Author Topic: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)  (Read 187243 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sarai

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 999
    • View Profile
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
« on: May 08, 2004, 02:53:48 PM »
Quote
Now here is a question...did Alexei try to kill himself when he went down the stairs in Tobolsk on a sled> its total speculation, but Ive never read much on the event.In the movie, which I hesitate to use as a reference, he very deliberately closes a door at the foot of the steps, solemnly climbs the steps, then sleds down the stairs into the heavy door. Would a hemophiliac, even a kid, deliberately sled into a closed door> Ive read references to the event, mostly about how pissed off Nicholas was. For the rest of his short life, Alexei had to be carried around again (like after Spala in 1913). Any opinions on what happened, or does anyone have other info. I could chalk it up to youthful stupidity if he hadnt shut that door. I know the soldiers destroyed an ice mound the kids used outside. Was his stair adventure in response to this act of meaness or did it occur at another time>

I think this behavior was a mixture of playful mischief and an effort to relieve his boredom coupled with just seeing how far he could take things. I don't think he was suicidal, though. He was just a bored and reckless kid. Perhaps he thought nothing too bad would happen, even though he should have known better, or perhaps he did know but wanted to risk it anyway.

Peter Kurth's book Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas & Alexandra briefly mentions this episode on pg. 180. It states: "As he grew older the boy appears to have more and more often tempted fate and even to have deliberately brought on attacks. It was 'as if he did it on purpose,' said the tsar."
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 10:03:59 AM by Alixz »

Offline ptitchka

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
  • Oblazhayu Tsesaryevicha Aleksiya!
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2004, 07:30:48 PM »
I think Alexei was just incredibly bored and simply wanted to go for a slide like he had in the snow, with a disastrous result.  He was certainly demonstrating what has been called the 'daredevil' reaction in hemophiliacs, a wordless way to say  'Why can't I be like other boys?'

The 1971 film does the character of the Tsarevich a great disservice.  No one could have enjoyed life 'when it let him' more than he, because he took not even the smallest joy for granted.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 10:08:53 AM by Sarushka »

Offline Suzanne

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 294
    • View Profile
    • Carolyn Harris Royal Historian
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2004, 08:08:13 PM »
Although the 1971 film has many strengths, I believe it is a disservice to the characters of all the Tsar's children. Pierre Gilliard notes in his memoirs that when he told Alexei of the Tsar's abdication, the boy did not make reference to his own rights but just seemed confused asking "Who would be Tsar". Therefore, the scene in the movie where he reproaches his father for abdicating on his behalf does not ring true.

The characters of Olga, Maria and Anastasia recieve little attention throughout the film and Tatiana is misrepresented, especially in the scene near the end of the film where she exposes herslef to one of the guards.

The film also fails to show any sort of relationship between OTMA and their parents - if often appears as though they are being raised by the French tutor!

A three hour movie can't show everything but I think it would have helped the film if the characterisations of the children had been more accurate and the loving relationship between Nicholas and Alexandra and their daughters had been portrayed.

Offline BobAtchison

  • Moderator
  • Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 896
    • View Profile
    • The Alexander Palace
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2004, 08:11:20 PM »
Even the Romanov family didn't like it and walked out on it.

Bob

Offline Glebb

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Dobro Pozhalovat!
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2004, 08:50:56 PM »
I'm pretty sure it was Marie who exposed herself to the guard which ties into that theory about her having a relationship with a guard.

It is very difficult to get it all right in a three hour movie.  One thing that bothers me is that there is no Anna Vyrubova, not even a friend for the Empress.

Bob would you mind explaining a bit more about why the Romanovs did not like the film?    
The extravagances of Kings were beyond compare. They spent our money without counting.  But when they constructed such marvels, were they not putting our money aside for us?   - French saying  -- From Suzanne Massie's PAVLOVSK

Offline JM

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 406
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2004, 08:52:51 PM »
I don't think any of the girls "exposed" themselves to a guard. I haven't seen the movie but that sounds really stupid.

