Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Films and TV shows about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: ptitchka on July 14, 2004, 10:33:03 PM

Title: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: ptitchka on July 14, 2004, 10:33:03 PM
What would you change and how?

Here's my answer-- and I would love to hear from lots of people here.  A script rewrite would be first priority, especially concerning the scenes people objected to most.

For example:  Alexei's sledding down the stairs really did happen, as we all know.  What is wrong with portraying him as a bored boy?  And what would be wrong with the boy in pain saying just what he said to his mother during the worst:  'Mama, I would like to die.  I am not afraid of death, but I am so afraid of what might happen to us here!' and leaving it at that?   And for the crying out loud, that 'I could have been a Romanov' speech is totally out of character.  Totally.

Omit the 'indecent exposure' scene as totally unnecessary, make the Tsar and the Empress act more Orthodox, give their children better lines - period.

Any more ideas?  
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Olga on July 15, 2004, 04:49:40 AM
Actually including OTMA Nikolaevna would help. But I thought Tom Baker did a good job as Rasputin.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2004, 08:56:25 AM
This is something I have dreamed of doing since I was 12 years old! First, it would have to be longer. A LOT longer, like a miniseries. Even only another half hour or so would help.

I would start the story not in 1904 but in 1884 when they first met. I would include details of both their family lives and characters, like Ella, Ernie, both Sergeis, Sandro, Mathilde K, Xenia, and others who were not mentioned in the movie. I think Ella is especialy important to the storyline,and Anna Vrybova! I would love to have stories of the lives of Rasputin and the Yussoupovs all along, telling background on them and keeping up with their 'adventures' all along. Rasputin's life is very interesting, and there is a lot from Lost Splendor that tells the story of Imperial Russia that I would want to include too. I would have more on OTMA, age them correctly, and develop their characters as people! I would want to show the closeness and lovingness of the family, and not have the scenes where N and A said cruel things to each other, because I don't believe that happened. The one thing the movie did right was to have just the right amount of scenes on the revolutionaries. I probably would not change that much. I would make sure things followed chronological order, like Stolypin being shot before the tercentenary! I would end the story with Joy being taken to England, and the guy taking the dog says, 'how would you like to come to England with me, and be a country squire?' A bittersweet irony, since that is what Nicholas wanted to do.

That would be a great ending but I also would like to add some kind of epilogue as to what became of everyone. The HMS Marborough pulling out of the Crimea in 1919 with the Dowager Empress, the Yussoupovs, Nikolasha and more is also a very moving story. The time they all spent in the Crimea, not knowing if they would live or die, as described in the last chapters of Lost Splendor is a suspensful and entertaining true story as well. I'd like to include that if possible.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: jackie3 on July 15, 2004, 09:12:12 AM
Quote
Actually including OTMA Nikolaevna would help.


I agree with this. It seemed like the filmmakers hired 4 actresses (who all looked alike unlike the real OTMA) just because they had to have them die in Ekaterinburg from a historical basis. In the film they were just wallpaper/mannequins without personalities.

I would also show the Communists/Bolsheviks for what the were - Yurovsky was NOT a kindly old gent who was "compassionate" as the film made him out to be (which was horrible since even then in the 1970s they know what Yurovsky was like even from the Massie book the movie was supposedly based on and missplayed him purposely none the less) and in MY version of N&A the leaders of the Ural Soviet would be shown as the hard-bitten cold-blooded thugs they were instead of the bumbling Ernice Kovac-ish bureaucrat they showed in the movie. People have no problem portraying Nazis as evil as they were but to this day Soviet Communism has never been seen on film as bloody as it really was. The murder of the IF was just the beginning to the coming Red Terror that lasted almost a century. I would also simply tell N&A's story straighfowardly and let the viewer make their own mind on them without the screenwriter's/director's telling what to think - in N&A they stopped the film cold not once, not twice, but THREE times to have people (one of whom was the Commisar sending them to Ekaterinburg and death!) tell Nicholas what a bad czar he was. That was unncessary. People can see that for themselves (or just pick up a history book).  I got the idea that the people who made N&A didn't really like Nicholas all that much (and didn't bother to hide that fact) despite the fact the book that the movie was supposedly (and I use that word loosely) based on was VERY sympathetic to Nicholas and Alexandra.

I don't think a film could do it actually.
To really explore N&A's lives from the time they met when she was 12 and he was 16 to their end together in the "House of Special Purpose" it would take an old style 6-8 hour TV mini-series. I would not make it some attempt at a quasi-epic that N&A tried to be, but a character study on one family - one that would have been better suited for a bourgeouise middle-class life but instead ruled 1/6 of the globe and were in over the heads. More than anything else it is the character of that family that has made their story inspiring not the trapping of royalty and luxurious lifestyle they lived in. As it is I think the old BBC series "Fall of Eagles" (where the Romanovs were only 1/3 of the story) and the Alan Rickman/Greta Scacchi/Ian McKellen film "Rasputin" were much better interpretations of the IF than N&A.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2004, 09:21:05 AM
Quote


I would also show the Communists/Bolsheviks for what the were - Yurovsky was NOT a kindly old gent who was "compassionate" as the film made him out to be (which was horrible since even then in the 1970s they know what Yurovsky was like even from the Massie book the movie was supposedly based on and missplayed him purposely none the less) and in MY version of N&A the leaders of the Ural Soviet would be shown as the hard-bitten cold-blooded thugs they were instead of the bumbling Ernice Kovac-ish bureaucrat they showed in the movie. People have no problem portraying Nazis as evil as they were but to this day Soviet Communism has never been seen on film as bloody as it really was.


Yes that bothers me too. Communists are never shown in films as evil as they were, why? Even in that cartoon Anastasia, they failed to mention them at all and put the blame for everthing on 'evil' Rasputin! I know it was just a cartoon, but it bothers me some kids might actually never know the truth because of that distorted view.

Quote
As it is I think the old BBC series "Fall of Eagles" (where the Romanovs were only 1/3 of the story)


While I enjoyed the Hapsburg and Hohenzollern parts of Fall of Eagles, I did not like the way the Romanovs were portrayed. They made Alexandra seem very dim and uncaring, and depictions of them were generally inaccurate and made them seem very unlikeable. I was very disappointed in it.



Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: rskkiya on July 15, 2004, 10:28:47 AM
Annie....

Well not all communists are evil and not all Tsarists are good...I would want to try to get all the history strait...lets include some pogroms and bands of  roving reactionary Black Hundreds while we're at it.

Anyway I have no idea about actors... but ideally it would be quite long  (several hours of actual history please  ;D) and a bit less rosey than the 1971 version.

None of the daughters seemed at all developed as characters... I would like to work on that! Maybe contrast their lives with young  poor workers ...
Aha! The Anna Anderson connection!Paralel the  two sets ...wealthy but trapped Drandduchesses and munitions workers who secretly dream of balls and gowns!

Who's got a pen! ;)

R.

Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2004, 10:51:26 AM
Well the ones who killed the family were evil :-[

We all have some good ideas here but how long and expensive could this be? Maybe we need 2 movies, one on Nicholas and Alexandra and those closest in their lives, and another one based on history itself?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: jackie3 on July 15, 2004, 11:01:16 AM
Quote

Well not all communists are evil and not all Tsarists are good...I would want to try to get all the history strait...lets include some pogroms and bands of  roving reactionary Black Hundreds while we're at it.


rskkiya, while I certainly don't want to start a political argument here I think a case can certainly be made that many filmmakers for some reason (be it ideological or commercial) have not through the years portrayed communism at its bloody worst and at its worst there was nothing that killed more (read "The Black Book of Communism" for statistics country by country) .

Take the movie at hand for instance (N&A) - they had no problem showing a tsarist system in dissarray with Cossacks wipping people and the events of Bloody Sunday with the march on the Winter Palace but when it came time to show the Ural Soviets (who were more radical than even the Moscow leadership) they showed them as compassionate and old (Yurovsky) or bumbling and comedic (the commisar/apparatchik) - the final bloody slaughter of the IF, one of the most horrifying things I've ever read let alone contemplated thinking about visually was never even shown - the screen went red and then just faded out. If I was re-making N&A, I would not gloss over the failures of Nicholas and the Tsarist regime but I would also try to show the gang of murderers who cold-bloodly and methodically planned and executed the death the IF (and Michael and Ella and Prince Paley and KR's sons and GD Andrei and most of the IF's retainers like Nagorny and Countess Hendrikova and Mlle.Schneider and everything/everyone Romanov they could get their hands on) as the killers they were. The deaths of the IF, what was done to their bodies and the manner in which the Soviet Govt. tried to cover it up for 70 years are important parts of their story that I certainly would want told in any film as well.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2004, 11:13:25 AM
I agree Jackie. All very sad but true :'(
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: rskkiya on July 15, 2004, 12:16:50 PM
Annie & Jackie

Well I will admit that the movie I might want would certainly not be a very commercial one...I love very long dry documentaries...
Jackie, you were correct about the Cossacks...I just get very uncomfortable with anyone who says All "Blank" are bad... I have a lot of Communist and Socialist friends ...actually they are very charming people...
I will agree to end the politics here! :)

Alan Rickman or Gary Oldman - Rasputin

young Alexandra...  maybe Charlise Theron?
Older  Alex - Glenn Close

Natalie Portman/ Jennifer Elhe/Claire Daines...Tatiana /Olga/Maria/

Nicholas ... Ralph Feinnes



If you don't want Oldman as Rasputin than let him be a revolutionary!!!

