's book: The Czarina's obsession with Rasputin and the Czar's downfall and the rise of communism
- Cathy Klimanskis
The grandure of Royal Russia is amazing. The fate of this beautiful family extremely sad.