Author Topic: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)  (Read 187405 times)

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Offline jackie3

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2004, 01:45:08 AM »
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That was Rasputin with Alan Rickman, and Greta Sacchi.

Louise



Considering it was a movie about Rasputin (played by Alan Rickman which is reason enough to watch it) I actually think that was a better portrayal of N&A (and Alexis as well) than the Nicholas and Alexandra movie was. The love of the family for each other, their weaknesses and their faith to the end came through very well.

Offline JM

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2004, 10:55:14 AM »
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Personaly it was kinda long,and okay.     I enjoyed a movie on cable a lot more about 4 years ago.  Do not rember the title but it started with the grave being found.   You hear Alexis saying  " THis is the bones of my family"   And it covers the last years of the Russian
Royal Family and Rasputin.   It was really good.


After seeing Nicholas and Alexandra I am willing to concede that Rasputin is actually superior.

It takes alot for me to admit that.


Offline chris

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2004, 03:43:26 PM »
The HBO Rasputin movie is out of production and kind of hard to get.  I saw one on eBay the other day, and it went up to $90.  Imagine that!  Most of the ones at auction are in the PAL version, that won't work in the US.
chris

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2004, 04:47:46 PM »
Well, "seek & ye shall recieve"- sort of.
I checked Amazon.uk and they have the DVD [issued 2000] listed for preorder ! So, I preordered it !.
Cheers,
Robert
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Offline anna

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2004, 05:23:35 PM »
Hi Genevieve,

Both films-Nicholas and Alexandra-  Rasputin are available on dvd. Take a look on Amazon or eBay.
My two cents: The one with Alan Rickman is focused on Rasputin of course, he did an excellent job. Ian Mckellen and Greta Scacchi, fine actors but not in this film. Their portrayals of Nicholas and Alix are far to shallow. Alix is running around whining with big scary eyes and the only thing Nicky says is "I love you or do you remember those days...". Also Greta looks a bit too young and Ian too old and the girls are wallpaper too. I think they could have made much more of this film, put it all in 100 min.
As I said before in other threads I did like the N&A movie
maybe not always correct the same as Rasputin and yes the girls are wallpaper, but good acting , beautiful costumes and music.
The perfect film shall never be made I think, there will be always different opinions and criticism.

Anna
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Offline Greg_King

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2004, 04:32:04 AM »
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Hi Greg--

When you have the chance, we'd enjoy hearing about what our DVD editions are missing! Thanks--

Janet


Well, it may be a while-what with finishing up the new book on Nicholas and Alexandra's court.  The problem is-I have the tape of the TV version, and the VHS release, but not the DVD, which I have only watched once while at Penny's, so I can't actually compare scene by scene-I just recall certain things missing.  Since I know (literally-I kid you not) the script by heart, I recognized therefore what was missing, and can do so with the VHS rather easily, but will have the get the DVD in order to make a proper comparison.

By the way, Genevieve-yes, they did issue a soundtrack album-I spent a few years trying to find my copy as apparently not very many of them were released.  But the orchestration and score are beautiful, and in 1996 I had the good fortune of staying with friends of the composer, Richard Rodney Bennet, while living in London, and spent a few hours over dinner one night discussing how he had scored the film.  All of his work tends to be very memorable-my favorite score of his being for the 1974 film "Murder on the Orient Express."

Greg King

Offline Silja

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2004, 04:45:50 PM »
Hi!

I really agree with Robert_Hall and anna.

I think N&A is a fine film for its acting but certainly the characterizations leave something to be desired.
However, "Yurovsky" is by no means portrayed as a kind old gent. He's shown as the smiling yet cold blooded murderer.
Everybody (?) seems to like the costumes in this film. I actually don't like them that much. Although Alix's favourite colour was mauve she more often wore black and white. Moreover, many of those costumes, as well as the hair styles, look somewhat 1970s rather than fin de siècle. Ventsenosnaya Semya is the much better film as far as costume design is concerned. Or compared with the Merchant Ivory productions, the costumes of N&A look poorly.

Rasputin with Alan Rickman is a rather good portrayal of Rasputin, but Greta Scacchi is a pathetic Alexandra. Couldn't agree more with anna here.
Especially her line at the end of the film, at Ekaterinburg, "I made so many mistakes" is totally unlike the real empress. So Rasputin is in many ways as flawed in characterization as N&A.