I've gone blank...


.R.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2004, 12:43:08 PM
It has always bothered me when people say, ---- are not all bad, but because of that, it seems the ones who ARE bad always get excused and that is not right :(  Some were very very bad, and they deserve to be called what they were. Think of all the innocents who died in terrible ways.

How about Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as N and A? ;)

Daniel Radcliffe would make an excellent Felix when he's older, or he could play young Felix now!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Janet_Ashton on July 15, 2004, 12:47:41 PM
Quote

I would also show the Communists/Bolsheviks for what the were - Yurovsky was NOT a kindly old gent who was "compassionate" as the film made him out to be (which was horrible since even then in the 1970s they know what Yurovsky was like even from the Massie book the movie was supposedly based on and missplayed him purposely none the less) and in MY version of N&A the leaders of the Ural Soviet would be shown as the hard-bitten cold-blooded thugs they were instead of the bumbling Ernice Kovac-ish bureaucrat they showed in the movie. People have no problem portraying Nazis as evil as they were but to this day Soviet Communism has never been seen on film as bloody as it really was. The murder of the IF was just the beginning to the coming Red Terror that lasted almost a century.


There's actually a reasonable amount of recent writing which traces the Red Terror to the activities of Nicholas and his supporters in the aftermath of 1905. See for example Challenging Traditional Views
of Russian History, edited by Stephen Wheatcroft  (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave,
2002), in particular Wheatcroft's own essays on the post-1905 penal system and the mass killings of Nicholas's, Lenin's and Stalin's eras.

On Yurovsky specifically, not only is there no evidence that he was particularly hard-bitten or bloodthirsty, but the book "Nicholas and Alexandra" doesn't portray him that way either: Massie's Yurovsky is more cold and efficient than a bloodthirsty thug, and thus was able to "enquire after Alexei's health" with every appearance of compassion, so I don't think the film was too far astray in that respect at least, though I did wonder at his venerable age too!

Janet
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: anna on July 15, 2004, 12:48:37 PM
Take a look on  the thread "Any Romanov Video/DVD available" beginning march 25/26th. There you will find a
fantasy casting with all possible actor/actress for N&A
as we had nearly the same disussion.

Anna
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2004, 12:57:16 PM
In the movie when the character inquired about Alexei's health, he was not being nice.

Y: "no sun today?"
A: "no:
Y: "ah I suppose you aren't well enough"
"what's it like, being ill?"
A: "what's it like, having gray eyes?"
Y: "it couldn't be nice, being an invalid at YOUR age!"

that part always bothered me, like he was picking on Alexei. I don't know if it's true, but the Nagorny scene that followed was based on a true story.

When I saw a pic of the real Yurovsky I was surprised, he was 40 years old, had dark hair and a moustache and was a big sturdy guy, not like the small, frail, elderly man in the movie.

But no matter what, I don't think there's any way the Bosheviks who killed the family and their servants were not evil, those particular ones had to be. But someone among them had a little bit of conscience, he gave the teenage kitchen boy money to go home the morning before the shootings. That also proves, someone in the house knew it was happening before the last minute.

Back to the movie, I want to make it! If I hit powerball lotto I will finance it myself ;)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: DOMOVOII on July 15, 2004, 02:59:40 PM
Meryl Streep could play my Alix, Hugh Grant could make a passable Nicholas, with coaching. The first pair, didn't seem to "gel" with one another, the bickering blame scene, is totally out of character, and makes them appear divided.

OTMA Liv Tyler, Keira Knightley, Claire Danes, Natalie Portman. Alexei I can't cast--. Joan Collins could play MF, Rasputin, Liam Neeson,

For me the film could play-out better through the reminiscences of MF, this would enable the film to establish it's own sense of period without having to make outright statements " I love it here", "Yes I love it too in Livadia...in the Crimea" which are overdone. This also opens up the opportunity for a epilogue, wherein the exiles from Russia can be shown, surviving and diversifying in a new world, as Russia did, as we all do.
If the funds are available, I can think of a couple of Palaces, integral to the plot, that could do with some pre-recording restoration work, a couple of million should be enough to get the ball rolling!!!


Merchant Ivory would do a smashing job of production. If anyone can put "Edwardians" on film it is them
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: rskkiya on July 15, 2004, 03:34:34 PM
DOMOVOI

Good idea... but I might suggest Wingnuts rather than M/I...the computers generation of thousands of extras and some sets might save money...

I'm still keen on Ralph Feinnes --- more dignified and slightly feminine  --- just like Nicholas.

R.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Janet_Ashton on July 15, 2004, 04:21:09 PM
Quote
But no matter what, I don't think there's any way the Bosheviks who killed the family and their servants were not evil, those particular ones had to be.


Interesting, because I think you posted in another thread that you rather liked Felix Y. ;-) What makes that murderer likeable and these ones evil?
I guess you'll probably say that these ones killed children and Felix didn't - but somehow to me the distinction isn't totally clear....

Janet
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: DOMOVOII on July 15, 2004, 04:30:25 PM
A restoration team might have better use of the money than a CGI team, talented though they are. Peter Jackson's Orc Army I sure cold have funded a large part of a roof, for instance, and that provides your USP, or unique selling point-"Shot on location". Considering the restrictions that would have faced the crew from the 71 film, our production could be filmed in situ.

Oh and another casting came to me, Dame Maggie Smith for GDss Maria Pavlovna, though she'd steal the picture as usual. Ioann Gruffydd's for Felix (see him as Lancelot in the new King Arthur) Ella would have to be Miranda Richardson, beautiful and talented.

One last point, it would be nice to portray N&A rather than major figures of historical import, but with more of a "soap" feel. Humanizing the family in a way the 71 didn't.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: jackie3 on July 15, 2004, 04:56:40 PM
Quote
For me the film could play-out better through the reminiscences of MF, this would enable the film to establish it's own sense of period without having to make outright statements " I love it here", "Yes I love it too in Livadia...in the Crimea" which are overdone.


Interesting. Personally I would have the story begin in flashback, like something out the Princess Bride with a grandfather telling his grandchild a story about "the Czar". A lot of Russian folktales begin like that. Thats how I would open it up as a fairy tale gone wrong.
I would go into the meeting of N&A as children, through their life (concentrating on their family life and the isolation from the world that prevented them from seeing what was going on) and death and beyond death including the Bolsheviks attempts to disfigure/dispose of the body and the Soviet denials it ever took place at all. And then flash foward to the present with the skeletons being dug up and perhaps a cut to a religious procession at the new Cathredral built there in their honor and then to the still presently unrestored Alexander Palace (in contrast to its former glory shown throughout the film) where we see their ghosts (figuratively or literally) still linger in the rooms - Olga reading by a window, Alexis playing with Joy, Tatiana posing in front of a mirror rhe latest fashions, Anastasia in a tree, Maria dreaming off in her own little world, Nicholas posting photos in an album, Alix in the Mauve Room writing letters. An ordinary family back home again (in a way). Then fade to the credits where I would have actual photos of the real IF contrasted with the people who played them.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2004, 05:07:30 PM
Quote

Interesting, because I think you posted in another thread that you rather liked Felix Y. ;-) What makes that murderer likeable and these ones evil?
I guess you'll probably say that these ones killed children and Felix didn't - but somehow to me the distinction isn't totally clear....

Janet


Felix is an enigma, a very strange situation. Here was a guy who could not shoot a rabbit, yet he shot a man? It was totally out of character. He was no murderer, or a cruel person.  It was almost as if he were chosen to play the role in the drama by forces not his own. I think he thought that too. It's one of the biggest contradictions of all. Just like Rasputin himself- was he an angel or a devil? Was there some deeper meaning to it all? We will never know, but the speculation possibilities are endless. But I don't think there is any comparison between Felix and the Bolsheviks who killed many innocent people.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Vive_HIH_Aleksey on July 15, 2004, 05:17:35 PM
I agree with everything everyone has said, and have one thing to add.

I would have a first-class composer write the score, and it would have to be as emotionally compelling as Titanic. But I wouldn't necessarily commision Horner. Goldenthal and Goldsmith and of course the master Williams are all excellent with emotional scores. Goldenthal's Interview With The Vampire is masterful at conveying sorrow and melancholy, Goldsmith's Secret of NIMH is absolutely spectacular in the emotional sense, and Williams of course has tons of emotional scores under his belt. E.T. is his most thrilling, but I think the most emotional would be Schindler's List and The Patriot, but that is an offhand guess.

Of course I wouldn't limit myself to well-known names. I didn't know Howard Shore till I heard Lord of the Rings.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Vive_HIH_Aleksey on July 16, 2004, 12:54:39 AM
hey LOL she was great in Evita HAHA.

