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Nicholas and Alexandra

Nicholas and Alexandra – 1971
Franklin J. Schaffner

Edward Bond additional dialogue
James Goldman
Robert K. Massie book

Andrew Donally associate producer
Sam Spiegel producer

Michael Jayston – Tsar Nicholas II
Janet Suzman – Empress Alexandra/Alix of Hesse Darmstadt
Roderic Noble – The Tsarevitch Alexei
Ania Marson – The Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna
Lynne Frederick – Tatiana
Candace Glendenning – The Grand Duchess Marie Nikolaevna
Fiona Fullerton – Anastasia
Harry Andrews – Grand Duke Nicholas
Irene Worth – The Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna
Tom Baker – Rasputin
Jack Hawkins – Count Fredericks
Timothy West – Dr. Botkin
Katherine Schofield – Tegleva
Jean-Claude Drouot – Gilliard
John Hallam – Nagorny
Guy Rolfe – Dr. Fedorov
John Wood – Colonel Kobylinsky
Laurence Olivier – Count Witte
Eric Porter – Stolypin
Michael Redgrave – Sazonov
Maurice Denham – Kokovtsov
Ralph Truman – Rodzianko
Gordon Gostelow – Guchkov
John McEnery – Kerensky
Michael Bryant – Lenin
Vivian Pickles – Mme. Krupskaya
Brian Cox – Trotsky
James Hazeldine – Stalin
Stephen Greif – Martov
Steven Berkoff – Pankratov
Ian Holm – Yakovlev
Alan Webb – Yurovsky
Leon Lissek – Avdeyev
David Giles – Goloshchekin
Roy Dotrice – General Alexeiev
Martin Potter – Prince Yusupov
Richard Warwick – Grand Duke Dimitry
Vernon Dobtcheff – Dr. Lazovert
Alexander Knox – The American Ambassador
Ralph Neville – The British Ambassador
Georges Rigaud – The French Ambassador (as Jorge Rigaud)
Curd Jürgens – The German Consul
Julian Glover – Gapon
John Shrapnel – Petya
Diana Quick – Sonya
John Forbes-Robertson – Colonel Volkov
Alan Dalton – Flautist
David Baxter – Young Bolshevik
Penny Sugg – Young Opera Singer
Robin Askwith – Russian Soldier (uncredited)
Bernabe Barta Barri – (uncredited)
Frank Braña – (uncredited)
Jeremy Brett – (uncredited)
Don Jaime de Mora y Aragon – (uncredited)

Review by Theo Robertson

Fair Epic But Let Down By A Lack Of Narrative Drive,
I’m still trying to decide if NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRIA is a good film or a bad film . Truth be told it’s a bit of both . Unfortunately I’m going to have a problem deciding if the bad overwhelms the good or vice versa .

This is epic film making by Sam Spiegal , but is far from being the best movie he’s produced . I had a problem with the script for BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI and I’ve got a problem with the one here . I know it’s an epic film but overlong doesn’t equal epic . For instance one of the characters suffers from haemophillia and this is mentioned in one point in the movie , but then it’s mentioned 15 minutes later , then 15 after that , then again after another 22 minutes . Just mentioning the condition once would have been quite enough . We also see characters like Lenin , Stalin , Kerensky popping into the narrative and then disappearing without little rhyme or reason . It does become obvious by the end that their inclusion probably wasn’t necessary and gives a feeling that when they do appear they are under written anyway . Rasputin especially suffers from this type of scripting and the whole movie would have worked much better if it solely concentrated on his relationship with the Tsar’s wife instead of giving us a history lesson on the last two decades of Russian imperial history.

If truth be told it’s not very good history either.

There are good aspects to the movie , and the cast are probably the best one . Perhaps Spiegel wanted so many characters included because he wanted to cast the cream of British talent . We’ve got Olivier and Redgrave both knights of the British stage alongside Julian Glover , Harry Andrews and Jack Hawkins . What a cast and as you’d expect they give very good performances . But let’s not forget the two best performances belong to two unknown actors called Michael Jayston and Tom Baker. It must have taken some courage casting these two actors in such prominent roles Jayston still occasionally appears in TV roles while Baker found world wide fame as DOCTOR WHO . And let’s not forget that a few other unknown actors like Brian Cox and Ian Holm appear in cameos .

A good film for those wanting a three hour epic or seeing a host of big name actors when they weren’t house hold names in their own household , but not really a film for serious students of Russian history

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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