Offline Kim

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2004, 10:46:33 AM »
Even though it has its flaws it is still so far the best non documentary ever done on the IF. Come on, Rasputin and the Empress? Rasputin the Mad Monk? The Anastasia cartoons? Please!

Offline Alexa

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2004, 02:42:52 PM »
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and Back to the Future is a better movie too, if all you're looking for is entertainment value. I believe when something is based on a true story it should not be fictionalized like Anastasia and Pochahontas were. It's also bad for little kids who are misled into not knowing the true story because they believe the cartoon.

In an example of this, a few years ago I was a teacher assistant and helped grade papers. I actually saw kids filling in the test questions with answers about the Jamestown story based on the cartoon and not the truth!


Sadly, I think this is indicative to adults as well.  In addition to being a Romanov enthusiast, I'm also highly intersted in the Titantic.  To this day, the only good thing about the Leo and Kate movie, other than the sets and costumes (imo) was the sinking scene.  I cringed at all the inaccuracies.  But I have friends who saw the movie and insisted that the whole thing was true and accurate.  I would argue with these college educated people on how they were wrong, citing books and newspapers, and the answer I aways got was "But it was in the movie."  Ugh!

As for the movie Nicholas and Alexandra, I saw it years ago when it was on TV.  I remember not being overly impressed with it; definitly not as captivating as the book.  I always thought it was me, that maybe I was too young for it (even though I loved the book).  Glad to hear I'm not the only one who wasn't thrilled with it.

Alexa

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2004, 02:43:57 PM »
Well, okay. Here I go again . . . defending the 1971 film, tho' I (along with many others) have done so at various other locations on this site. In terms of a great, lasting cinema experience, i.e. Citizen Kane? No. In terms of epic sweep? Yes. Not as cohesive, say, as Lawrence of Arabia--three plot lines alternate, and for many people (including some critics) these three plot lines are disconcerting--but overall I think of it as a film that is intriguing and sumptuous and haunting enough to have brought many of us to Robert Massie's book, encouraged us to take classes in Russian history, and eventually led us to this website.

As for the animated cartoon, Anastasia? It starts out promisingly enough, and in some ways dovetails with the 1956 Anastasia. But eventually--for my tastes--it becomes just one more showcase for a crazy uber-villain, i.e. you-know-who.  Much of the artwork is beautifully executed, the voice characterizations are generally well-acted, and I really wouldn't have too many problems with a child seeing the cartoon, as long as he or she is told that most of it is fantasy, in particular the nightmarish conception of Rasputin.

Vigilant parents who prescreen whatever their children eventually see are at least part of the answer. I remember reading that Jacqueline Kennedy made a point out of seeing Anne of the Thousand Days first, before bringing her pre-teen daughter Caroline. Thereafter my respect for her increased one-hundred fold.  

As for the 1971 film, I find many more merits than demerits.  The HBO film re: Rasputin? Well-produced and intriguing, although I prefer Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman as Nicholas and Alexandra since they are closer to what we see in the sepia photos in terms of physicality and age. (Yes, I do appreciate attempts at authenticity!) And I also must disagree with a few of the previous posters re: specific characterizatons. I felt that the character of Alexandra was well-written and mirrored very much what we learned about her in Massie's book and other books . . . and Yurovsky, though certainly older in the film compared to the real-life person, is written to show the perfidy, confusion, and ultimately hard-line attitude of those who were in charge.

Finally, I think we all need to remember that these are d-r-a-m-a-t-i-z-a-t-i-o-n-s, i.e., representations. I, too, feel that facts should be adhered to as much as possible. But just as there is a difference between fiction and nonfiction, so there is in comparing a stage play or film to a documentary. After reading Massie's book, then most of the books he lists in his bibliography, then as many additional books as possible published on the subject, I think the many people behind the 1971 film came very, very close to replicating the tone, mood, and dramatic sweep of the times.