LOL Ben Affleck. If he were in the movie it would surely be up for Razzies hahaha.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Janet_Ashton on July 16, 2004, 01:24:18 PM
Quote

Felix is an enigma, a very strange situation. Here was a guy who could not shoot a rabbit, yet he shot a man? It was totally out of character. He was no murderer, or a cruel person.  It was almost as if he were chosen to play the role in the drama by forces not his own.  


"Not a murderer not a cruel person" well describes the particular Bolsheviks we are discussing here too though - that is, the Bolsheviks who shot Nicholas II.

Quote

I think he thought that too. It's one of the biggest contradictions of all. Just like Rasputin himself- was he an angel or a devil? Was there some deeper meaning to it all? We will never know, but the speculation possibilities are endless. But I don't think there is any comparison between Felix and the Bolsheviks who killed many innocent people.


*These* Bolsheviks did not. Like Felix they killed individuals who they conceived as a danger to the future of the country, and it was their situation and upgringing that led them to think that way - just like Felix's.
Rasputin in my opinion was no angel or devil, just a fairly normal person whose biggest tragedy is that no-one looks at him as anything other than an adjunct to Nicholas and Alexandra. Was he bad? Must be, he "deceived" them (according to some). Was he good? Must be; he helped Alexei (according to others). I'd like to see a calm and non-melodramatic look at the man and his life...

Janet
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 16, 2004, 01:59:05 PM
So a sickly young boy and some girls who'd never been away from their parents were a 'threat?' I don't believe the family were the only ones killed by these men. They were with the Reds, they likely killed and pillaged a lot more than we know.

Putting Felix Y. in the same category with those thugs is like saying Lynndie England is as bad as those terrorists who beheaded the guy online. It's no comparison.

Felix was no murderer, and there are even some who believe he was not the one who actually killed him. Those who knew him best knew he was not the killer type, and were shocked. I would post quotes by Ella and Paleogue' from the time, but I want to wait until I have the exact writing so I won't paraphrase incorrectly.

Also I don't think we should be spoiling this fun idea thread with deep political discussion and speculation about intentions. I'm sure there is another part of the board this can be taken to. I've been wanting to start a Felix and Rasputin thread, maybe I'll do it in the Yussupov folder.

For now, back to the movie!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Dashkova on July 16, 2004, 02:46:35 PM
How much do you know about "Reds" and who they were, how is this defined, what were their backgrounds, why were they swept up into the revolutionary tide, and what it meant (or did not) mean to them?

Your post reads like the typical Imperial "enthusiast" -- all fluff, little substance, and not familiar at all with the era in question, outside of the palaces, anyway.

Your descriptions of "Red" behavior and mindset simply isn't accurate, if you are dealing with a large group, not individuals.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 16, 2004, 03:18:52 PM
Oh for God's sake  ::) ::) ::)

I can't believe anyone is even defending them. I really can't. Let's have a discussion about it in the Revolution thread and let the movie thread go back to fun, please. I'm sorry I was ever involved in any of the controversial stuff.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Dashkova on July 16, 2004, 03:27:55 PM
You can't believe it because you obviously don't know any better!

But certainly, return to movie talk, even if it is about a poor adaptation of a very good book. (Even Massie and his family got up and walked out at the premiere)

If you delve into the "controversial" aspects, you can be sure others will respond! ;)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Janet_Ashton on July 16, 2004, 03:32:15 PM
Quote
So a sickly young boy and some girls who'd never been away from their parents were a 'threat?'  !


Their personal vulnerability is immaterial here. To these men, they were a threat; potential monarchist leaders: figureheads for the murderous White Army or for the horrible regime their father personified - and clung to tenaciously. Which unfortunately is excatly what HAS happened; they have become the figureheads of the regime but because of the murder rather than in spite of it.



Quote
Felix was no murderer, and there are even some who believe he was not the one who actually killed him. Those who knew him best knew he was not the killer type, and were shocked. I would post quotes by Ella and Paleogue' from the time, but I want to wait until I have the exact writing so I won't paraphrase incorrectly.  


Ella I believe wrote to him congratulating him on the act of patriotism as she saw it.

Janet
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 16, 2004, 03:34:03 PM
I have been reading everything on the subject I could get my hands on for the last 30 years. I admit I find the Romanovs a lot more interesting and appealing than the revolutionaries so I have not read as much on them, but the two go hand in hand, I've seen many reports and first hand accounts by "reds." Sorry, you kill 5 innocent kids and hack up their bodies, you're a bad, bad person, regardless of political affiliation.

As I said before, this would be better discussed in the "Russian Revolution" forum. I'm not saying I don't want to discuss it, only that I don't think this is the right place and it's dragging down a thread that was supposed to be fun!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Dashkova on July 16, 2004, 03:41:37 PM
You won't ever get the whole picture of Russia, nor even understand the Romanovs and the empire they ruled over if you keep your head in Imperial clouds.  I know this from first-hand experience.

You might want to bear in mind that those of us who also enjoy discussing other aspects of Russian life don't venture to threads like this unless groups or individuals outside the palaces are painted with an exceptionally broad brush.  And I expect I and others would be back whenever this occurs.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: JM on July 16, 2004, 05:49:42 PM
Okay, I'll admit it, I like Felix. I find him interesting and a little amusing.

Okay, he did kill Mr. Raputin. But, in his mind, he was doing it to "save Russia." Is this not unlike soldiers who kill during wartime? Elizabeth Tudor did it to her own cousin and alot of us manage to separate the murderer from "the great."

I like rabbits.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Louise on July 16, 2004, 06:07:06 PM
We did this little scenario a couple of months ago, but it is still fun to wonder who you would cast. I haven't changed my mind in some of my roles.

This is fun, so my choices would be for Alix, Natasha Richardson, or Emma Thompson or Miranda Richardson. I can see Joan Allen as GD Ella. Ralph Fiennes would be a great Sergei.

As the Dowager Empress, I would cast Julia Ormond. She has already played Catherine the Great, and I think she would be lovely as the mature but still young looking Minnie.  

Liam Neeson as Alexander III.

Sean Connery at Count Fredricks

Catherine Zeta Jones as Aunt Michen.

I have to think about OTMAA. I'm not familiar with child actors and actresses other than the kids in Harry Potter.




Louise
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 17, 2004, 05:06:15 PM
Huh? I never questioned his involvement. Of course he was involved. I'm saying he was not the same 'bloodthirsty' heartless person as many of the Bolsheviks were. He couldn't even shoot a rabbit.

I don't know why so many people get mad when some take up for the royal family, or have their 'head in the Imperial clouds.' This is, after all, a message board devoted to the Romanovs, not the Bolsheviks. Yes everything is discussed here, but it is ridiculous to come here and be fed up with how pro Imperial family it is. That's what it's for, people who love them!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: MikeB on July 17, 2004, 05:33:53 PM
I think the film "Rasputin" got the cast just about right.  Alan Rickman is the perfect Rasputin, as is Ian McKellan as the Tsar.  Rest of the cast were fine too, apart for the actress who played Anastasia who was obviously too old for the part.

And the production team were mostly very good, especially the film crew and the costume department, apart from slip up of using nylon petticoats for the GDs.

It's just a pity the script wasn't developed further  :D

Sigh.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Louise on July 17, 2004, 07:43:10 PM
Alan Rickman, and Sir Ian could walk across the stage and recite Mary Had A Little Lamb, and it would be awesome.  IMHO, I don't think anyone can capture Rasputin the way Rickman did. It was brilliant!

Louise
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Merrique on July 18, 2004, 07:58:01 AM
I finally got a chance to watch Nicholas and Alexandra this weekend and I noticed one interesting thing.The actress who played Anastasia kinda looked like Kirsten Dunst.
It was so difficult for me to keep watching this movie because I thought it was absolutely awful.It was all I could do not to snatch the disc out of the dvd player and fling it across the room.If the disc hadn't been borrowed from the library I would have flung it.

Anywho I would start from scratch and totally remake this film.I would start from when Nicky and Alix met,fell in love and proceed from there.I would include all the childrens births and as much as I could about their whole lives together.I would show the murder and the disposal of their bodies,then move to their discovery,identification,then reburial.There is so much I would include in this film that I think it would have to be a miniseries or a 2 or 3 part movie like Lord of the Rings.

As far as casting goes I don't think I would look for well known actors for this.I might use a few "big names" but I would look for people that would suit the proper roles and could bring some depth to them.So many possibilities could be done with this,if only I had the money to make it. ::)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Gypsy on July 18, 2004, 08:29:31 AM
I didn't know it was out on DVD. How can I get one?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Louise on July 18, 2004, 09:16:22 AM
You can get a copy at Amazon.

Good Luck

Louise
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Gypsy on July 18, 2004, 09:37:10 AM
Thank you :)

Does it have any added footage or deleted scenes now that it's on DVD?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: JM on July 18, 2004, 09:55:33 AM
Quote
I think the film "Rasputin" got the cast just about right.  Alan Rickman is the perfect Rasputin, as is Ian McKellan as the Tsar.  Rest of the cast were fine too, apart for the actress who played Anastasia who was obviously too old for the part.