Offline Glebb

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Dobro Pozhalovat!
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2004, 09:04:14 PM »
In the film NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, when the family are imprisoned in Ekaterinburg a guard looks in the room of the daughters of the Tsar.  Marie who is in a dressing gown asks him if he would like to see her.  She opens her gown and exposes herself to him.  He stares for a few seconds never uttering a word. After he leaves Marie cries in Olga's arms saying that she has often been told she is pretty and she wishes she had invited him in.

I think the scene is trying to show us that the four Grand Duchesses have never, nor will they ever lead a normal life.
The extravagances of Kings were beyond compare. They spent our money without counting.  But when they constructed such marvels, were they not putting our money aside for us?   - French saying  -- From Suzanne Massie's PAVLOVSK

Offline JM

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 406
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2004, 09:09:18 PM »
I think that this scene says alot. Even if it isn't true. It speaks of the vulnerability of the girls. Both emotionally and because of the situation they are in. I suppose that the "exposing" isn't necessarily physical.

Well, I think I should watch the movie.

Offline Lanie

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1533
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2004, 10:15:42 PM »
It was "Tatiana" (played by Lynne Frederick) who exposed herself to one of the guards, not Maria. I forget who the actress who played Maria was ...  I agree the movie is horrible.  Tatiana says something like, "I'm 21, I'm so pretty, everyone says I'm so pretty, and no man has ever seen me!"  Idiotic, I say!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Lanie »

Offline jackie3

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • "...such pig and filth!" - GD Anastasia N.
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2004, 10:48:57 PM »
Quote
In the film NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, when the family are imprisoned in Ekaterinburg a guard looks in the room of the daughters of the Tsar.  Marie who is in a dressing gown asks him if he would like to see her.  She opens her gown and exposes herself to him.  He stares for a few seconds never uttering a word. After he leaves Marie cries in Olga's arms saying that she has often been told she is pretty and she wishes she had invited him in.

I think the scene is trying to show us that the four Grand Duchesses have never, nor will they ever lead a normal life.


I don't know, I find it distasteful and a discredit to the girls and the virtues they were raised in and believed in to the end. It's not as if the film ever really showed them as human beings to begin with.

Perhaps this belong in the movie section (I only bring it up since the film was brung up on this thread) but I've watched N&A about twice now (the second time only to see if it was just as bad as I thought). The only reason I saw it was because it Massie's book of the same name that got me hooked on the Romanovs and the movie was supposedly based on the book...and yet after watching it I find it hard to believe. As I'm sure many of the folks this forum are aware, Massie is VERY sympathetic to the Romanovs and takes pains to try to make all of them (even the children) three-dimensional characters. BUT, the filmmakers apparently were not sympathetic to the Romanovs, Alexandra has none of the kindness to the few friends she had shown on screen, Alexis was a spoiled brat or in pain (none of the intelligence Gilliard mentioned or the empathy he showed to the less fortunate that was derived from his own sufferings), the girls were just cardboard figures with no distinguishing between them (and they had hardly any lines), the actresses playing them all seemed to look alike and seem to be the same age which was a far cry from the book the movie was supposedly based on in which Mr. Massie tried to distinguish OTMA as individuals as much as he could. The film really seemed to hate Nicholas as well with the movie stopping cold no less than three times for Count Witte, Kerensky and even the Bolshevik taking the Romanovs to be executed lecturing Nicholas on how bad a ruler he was and how it was all his fault. Not only does this break the film's pacing (a cardinal sin in the film classes I've attended) but was historically inaccurate.Kerensky in his memoirs mentions how he treated the Romanovs and the deposed Nicholas with nothing but respect and saw (paraphrasing) that they were just a "scared family". The Ural Soviet was also portrayed laughingly as well. Here we have the most hardened cold-blooded radical revolutionaries who took it upon themselves (depending on who you read - some also give the credit to Lenin & Co.) to wipe out as many Romanovs as they could find including Ella and her company and GD Michael and in the film they were represented by a Commisar who was a buffoon and looked like Ernie Kovaks and a VERY old man (who doesn't seem that dangerous and "kindly" lets the Romanovs read letters from family the night of the murders) playing the not-so-old, not-so-kind real-life Yakov Yurovsky who was the leader of the gang of killers. By the 1970s when the film was made much of the truth about Yurovsky and the Ural Soviet at least was known - it was even in Massie's book. There was no reason for the change other than the filmmakers didn't want the murders to seem as bad as they were. I'm so sorry about the rant but it seems to me that the filmmakers of N&A totally had an agenda that had nothing to do with the book the movie was supposedly based on and whose popularity helped sell the film.