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2004, 03:03:10 PM »
Alexa, although we do not share opinions on Nicholas and Alexandra, as someone who has been fascinated with the story of the Titanic I felt, as you did, that the recent film fell short of expectations. Certainly the art design and special effects were terrific, but I found the script to be frequently ludicrous and filled with anachronisms. The actors did the best with what they had been given, but I've seen both Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCapprio give better performances in other movies, and I understand that during the filming both made objections to director James Cameron about the script. Overall I'd say Cameron was embarked on a vanity project that turned out to be long on overinflated spectacle and extremely short on subtlety. A far more accurate film in terms of representing the 1912 culture would be the 1950s movie, A Night to Remember. Technically it is not as splendid, but it does stay away from fictionalized teen romance! Another 1950s film, Titanic, does feature fictional characters, but they are portrayed with greater dignity. Not to take away from Kate and Leonardo, but their characters--as scripted--were more like a couple of teenage mall rats.


Offline Alexa

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2004, 03:08:48 PM »
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Alexa, although we do not share opinions on Nicholas and Alexandra, as someone who has been fascinated with the story of the Titanic I felt, as you did, that the recent film fell short of expectations. Certainly the art design and special effects were terrific, but I found the script to be frequently ludicrous and filled with anachronisms. The actors did the best with what they had been given, but I've seen both Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCapprio give better performances in other movies, and I understand that during the filming both made objections to director James Cameron about the script. Overall I'd say Cameron was embarked on a vanity project that turned out to be long on overinflated spectacle and extremely short on subtlety. A far more accurate film in terms of representing the 1912 culture would be the 1950s movie, A Night to Remember. Technically it is not as splendid, but it does stay away from fictionalized teen romance! Another 1950s film, Titanic, does feature fictional characters, but they are portrayed with greater dignity. Not to take away from Kate and Leonardo, but their characters--as scripted--were more like a couple of teenage mall rats.

 


I agree with you completly about A Night to Remember.  It was my first Titanic book, given to me by my father (and a first edition to boot).  It's the first time a movie (imo) matched up to my expectations based on the book.  Walter Lord actually lived a few blocks away from me and I used to hope to bump into him to tell him what a wonderful job he did with his book.

As for N&A, I think I should give it another shot.  Like I said, I saw it many years ago.  Sometimes opnions can change with age.

Alexa

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2004, 03:39:29 PM »
Janet, I share your views entirely on N&A. It IS a film, for goodness sakes. To copmre it to such cartoon fare as Anastasia & Back to the Future is silly, they are entirely different film genres.
Also, most of the comments here come from seeing the film on tv, by video.
I saw the film in Beverly Hills, first run. OK, that made a big difference at least to me. It does not come accross very well on a small screen format.  I was a lot younger, and went to see it 4-5 times.
On a large screen or better- full movie screen, I think it still holds up as a classy, historically flawed but acceptable film portrayal of a complex subject.
Just like anything to do with the Romanovs,  no one is going to be totally satisfied, objectivity just does not fit well with the subject matter it seems.
Cheers,
Robert
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Offline AnBhanfhaidh

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2004, 05:36:39 PM »
Well, I first saw the film on TV, I guess when it was first released to that medium and I had always had nostalgic thoughts about it. I was way younger then and way less informed about the Romanovs.

When I saw the film was available on DVD I bought it and could NOT believe I had EVER liked this movie. To begin with, the Director clearly had an agenda - one that I take personal umbrage at, as a woman (always blame the woman- gees, aren't we past that yet). The advertising blurb for the movie was "The tragic true story of a man who lost an empire because he couldn't say no to his wife." Oh, please! I am no fan of Alexandra's, but I think that is just a smidge too oversimplifying.

The ONLY thing I liked about the movie was how closely the two leads resembled the people they were portraying. Oh, yeah, and the costumes, yadda yadda.

I agree with all the people who noted the many MANY times N II was told what a fool he was. See agenda.

I am surprised at how many times (this thread and another on the film) people have complained about Yurovsky being portrayed as a kindly old man. I thought he came off as uber-creepy: "How does it feel to be sick all the time. That must be awful" said with a sickly sweet tone and a sneer. Ugh!

Just my 2 cents worth.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 09:09:42 AM by Alixz »
CMTH  (Tanya)

Offline anna

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2004, 06:43:47 PM »
Yes Robert, I agree with you. It's a film for goodness sakes!!! An interpretation as good as possible. Watching on full movie screen is overwhelming, sounds, colors, especialy the great scenes, the ball and others with crowds. But also the final scene causes anxiety, on tv I could barely watch it.

If anyone can name a film (based on a historical event) with good performances, look-alike actors, exact sets and costumes, filmed on the right locations and the script near the book. I think most of us stay silent.

Anna
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.