And the production team were mostly very good, especially the film crew and the costume department, apart from slip up of using nylon petticoats for the GDs.

It's just a pity the script wasn't developed further  :D

Sigh.


This is stepping off topic but I have to express what I'm feeling right now!

Rasputin was the worst movie I have ever seen. There wasn't even an attempt to make things realistic. Rasputin telling Alix to beg like a peasant? And what was with Dr. Botkin acting like a secret agent? There were so many stupid scenes and it was all filmed at the Catherine Palace. The man that played Nicholas look like he was off Star Trek. And I hate Star Trek. I hate that stupid movie.

Hate is a strong word.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Gypsy on July 18, 2004, 10:05:54 AM
In Nicholas and Alexandra, there was also a line where Rasputin told Alexandra that Alexei would die if she did not beg for his life like a peasant begging for crust at her door.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Louise on July 18, 2004, 10:45:34 AM
Gosh JM, don't hold back on how you feel. You'll never suffer from an ucler or stress ::)

Have a good day!!

Louise
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Merrique on July 18, 2004, 12:15:50 PM
I think they should just give us the money to do it and let all of us here have a crack at remaking these movies.I'm sure we could do a lot better job then Hollywood. :D ;D ::) :)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Sunny on July 18, 2004, 04:04:59 PM

"those scary bad Weffowooshonaahwies! BOO!" ...is it me, or is this beginning to sound a bit demeaning of the beliefs held by others?  

I'm not invested in the political beliefs of my fellow forum members  :), but I do find what sounds like tones of intellectual superiority off-putting when differing opinions are expressed...and on this subject, there will always be strongly held opinions.

Imo,  :)Michael Jayston, Janet Suzman, Tom Baker, and the music of Richard Rodney Bennett were the saving graces of a movie that could have been so much better.

Warm regards,

Sunny


Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: BattleAngel on July 18, 2004, 04:41:25 PM
How odd that this should come up as I was watching Young Sherlock Holmes with my son last night and I thought...
"That Sophie Ward would make a perfect Alexandra!"

I have no idea what she looks like now but at the time YSH was made she would have been perfect as young Alix.
I only BEG that we don't end up with a bunch of drawn through a knothole, skinny, bleached starlets as OTMA.
I say find some wholesome looking unknowns, some girls who look natural and healthy and sweet.

Oh! I know, did any of you see Peter Pan? The girl who played Wendy...she'd be glorious as Anastasia!

The fashion of the time was NOT for girls who looked precocious and "knowing" (heck, if you DID look that way you pretended NOT to back then) so we'd probably need some non-American actresses, and fatten 'em up to look real. No clavicles like the fins on a '50s Caddy, thank you very much.

For little Alexis I think the only child actor who can really ACT is young what's his name..."I see dead people" that one, you know. (Haley Joel Osment---thanks to my husband for that :D)

You know, Johnny Depp would probably make an interesting Rasputin too. If you overlook the fact that the guy is named for a hair setting lotion he is a really good actor.

I can't think of anyone dreamy-eyed and sweet enough to play Nicholas, but I'm sure there is someone out there.
Gosh I'd like to see this movie!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: ptitchka on July 18, 2004, 04:57:04 PM
To play Alexei, I think the ideal would be someone with a miraculous gift of being wise and empathetic beyond his years and yet come across at the same time as profoundly innocent -- someone we don't know is out there yet.  Do they make children like that any more?

Ralph Fiennes would not be half bad as Nicholas!

Part I of a trilogy:  Nicholas and Alexandra: First Love
Part II:  The Funeral Bride:  1894-1904
Part III:  Faithful Unto Death: 1904-18
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Dasha on July 18, 2004, 07:36:35 PM
Quote
To play Alexei, I think the ideal would be someone with a miraculous gift of being wise and empathetic beyond his years and yet come across at the same time as profoundly innocent -- someone we don't know is out there yet.  Do they make children like that any more?

Ralph Fiennes would not be half bad as Nicholas!

Part I of a trilogy:  Nicholas and Alexandra: First Love
Part II:  The Funeral Bride:  1894-1904
Part III:  Faithful Unto Death: 1904-18


Great thoughts Elizabeth!!!!!!.  I like the trilogy idea.  However, I would keep Ian McKellen as Nicky.  In my opinion, he did a GREAT job in "Rasputin".  

Dasha
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Louise on July 18, 2004, 07:52:03 PM
The movie Nicholas and Alexandra should be viewed in the time period it was filmed. There are some excellent parts in the movie and there are some not so excellent parts. The lavish sets, the music, the actors brought a sense of realism for me. The first time I watched the movie I was about 16 years old and was captivated by it. Watching it again recently, with what is available on the Romanov's brings a different light to the film. That said, I still enjoyed it, flaws and all. As far as I'm concerned Janet Suzman's portrayal of Alix raised the standard to other actresses that attempt to play this role. Ms. Suzman was and is the perfect Alexandra.

Just MPO on this great Sunday.

Louise
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Janet_W. on July 18, 2004, 08:04:43 PM
I completely agree with Louise.

For many of us on this website, Nicholas and Alexandra provided our first compelling glimpse of Romanov history. Yes, there are flaws--dialogue to be argued, favorite people left out, and also at least one very notable historical inaccuracy. But it remains, for me at least, a handsome film with some very fine performances, namely those of Janet Suzman, Michael Jayston, and Irene Worth. I am as beholden to this film as I think Bob is beholden to the Anna Anderson book that introduced him to the subject!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: jackie3 on July 18, 2004, 08:14:18 PM
Quote
How odd that this should come up as I was watching Young Sherlock Holmes with my son last night and I thought...
"That Sophie Ward would make a perfect Alexandra!"

I have no idea what she looks like now but at the time YSH was made she would have been perfect as young Alix.
I only BEG that we don't end up with a bunch of drawn through a knothole, skinny, bleached starlets as OTMA.
I say find some wholesome looking unknowns, some girls who look natural and healthy and sweet.


I always thought the young Sophie Ward would have made a good Tatiana. It was in the unusual eyes I think. I always imagined Tatiana's were like that. Of course I no longer try to cast movies in my mind with current actors anymore. Actors age but the movie ideas don't. I remember when Sophie Ward was young enough to play Tatiana, now she's old enough to play Tatiana's mother!  ;D
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Ammie on July 19, 2004, 11:05:40 AM
Quote
Ralph Fiennes would not be half bad as Nicholas!


Not sure if anyone mentioned this before, if so I apologize. I watched Discovery's The Last of the Czars and I belive that Ralph Fiennes did the voice for Nicholas.  I think he was great exactly how I imagine Nicky would sound.

Ammie
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: anna on July 19, 2004, 01:31:04 PM
Thank you Louise and as always Janet for your last remarks on the N&A film. I couldn't have said it better ;)

Anna
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Louise on July 19, 2004, 04:16:06 PM
Anna, my adivse to you is to read all you can on the Romanovs, even the books that offer different opinions, such as Peter Kurth's book on Anna Anderson. I have it in my collection and I enjoyed it. I have books on the IF written in the 1970's that discusses their "escape" to safety. I, like many others here read anything and everthing they can get their hands on. That also includes watching anything on the IF. Oh heck, even give the cartoon Anastatia a go. If nothing else, it's kinda cute. BTW, many of the younger people on the board became interested in the Romanov's because of this movie.

I guess what I am trying to say, is don't let anyone dissuaded you from learning, and obtaining more knowledge.

Louise
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: anna on July 19, 2004, 05:17:17 PM
Oh dear :-Sorry that I gave the wrong impression. A bit tooo sentimental I suppose :P. You would be surprised the books I have, and yes even books that offer different opinions. Did I sound so stupid?

Anna
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Lanie on July 20, 2004, 12:17:59 AM
Alas, she's 30 now, but when she was younger, Laurie Holden looked like Olga (she was Princess Ekaterina Dashkova in Young Catherine).  She's an amazing actress.