I'm not surprised Romanov family members walked out. I would be interested to know (Bob, maybe you know?) what Robert Massie's feelings on the film were.

Janet Whitcomb

  • Guest
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2004, 10:52:50 PM »
I enjoyed the film very much--it was my introduction to the story--and I purchased the DVD last fall.

As I've continued to read more and more, I have found "dramatic alterations" shall we say  ::)  which initially surprised or shocked me.

The scene with Tatiana? Well, it was generally not in the theatrical cut. I did see it on a televised cut once, and it's in the DVD. The screenwriters were trying to "fill in the blanks," in my opinion. (And I concur with JM.) However, at the time I thought, "If any of the girls did that, Tatiana would have been the one least likely!" (If someone had told me the scene absolutely possitively needed to go in, and I was to select the daughter who would be in the scene, I would have selected Marie . . . but I also would have fought the scene!)

The scene re: Alexei reproaching his father . . . well, it too did not make it into the general theatrical cut. Also, that scene is placed not at the beginning of their imprisonment, but later on, in Toblosk or Ekaterinberg. (At the moment I can't remember which one.) It is probably supposition on the part of the screenwriters. I am on the fence about its validity, but it does show Nicholas demonstrating an understanding of the situation, and we do know that Nicholas reflected on all that had happened and made some assessments about what he had done right and what he had done wrong.

Finally, although the girls are not shown too terribly much, it is important to remember that the film is the story of its title characters--a love story--as well as an attempt to illustrate just why and how the revolution occurred. (In some ways, just being given minimal knowledge of OTMA from the film encouraged me to read, and read more!)

I admit to being sentimental about the film, while at the same time I always tell friends that it is a dramatization and that certain scenes and aspects are not quite in alignment with the accounts that I have read. Anyway, despite some valid points made here against the film, I am grateful to those who were involved with the project--flaws and all!   :D

I'd say more, but I'm entering this from a library computer, and closing time is nigh!!  :o

Offline DeAnochka

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 109
  • "Simply the thing I am shall make me live"
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2004, 11:37:10 PM »
I saw the film once, and I couldn't help but laugh at certain scenes. I actually don't remember the scene where Tatiana "exposes" herself. That is such a disgrace. The scene that sticks out the most in my mind though is the murder of Rasputin. What was up with that?! It was totally inaccurate.  >:(

Offline Annie

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4757
    • View Profile
    • Anna Anderson Exposed!
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2004, 08:46:28 PM »
I think mine is the one where they go into Alexei's room after he's been so sick and expected to die, and he looks up and says "hello mother." That part is very awesome. Then, you have Rasputin traveling drunk by horse across Russia. "and a good day to you, too, madam!" he yells from the back of the haywagon. I can't help but laugh every time.

Offline ptitchka

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
  • Oblazhayu Tsesaryevicha Aleksiya!
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2004, 08:55:19 PM »
Mine is when Alix kisses her son goodnight once he's been calmed down after his bad dream of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.  This scene is NOT on the VHS tape but on the DVD with the restored scenes.

Offline Annie

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4757
    • View Profile
    • Anna Anderson Exposed!
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2004, 08:57:49 PM »
I've never seen that! What other scenes are on the DVD that weren't in the movie?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »