ROYALTY ON SCREEN: Franklin J. Schaffner's "Nicholas and Alexandra" (1971)


ROYALTY ON SCREEN: Franklin J. Schaffner's "Nicholas and Alexandra" (1971)
by Darius Kadivar
The tragic story of Nicholas II, 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.
Trailer of the Original 1971 Release:
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner Starring: Michael Jayston, Janet Suzman, Tom Baker, Roderic Noble, Ania Marson, Sir Laurence Olivier, Jack Hawkins            
Opening Scenes: 
Nicholas Refuses to Relinquish his Divine Rights and share power with an elected Duma (Russian Parliament):   Part I:      Part II:         **************************************************************** ****************************************************************                                                                                         Miscellaneous Scenes   **************************************************************** ****************************************************************      
The Last Imperial Family of Russia- highlights from the Movie:
Alexandra whose son the Crown Prince suffers from Hemophilia seeks help from a mystic Cleric Rasputin: The Romanov's Goodbye (Романов До свидания):

Plot: The tragic story of Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia,set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. It is an inside look intothe private lives of Nicholas and his wife Alexandra, their daughters, and thepainful secret which bound the Imperial Couple to the mystical Rasputin, andthe eventual execution of the entire family.  
Facts VS Fictions:    

Some elements of the movie have been cited as being given creative license, as not being entirely factual.

  • Stolypin's assassination is portrayed accurately, but actually took place in 1911. Stolypin is shown as being present at the Tercentenary, which was not until 1913.
  • The party at which Rasputin is poisoned is disputed, partly because of the uncertainty on the part of historians over what really happened that night. The scene is thus based on the legend of Rasputin's murder, as crafted by Yussupov over many tellings. Rasputin's death is portrayed in that he still lived after the poisoning and numerous gunshot wounds. The scene is also made to look as if Rasputin's murder was spur-of-the-moment from an opium high, when the three conspirators involved, Yussopov, Dmitiri, and their butler, recounted that there had been an intentional and thought-out plan to murder Rasputin, albeit a poorly-designed one.
  • In the film, the Tsarina Alexandra's German heritage is blamed for some of the family's unpopularity. Russian commoners found an excuse to hate the Empress in the last years of her husband's reign because Russia and Germany were at war, and as the daughter of German prince, Alexandra's connections to the enemy were, for many, too close for comfort. Ironically, the House of Romanov had ceased to be predominantly Russian in 1730, following the death of Peter II. The Hollstein-Gottorp-Romanov lineage that succeeded it was part German, so the Tsarina's heritage by this time was - for those who knew the facts - not so different from her husband's.
  • When the Romanovs are executed, not a word is spoken to them prior to their death. Most historical accounts indicate that an execution order was read to them beforehand.
  • The Romanov family (formed by the Tsar, his wife and their five children) were executed together with four faithful servants: doctor Eugene Botkin, chambermaid Anna Demidova, cook Ivan Kharitonov, and footman Alexei Trupp. However, in the film only the family and the doctor are finally executed; the other characters do not "exist" in the film.
  • There are no facts to substantiate that the scene with Tatiana exposing herself to a Bolshevik soldier ever occurred.
  • Alexander Kerensky informed Nicholas in summer, 1917 that England would not accept him and the Royal Family as refugees. Britain was actually ready to accept the Romanovs, though with some reluctance. When it was made public that the Romanovs would be sent abroad, the public outcry against it was so overwhelming that the Provisional Government decided to keep them as prisoners, as its own future was on shaky ground. MI6 had proposed an idea of a covert extraction of the Tsar and his family, but all died before such a mission could be sanctioned.

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more from Darius Kadivar
Sargord Pirouz

I found this to be an

by Sargord Pirouz on

I found this to be an unconvincing portrayal. After all, the last Czar was a near midget. They should have had a diminutive actor in the lead role.

It's about as bad as Omar Sharif--an Egyptian, for Crissakes--portraying a Russian doctor in Doctor Zhivago.  

But hooray for Hollywood, right?