I agree the gal who plays Wendy could have been one of the girls.  I forget her name, but I ended up thinking Maria instead of Anastasia for her...she has those same blue eyes and pretty mouth.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Vive_HIH_Aleksey on July 20, 2004, 11:01:32 AM
I can see Joaquin Phoenix having a part in there, perhaps playing Felix. He was fabulous in Gladiator, Signs, and Quills. Haven't seen Brother Bear yet cause my STUPID LAZY BROTHER WON'T GIVE IT BACK!!!! lol sorry venting. He's had it for MONTHS!!!! sorry venting again LOL.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: grandduchessella on July 20, 2004, 11:18:03 PM
If it were dealing with the young N&A, Orlando Bloom (sigh) is dreamy-eyed enough and he's talented too. Maybe for the older Nicholas, Ralph Fiennes or Hugh Jackman (double sigh). For a middle-aged (though she can play younger or older with her great skin) Julianne Moore? I don't think Joan Allen right for Ella. I love her as an actress and she's certainly lovely, but no quite right to me--maybe Laura Linney? Cate Blanchett? Elegant, lovely--and can do royalty. Nicole Kidman for a younger Alix or Ella? That porcelein beauty. HJO would make a great Alexei, I say stick with Alan Rickman for Rasputin, for the girls, trickier. Kirsten Dunst? (Great acting in Cat's Meow where she played Marion Davies). Keira Knightley (beautiful and good actress). Natalie Portman? Anna Paquin for Anastasia? It's tricky, because the girls are more often than not "sidelined" so it would probably be a lesser known actress (though I'm for a 10-hr miniseries ala Band of Brothers!). I could see CZJ more for Minnie than Miechen except for her height. Too beautiful for Miechen. Plus, she did play Catherine the Great!  ;)  
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Michelle on July 21, 2004, 12:03:31 AM
Oh what great fun!!! :D  I absolutely HAVE to give cheers to jackie3 on her idea on the ending for the movie, with NAOTMAA as "ghosts" in the Alexander Palace.  Also, I'm not quite sure who suggested this next idea (maybe Merrique ???), but it was just AWESOME!!!  How cool would it be if the movie did have at the ending credits pictures of each actual person as taken in real life, and then an image of the actor/actress (an image taken from the movie) appearing beside the real person in a compare/contrast thing?  That is genius!! :o  Sorry, I'm being just a bit dramatic here, but I can't help myself  ::)  CHEERS MERRIQUE!!!!
(I think  :-/ )

For actresses I would say that Liv Tyler is an absolute MUST for either Olga or Tatiana. . .

Keira Knightley would also be excellent as one of our beloved grand duchesses. . . I'm thinking of her as Olga, and Liv Tyler as Tatiana because she reminds me of Tatiana with those interestingly haunting eyes and dark hair.  Maria and Anastasia I'm not sure about.  Possibly Charlotte Church for Maria and Emma Watson (I think that's that girl's name from Harry Potter ???) for Anastasia.

Meryl Streep would be EXCELLENT as middle-aged Alix, and maybe Gwyneth Paltrow for young Alix.

Don't know about Nicholas. . .

I also think Catherine Zeta-Jones should have some sort of part in it.

Definitely there would HAVE to be a music theme like from Titanic, complete with some sort of "My Hear Will Go On" song

Wow!  I would pay big bucks to see this movie in the theaters!  Ha ha  ;D
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: DOMOVOII on July 22, 2004, 04:08:39 PM
If you must cast Cathrine Zeta Jones with a part then let it be, Chionya Gusyeva... the syphyllitic ex prostitute who tried to murder Rasputin in 1914. (I don't like her!)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on July 22, 2004, 04:20:53 PM
One of the things I really liked and think should stay is the soundtrack. I liked that theme song and how variations of it were used in the background. It was very classy, very Russian, yet so haunting, making it almost perfect. I wouldn't want different music, but I'm sure the original music could be improved with today's technology.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Nicholaievna on December 10, 2004, 12:27:11 PM
Of course if Hollywood ever did something like these they'd probably cast Britney Spears and Sarah Michelle Gellar as part of OTMA or something.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Olga on December 11, 2004, 06:05:53 AM
Quote
For actresses I would say that Liv Tyler is an absolute MUST for either Olga or Tatiana. . .


Whaaat? Liv Tyler looks NOTHING like OT Nikolaevna.

Ick.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Elisabeth on December 11, 2004, 10:28:07 AM
Quote
For actresses I would say that Liv Tyler is an absolute MUST for either Olga or Tatiana. . .

Keira Knightley would also be excellent as one of our beloved grand duchesses. . . I'm thinking of her as Olga, and Liv Tyler as Tatiana because she reminds me of Tatiana with those interestingly haunting eyes and dark hair.  


I agree that Liv Tyler would make an excellent Tatiana, but I'm not sure about Keira Knightley for Olga, too beautiful and way too bland. I'd like to see an actress with more character and intelligence in her face for that role. How about Scarlett Johanson as Olga? She was brilliant in "Lost in Translation."
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Michelle on December 17, 2004, 11:29:30 AM
I'm not quite sure what you mean by Keira Knightley being "too beautiful" for Olga. :-/ ???
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Lanie on December 17, 2004, 04:32:31 PM
It'd be hard trying to find a good, physical resemblance to people...but I guess if someone TRIED and cast people for a) their acting ability and b) at least looking somewhat like who they're supposed to be, it'd work!  I'm just sick of the cookie-cutter OTMA and A, but then again, they're supposed to be like that in movies.  Bah.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Annie on December 18, 2004, 08:05:54 PM
Kiera looks much more like Maria. It's no offense to Olga, she just looks more like Maria. However, she recently cut off all her pretty hair to play a bounty hunter and looks very different. Maybe she can play Maria a couple months after OTMA got their heads shaved bald.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Michelle on December 18, 2004, 09:32:33 PM
I still see more of a resemblance to Olga in Keira than to Maria.  I didn't know she cut off her hair.  :P  But if not Keira, then who else for Olga?  I'm pretty much sold on her, because Anne Hathaway is WAY more Maria-ish then Keira Knightley.  KK plus has more of an Olga personality--independent, passionate.  AH has the Maria personality down pat--flirtatious big time, very sweet, very friendly.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Vardykai on December 26, 2004, 06:53:16 PM
Who I would pick...

Nicholas: ? Ian McKellan, perhaps? I knew he played him in some movie, and they look pretty similar, once McKellan's grown a beard and died everything.

Alexandra: Vanessa Redgrave ALL THE WAY.

Olga:Thora Birch (NEARLY IDENTICAL- just get her a little more pudgy around the face and without the heavy make-up.)

Tatianna:Cate Blanchett (Big age difference, I know, she's like thirty something, but look at the eyes and the mouth...very similar.)

Marie: I would say Kate Winslet, but she's a tad too old, so I'm going to have to go with Anne Hathaway for the nose, eyebrows and lips.

Anastasia: This one was tough, but I decided onKirsten Dunst- they have similar chins, thin lips, and eyes the same.

Alexei: Haley Joel Osment. He's too old now, but what the heck, who else is there?

Ahhh... couldn't resist. I've been wanting to make a movie about the Romanovs since I was like eight.  ::)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Marlene on December 26, 2004, 07:44:07 PM
[Dame DIana Rigg as Marie Feodorovna
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Johnny on December 28, 2004, 06:07:51 PM
Meryl Streep (10-15 years ago) would have been perfect for Alix. Even Ella. She has such an ageless and flexible face, and with her acting abilities, she can both young and older Alix. Anne Bankroft would make a perfect MF.
I also think that Anna Vyrubova was 100% essential to make the original movie right.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Martyn on December 29, 2004, 11:15:47 AM
Quote
Meryl Streep (10-15 years ago) would have been perfect for Alix. Even Ella. She has such an ageless and flexible face, and with her acting abilities, she can both young and older Alix. Anne Bankroft would make a perfect MF.
I also think that Anna Vyrubova was 100% essential to make the original movie right.


You are absolutely right about Meryl Streep; she would have made an excellent Alix.  I think that you need a small woman to play MF, a small woman with an iron backbone.  Although I hate that Ingrid Bergman film about Anastasia, the woman who played MF captured some of the essence of her - was it Helen Hayes?  I also liked Olivia de Havilland as MF in that rather dreadful TV miniseries about Anastasia with Amy Irving, but then Olivia de Havilland is quite simply marvellous anyway.
What about someone like Leslie Caron as MF, small, remains of gamine beauty, capable of great strength of character (certainly good actress)?
Diana Rigg as MF would be like driving a tank through the Romanov clan!  Great actress, way too tough for this...
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Czarevna Colleen on January 01, 2005, 03:32:34 PM
If "Nicholas And Alexandra" were to be remade, I would show communists for what they really were at that time and include many significant characters that were not in the orignal version.  I would show more of the Imperial daughters and try to cast actresses who actually resemble them (no offence to the actresses in N&A).  The performers all of you have listed as possible characters to portray is very interesting and informative, especially suggesting Keira Knightely for one of the daughters.  She was excellent in the TV remake of "Dr. Zhivago". :-/ 8) :D ;)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Elizabeth on January 02, 2005, 07:06:28 PM
It's interesting, Colleen, that you mentioned "Dr. Zhivago" on this N&A thread.

I recently read a book about Sam Spiegel and his production of N&A.  It seems that he wanted to do "Dr. Zhivago" all along, but that David Lean/Carlo Ponti beat him to it, and so he wanted to do "something" Russian to "outdo" Zhivago (it just took him awhile to find it since Massie's book didn't come out until 1967).  Since Zhivago was about two lovers during the Russian Revolution, Spiegel told people that it would be the same with his movie -- N&A.

The writer of the Spiegel book thought the movie wasn't as successful as it COULD have been since the "big" movie BLOCKBUSTERS that Lean had made so famous in the 50's and 60's (Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago) were not "in fashion" by the early 1970s.  People no longer wanted to see a "costume epic," and if you remember, shortly after N&A came out, the big budget DISASTER movies started (Poseiden Adventure, Earthquake, etc.).

Yes, the movie N&A was my first introduction to Russian history and it changed my life.  But looking at it 30+ years later, I tend to fault it too much -- their early lives are completely ignored, historical sequences are out of order (Stolypin had already been dead by two years when the 300th anniversary took place), the cookie-cutter OTMAs, and the scenes of them CONSTANTLY walking down that long hallway (N&A go to Mama's b-day party, N&A come home from reviewing the troops, N comes home from the war).   :P  

Just my two cents worth . . .

E--
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Martyn on January 05, 2005, 06:17:39 PM
I've just remembered who I had at the back of my mind for MF; it needs to be somebody like Claire Bloom or Jean Simmonds.  Both small and attractive, delicate of feature but capable of playing women with character.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: anna on January 05, 2005, 06:27:55 PM
Martyn, that's a good suggestion. Didn't play Clair Bloom the part of Alexandra in the mini series "Anastasia" with Omar Sharif as Nicholas?

Anna
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: chintz22 on January 05, 2005, 08:35:43 PM
Hi All,

I posted this in the thread on Maria, but since it was inspired by this thread thought I'd post here as well.  How about Drew Barrymore (if she were younger, of course) as Maria?

Best,

Sarah

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v625/chintz22/mariadrew.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v625/chintz22/drewmaria.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v625/chintz22/mariadrew2.png)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Holly on June 21, 2005, 06:47:39 PM
Iv'e always dreamed of making a movie about the Romanov's. I have a whole notebook and most of a diary filled with ideas. Every since I was little I made my own movies and I love to write. I know some of the scenes that I NEED to put in. It's also important that it has an AMAZING soundtrack. The melody of the theme song came to me when I was looking through one of my books. I think it's really good and I hope to build on it. When I go to college I'm going to take Film classes. This is something that I really want to do, but I can't do it alone and I will need others who are passionate about this to work on it as well.    
Jackie3-I LOVE your ideas! I was thinking the same thing!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Joy0318 on January 16, 2006, 09:19:52 AM
I would NOT have Alexei portayed as a spoiled, annoying, and sullen little brat. He was not like that.

I would NOT have Nicky yell at Alix and say "It's your fault. You gave it to him"  regarding Alexei's hemophilia. I can't see Nicky lashing out at Alix about this. She felt bad enough about it already and I can't see him trying to hurt her this way.

I would NOT include the scene of Tatiana  and the guard. No way would Tatiana have done such a thing. She was a proper young lady.

I WOULD have the movie focus more on family life rather than on politics.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: londo954 on January 16, 2006, 09:56:42 AM
If I were to remake the movier I would start with teh Wedding at Cobourg and their marriage proposal. It would set the stage for the indrocution of some fo the main characters, as well as tell more of their story and less of the political aspects. However teh movie was based on the book and the book is more an overview with not a whole lot of detail of their life. Its beena  while since I read it but as I recall Massie only spends a chapter talking about them and their life. the book tells little of their private lives. The movies doesn't deal witht eh girls too well at all.
  I would open with a camera flash of the famous "Royal Family of Europe" photo...this would lead to a greater development of Alexandra['s character on how she was reluctant to convert to orthodoxy and how it was Queen Victoria and her sister he eventually pursuaded her it was not all that bad. Can you imagine the cinematography that could be done now, espcially since a lot could eb filmed on location. The Costume Ball at teh WInter Palace, Military revues at Peterhof, Alexander and the Winter Palace. More character development of Nicholas and the relationship with hsi father. The World Tour of teh couple, hunting at Spala, vacations at Livadia and on tHE sTANDART.
i MUST SAY THAT A LOVE STORY SET AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF TEH REVOLUTION WOULD AHVE BEEN A MORE INTERESTING APPROACH.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: londo954 on January 16, 2006, 10:01:38 AM
I would love to see a miniseries done on the Romanov family. I envision it starting with Peter the Grea tbreaking the gound for St. Petersburg and ending with memebers of the family returning for the funeral of the Last Imperial Family.
  Imagine the cinematogrpahy: the building of the city, The navla Battle at Chesme, teh Battle of Poltava, teh splendour fo Catherine and Elizabeth's court, the Great Ball Potemkin gave for Catherine at teh Potemkin Palace, the murder of Paul at the Castle, the War with Napoleon, Alexander I marching into Paris at the head of the Great army, the Crimean War, the assaination of ALexander II, the train wreck of Alexander III, and the tercentary celebrations. I can imagine it enjoying wide viewrship too  
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Caleb on January 17, 2006, 03:26:51 PM
Quote
"those scary bad Weffowooshonaahwies! BOO!" ...is it me, or is this beginning to sound a bit demeaning of the beliefs held by others?  

 I'm not invested in the political beliefs of my fellow forum members  :), but I do find what sounds like tones of intellectual superiority off-putting when differing opinions are expressed...and on this subject, there will always be strongly held opinions.

Imo,  :)Michael Jayston, Janet Suzman, Tom Baker, and the music of Richard Rodney Bennett were the saving graces of a movie that could have been so much better.

Warm regards,

Sunny


 

I have to agree with Sunny. I also do think that the exposure scene & the naked woman drawing weren't needed. Also the buildings they used did not look authentic. They made the house in Tobolsk look like a peasant's shack out in the middle of the mountains (like in the movie "Heidi") as opposed to in town. Also the Alexander Palace & Winter Palace were not accurate. Stephen Poliakoff did a better job on exteriors for "The Lost Prince" than the director of "Nicholas & Alexandra." I also didn't understand the red lantern at the beginning & end of the movie.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Caleb on January 17, 2006, 03:31:24 PM
Quote
I would NOT have Alexei portayed as a spoiled, annoying, and sullen little brat. He was not like that.

I would NOT have Nicky yell at Alix and say "It's your fault. You gave it to him"  regarding Alexei's hemophilia. I can't see Nicky lashing out at Alix about this. She felt bad enough about it already and I can't see him trying to hurt her this way.

I would NOT include the scene of Tatiana  and the guard. No way would Tatiana have done such a thing. She was a proper young lady.

I WOULD have the movie focus more on family life rather than on politics.

I also have to agree. I think Nicholas & Alexandra were more dignified than to shout at each other over Rasputin & for Nicholas to blame Alexandra for the hemophillia of the czarevich. Also I would have liked to see more crowned heads of Europe.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: anna on January 17, 2006, 03:43:13 PM
Caleb,

Well you'd better make it a tv series.

I don't know if you read this, I posted these in this section, last two posts.
http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=films_cat;action=display;num=1124067795;start=25#25

Anna
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Vive_HIH_Aleksey on January 25, 2006, 06:53:53 PM
I spent some months thinking about who could be the perfect composer for a possible remake or retelling of this story. Here's my primary choice.

Thomas Newman.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Dctalk3185 on May 20, 2006, 11:07:24 PM
         That’s an interesting topic. I am actually going to major in film and this was one of the projects I've always dreamt of doing. I don't know if I would title the movie Nicholas and Alexandra (probably something more creative), but I definitely think that there should be a movie portraying the last family. I've read several ideas for what should be put in the movie, and they all sound really good. However, I would not do a 7 hour mini series (all though that would be interesting to watch). I have several reasons for this. Number one there are ALOT of people that are sadly uninformed of the last Imperial Family. For this reason it would not be as exciting for some people-- especially in the future because of short attention spans. Also the longer the movie the harder it would be to watch multiple times (I have a hard time watching Lord of the Rings straight through, even though I love the movie). Yeah a mini series might be great for us Romanov fans, but no one else would care to see all that extensive interesting facts, at least until there is a GOOD movie to introduce them to the Family in the first place. I want to portray a story that people would be pulled into and want to research further.
          I DO think it is very possible to do a movie that’s about 2 1/2- 3 hours long (look at all the information that was in the Lord of the Rings... and trust me there’s a lot, and they could do it). If a future movie would be called N&A it makes sense to concentrate the story mainly around N&A as well as the Children. Yeah you might say what about all the other characters involved with the family’s life...well you can still have them, but it would be unwise to go into detail of every person that was connected to the family. I guess one example I could use would be the Titanic. Now I would've loved to have a movie that had most of the passengers on the ship portrayed. Obviously, that would be unrealistic; there were 2,200 people on board. In the case of the Romanov’s there were fewer people, but there is SOOOO much to tell.
          As hard as it might be, the family’s story would need PROPER editing (and I don't mean just cutting parts of the story out just because). It would probably be good to shot scenes that showed dramatic moments, like when the Standart hit some rocks and N&A couldn't find Aleksey. Otherwise, showing multiple scenes of the family picking daisies or walking in the woods would be kind of boring. I would actually like to reenact footage and pictures that the family took, like the footage of the Grand Duchesses and Aleksey spinning in a circle on board the Standart. It would not be a long scene just something I think Romanov fans would enjoy. Obviously, it would be shot on location, and hopefully the sets would look authentic. The actors/actresses should fit there parts very well, and it would be nice if they looked similar to there characters. I think it's also very important not to get too wrapped up in romanticizing the family, as I think they often times are portrayed in other movies. History should speak for itself. The communists should not appear to be doing justice towards the family by making them (the family) look like the bad guys. The communist deadly actions were not any better then some of the deadly mistakes that Nicholas had allowed.
          It’s something that would take a lot of research, and that’s what I'm doing now-- it’s a project I'm willing to take on, and I hope it would encourage more people to take interest in the subject. One last note: I have been thinking of a different title then N&A for a movie-- any ideas-- I don't think the title should be gloomy, deadly, a cliché, or really long (for instance: Bloody Nicholas, Russia's Last Imperial Family, The Last Tsar, etc...) I would like a title that includes more than just Nicholas and Alexandra, but also there children-- It should not give away the families demise directly-- you know how when you see a movie title and you don't know where they got the title from like, Cinderella Man, or October Sky. That’s how I would want this title to be...any thoughts... sorry for the long message :)

Nick
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: MissJolie on January 17, 2007, 09:05:12 PM
I am an amateur playwright and am fascinated with the Romanovs. I have noticed, as many of you have as well, that some key things are completely left out of films about the Romanovs. If someone was to make a historical film all about the Romanovs what stories, characters, characteristics, or other things would you want to have in that film?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Georgiy on January 18, 2007, 08:21:37 AM
I for one would like to see the beauty of the Orthodox faith - so often Empress Alexandra is portrayed as a religious maniac, but I do not agree with it. It is interesting to see in Church bookshops in Russia books with her writings about the upbringing of children - from her diaries and notebooks. I would also lke to see the Tsar not be portrayed as some weakling completely under his wife's thumb. I think that both the Tsar and Tsaritsa have been portrayed in a very 2-dimensional way in the past, and it is time they were portrayed more fully.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: dmitri on August 18, 2007, 06:53:43 AM
Joan Collins as Maria Feodorovna? ... am picking myself off the floor after laughing my head off!!! 
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: anna11 on September 09, 2007, 01:30:18 AM
I think a mini series is a great idea. More time to fit everything in. I'd also like to see a more personal portrayal of the family life where the girls get more than 2 lines.  think Nicole Kidman would be perfect for Alexandra, she doesn't really look the part but she's a fantastic actress. And she can play roles like that really well. Freddie Highmore for Alexei. He's great, but unknowns for all the girls. I don't know about Nicholas.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: mr_harrison75 on September 12, 2007, 05:18:05 PM
The way director Gleb Panfilov chose to show the Imperial Family in his movie Romanovy: ventsenosnaya semya is of a more intimate kind. Of course, you see the politics, and the effects it had on the country, and the Imperial Family, but the focus is more on the family itself, how they interacted together, and how they faced the events. That's why I prefer that movie.

That doesn't make Nicholas and Alexandra a bad movie, au contraire, only that they chose to focus on a somewhat grander scope of events.

I think the ultimate Romanov movie (or mini-serie) would be a clever blend of the two; the events that changed Russia, à la Nicholas & Alexandra, intercut with intimate events and scenes à la Romanovy.

That would be awesome!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: FairyCutie86 on September 12, 2007, 08:13:25 PM
I'd love to see a more updated, theatrical release of the events based on the Romanov deaths.  And I don't mean a lovely PG-13 movie.  If another movie is made it needs to show what really happened.  Not just people getting shot and that's done and over with.  When we see them die it needs to be gruesome and make you cringe at the terrible nature in which they were killed.  I'd love to see a movie leading up to their deaths, possibly maybe even based on their entire time in the Impatiev House.  Any other thoughts?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: mr_harrison75 on September 12, 2007, 08:34:27 PM
Well, the death scenes needs to be updated, with the new details we have from the Yurofsky note (example, Olga and Tatyana in each other's arms, etc.), but being all blood and guts? I don't think so.

As for the Ipatievskaya Dom scenes, it would be difficult, because we don't know a lot about what happened to them in those days, and it was probably tedium and repetitive...I dunno.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: CorisCapnSkip on September 13, 2007, 01:59:10 AM
Isn't there a Russian movie portraying their courageous behavior in the face of death?

Definitely some documentaries need to be updated.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: mr_harrison75 on September 14, 2007, 05:00:10 PM
Yes, Romanovy: ventsenosnaya semya is such a movie.

And I agree about the documentaries.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: anna11 on September 14, 2007, 10:10:46 PM
Well I don't think we need to see them gruesomely and graphically executed just to show their 'bravery.'  It's their life i'm interested in seeing, not their deaths.

They were probably all screaming their heads off anyway. If someone says 'ok we're going to kill you now' you wouldn't be like
'ok cool i'll be brave' you would be like ' *^$%#$*%#$&#%@%&%#@&&$&&$%&$@#'
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: FairyCutie86 on September 16, 2007, 02:54:35 PM
Ok, maybe I got a little carried away with the blood and guts.  But I would really love to see a movie showing how everything really was and not candy-coat it, if that's the word?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: mr_harrison75 on September 16, 2007, 03:36:37 PM
I agree. More realistic, and less like an hagiography (no offense to Russian Orthodox).
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on September 16, 2007, 06:52:15 PM
Ok, maybe I got a little carried away with the blood and guts.  But I would really love to see a movie showing how everything really was and not candy-coat it, if that's the word?
Yes that is true I agree with you Fairy we do need to have a movie made that shows the whole murder scene not just for 2 minutes but like for maybe 10 minutes we can understand better about how they got murder who died and what happened like when they claimed one of the girls screamed at the end of the murder. But it should not be like violent with blood and guts then it would be a rated-R video. It would be more interesting if we had that becuase like it would be much more better pictured thing about what happened to them. But still if they had the murder scene included won't it be turned into a Rated-R movie, that is realy suppose to be focusing on Romanov history not the murder scene? Well I suppose that it is for both but still it would be rated-R or PG-13. It is just all events that happening in history.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Charlie on September 19, 2007, 11:03:58 AM
It would be interesting to see a new film about the lifes of the Romanovs in the light of the fact that we now know for definate that no-one survived. It would be nice for the film to be in Russian too with subtitles and hearing the royal family speak in the language (or languages) they would have spoke in.
I personally am all for historically accurate films with the actors speaking in the characters actual language. I'd love to see a Dutch film made about Anne Frank, but thats another matter.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: FairyCutie86 on September 19, 2007, 06:57:41 PM
That's a great idea Charlie!  A straight out Russian film would be perfect.  And even though this isn't about Anne Frank I agree with you on that one as well.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Lolita on September 21, 2007, 03:41:45 PM
I always wanted a Russian movie about the Romanovs come out(with subtitles of course)

It would be nice to see a dutch Anne Frank as well,but at least there's ONE good and accurate film about her,if you haven't heard of it,it's called "Anne Frank:the whole story" starinng Hannah Taylor Gordon as Anne who looks almost EXACTLY like her

what i also would love to see is a French/Austrian movie about Marie Antoinette's final days,starting at the Tuliries and ending at what happens to the other friends after MA's death(Polignac for example)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Lolita on September 21, 2007, 03:45:34 PM
I would LOVE to make an Russian adaption of the film(with subtitles of course for us fans around the world)

also,i would make sure OTMA were actually characters and not statues standing everywhere
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Lolita on September 21, 2007, 03:46:41 PM
Plus,if i could pick anyone to do the sountrack,it would be Yulia......and a Russian orchestra
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Georgiy on September 22, 2007, 07:49:38 PM
Actually Ortodox hagiographies don't spare the details on all the horrible things that Martyrs went through. You should see what happened to some of the Great Martyrs under Diocletian such as St George or St Catherine. I think in the west, Saint's lives got kind of sugar coated during the middle-ages.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Joyann1 on October 06, 2007, 12:02:12 PM
it would be nice if they made a movie like that but, its realy hardt to make one because normal movie take like 80 min + and there is not that much information about the days in the ipatiev house
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: FairyCutie86 on October 07, 2007, 03:13:56 PM
I agree.  There isn't much information about their days in the Ipatiev House.  But with the right director and writers, they could come up with a very honest interpretation of the events.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Joyann1 on October 07, 2007, 04:01:05 PM
yess but most of the time they will use ther fantasie and then its not right they give wrong information and then maby people like us [ romanov wannabee's lol ] get mad
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: FairyCutie86 on October 08, 2007, 03:55:22 PM
Yeah, that's true.  I would be upset if events were interpreted the wrong way.  I'd be in the audience shouting, "That didn't happen!!!!!"  Hee hee!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Joyann1 on October 09, 2007, 02:08:42 AM
lol
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Michelle on March 19, 2008, 11:55:11 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I just read Dctalk3185's post, and I have to say that his ideas were fascinating to read, and quite plausible.  I hope he keeps us updated on his ideas and possible development and such!
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: NAOTMAA Fan on March 22, 2008, 10:52:41 AM
Quote
Actually including OTMA Nikolaevna would help.

I don't think a film could do it actually.
To really explore N&A's lives from the time they met when she was 12 and he was 16 to their end together in the "House of Special Purpose" it would take an old style 6-8 hour TV mini-series. I would not make it some attempt at a quasi-epic that N&A tried to be, but a character study on one family - one that would have been better suited for a bourgeouise middle-class life but instead ruled 1/6 of the globe and were in over the heads. More than anything else it is the character of that family that has made their story inspiring not the trapping of royalty and luxurious lifestyle they lived in. As it is I think the old BBC series "Fall of Eagles" (where the Romanovs were only 1/3 of the story) and the Alan Rickman/Greta Scacchi/Ian McKellen film "Rasputin" were much better interpretations of the IF than N&A.


I for one think Jackie3 has the right idea. The film N&A just didn't have enough time to capture everything. Definitely a mini-series (somewhat like that Tudors show on now, though a tad more historically accurate), would do a better jobs at recounting the expanse history of the last Romanovs.

If I might add, The Romanovs actually more or less dominate most of the episodes in "Fall of Eagles", at least 7 of the 14 episodes are entirely based on them or include them in some fashion. Definitely more than a mere third. Even the director voiced that they might have well have just made the entire series about them.

................so just realized this thread is 4 years old x__x....
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Dctalk3185 on February 18, 2010, 03:10:49 PM
Here's a thought I've had on this topic for a while. Out of curiosity, how do most of you feel if in a Romanov film a line of dialogue were shifted to another person just to save from introducing 50 characters. Basically you pick the top 15 characters for such a film and you blend certain aspects of characters not depicted into those characters. True you loss the historical accuracy, but you spare the enormous amount of headaches that will occur from knowing who's who. Does that make sense? This same idea can easily be applied to scenes. I'm just saying, although Nicholas and Alexandra's lives do fit neatly into a three act structure, there are some area's that need to be trimmed or remodeled for time, drama, or just plan good story telling (Act I: Ella's wedding/Nicholas and Alix separate/ re meet-proposal- inciting incident/ marriage-coronation-plot point one Act II: Alexei's birth/OTMA/Bloody Sunday-Duma/Rasputin/Standart incident- skip to Tercentenary/ WWI/Nurses/Nicholas as Commander/Rasputin murdered- inciting incident/ Abdication- plot point two Act III: Nicholas and Alix reunited/ Imprisoned at Tsarskoye Selo/ Imprisoned in Tobolsk/ imprisoned in Yekaterinburg/ murdered- end with nicholas and alix's signature on window in the lower dacha). I know some of you think that a mini series might work, and perhaps your right, but I'm just saying it would never happen, because to do it right would cost a lot and not much of the viewing public would ever watch- in general it would bomb. By creating a film that's both exciting and MOSTLY historically accurate, (in terms of the fact that at least some scenes or dialogue DID take place, just not in the right order or said by the right person), this will appeal to more people. Focus primarily on Nicholas, Alexandra, and OTMAA, and many unnecessary characters/scenes fall away. I'm telling you, it's how the business runs- it's how they made the Lord of the Rings.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 18, 2010, 03:24:24 PM
Yes, DC, that is exactly how films are made! They would be prohibitively expensive, not that they are not already, if they were not. I also wish that some twinkies would stop complaining about actresses not looking like their precious Grand Duchesses!! They are ACTORS, playing a role. Not reincarnating the persons they are playing.
 I think the last "historically accurate" film with a large cast was The Last Emperor and that cost a fortune to make.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: PAVLOV on February 19, 2010, 02:28:22 AM
I think definately a series, starting with the assasination of Alexander ll, and made by a company like Merchant Ivory,( WHICH UNFORTUANTELY NO LONGER EXISTS)  or the sister of Ralph Fiennes. She did an excellent job making the movie Eugene Onegin, which was filmed partly in St Petersburg, and had her brother Ralph in the title role. She really created a very Russian feel and the interior shots of palaces and country houses were fantastic. I watch this movie whenever I am feel a bit down. I can really recommend this movie to everyone here. Anyone who is interested in Russian history, and culture.

No offense to the American Film makers, but it would be great if we could have English actors. Historical European movies just dont sound right with American accents. ( Out of Africa), for those of you who are old enough to remember it, was a disaster because of miscasting and the  accents. Finch-Hatton with an American accent !
Meryl Streep one does not mind, because she always gets it right. Refer her accents in movies like Sophies Choice, French Lieutenants Woman etc.
I would want them to use the real palaces,and other locations where things actually happened. The actual rooms. I would make it completely authentic, down to the beaches they sat on, the Finnish Islands they picnicked on. 
Russia is open now, so it should be possible.
I would want to see the Anitchkov palace, the Winter palace, Tsarskoe Tselo, Gatchina, Peterhof etc.

AND THE LONGER THE SERIES THE BETTER !! 
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Dctalk3185 on February 19, 2010, 12:22:48 PM
Robert Hall I totally agree with you on the Grand Duchess look alike aspect. When I think of historical films, I find that is some cases I wish that the real people looked like the actors/actress instead of the other way around, mainly because they are so believable on screen. In "Nicholas and Alexandra" it's very clear that OTMA are no more interesting than wallpaper. Giving each of them a unique feel, and separating them from each other- each daughter suddenly becomes interesting (it's precision in character development- flaws and all!).

Pavlov I agree that they all should be British actors/actresses- naturally the Russian and French languages will have to be tossed into the dialogue for obvious reasons. I guess, the only problem with starting with Alexander II assassination is that the mini series would solely only focus on Nicholas II, Alix would only be a side character. Also, you can't just toss back and forth between Nicholas and Alix's lives, years before they would meet, because the drama disappears and becomes boring- much more suitable for the history channel (the History channel is not boring, I love it, I'm just saying that, that this would be the case.). If it's strictly about Nicholas than great that would be an excellent movie hook- right into the action, but Alix can only be a supporting character.

In fact it is completely understandable why "Nicholas and Alexandra" begins with the birth of Alexei. It starts off with a monumental moment that goes instantly sour- a problem emerges- films revolve around conflict. Nicholas and Alexandra both have needs and wants- their need is a son, there want is for his survival. This is true for every character in film history- or at least it should be...
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 19, 2010, 01:39:04 PM
As usual, one poster hogs the input with superfluous postings, however, a bit of effort, I can now respond.
 Yes, Pavlov, a series would be  fantastic. It is true Massies began with Alexei- his own son has hemophilia so that is what got him started to begin with.
A series by BBC or perhaps ITV would be brilliant, they are so  good at  historical dramas and have a great pool of actors & art direction. As for locations...again, expense and  not all of the locations are amenable  to  production. Exterior scenes, maybe. But interiors, well,  that might be a problem, as most are  open to the public and not at all like they were in the days of N&A. The studios, especially the British are excellent  at recreating interiors.
 Costume dramas are quite costly, especially to make them believable. The BBC relies on license fees and ITV on commercial income, so it just depends on  how much they have to spend on such projects.  I have read prospects of such projects, unfortunately,  cost is the driving factor. There is a huge  pool of talent and plenty willing and able- but, money....
 Well, one can dream, can't one?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Douglas on February 19, 2010, 06:09:35 PM
In my college days I studied movie and commercial making.  The concensus seemed to be that a simple story, well told was always the best.  There are many books and movies that reveal this attitude.

A less expensive movie or series might be one based on one person of the Imperial Family.  It could be anyone...even a servant or friend of the family.   Many possible people come to mind.  The entire movie and the family could be as seen through their eyes.  It could even be implied that the person viewing the scene is yourself.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 19, 2010, 07:59:32 PM
Good ideas, Douglas.  Somewhat like the  Russian Ark  film, in a way. And, incorporating Pavlov's ideas as well, such an "observer" could be a compilation of several people. But still, it would take money  plus cooperation to vreate such a film or series.
 Histories are hard to please everyone.  There will always be those who insist on  immaterial details and others who miss the whole point of the story...
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Dctalk3185 on February 19, 2010, 11:31:24 PM
Douglas love the idea- I was actually thinking the same thing, but I'm glad you posted it! A while ago, when I was reading through Lili Dehn's memoirs, it occurred to me that this could be an interesting spin on this story, which would be seen through her eyes, or really anyone's. It would definitely cost a lot for BBC, but that's why Hollywood is supreme- don't forget they did "Band of Brothers"- the most successful mini series of all time and it was historically accurate. Hollywood in general would have more success with such a film than lesser corporations. Also, for larger budget films, companies will band together to divide the costs, which is very prevalent during these economic times. 
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: RHB on February 20, 2010, 12:06:49 AM
A while ago, when I was reading through Lili Dehn's memoirs, it occurred to me that this could be an interesting spin on this story, which would be seen through her eyes, or really anyone's.

Wow i was thinking the same thing when i read the post about seeing in through the eyes of a servant or friend an I'm like "Lili Dehn would be great maybe Anna Vyrouba though i like Lili Dehn better"  because for some reason i just do (like her better)!  :o  :)
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: PAVLOV on February 22, 2010, 08:55:05 AM
Yes Robert, the days of Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel in the Crown, are probably over, but......
I think it would be an excellent idea to do the series through the "eyes" of a survivor, as in Russian Ark. Starting with the death scene of Alexander ll and finishing somewhere around 1929 in Denmark. They could be a bit creative with the script, as many people would like to know what happened  to the survivors. Many of the buildings are there, and it would add so much to the authenticity of the movie if some of the original locations could be used. Sets are very expensive.

When I watch the original movie, I cringe at the interiors which are so wrong, and so unlike the originals.
I think the sets in the original movie were awful, but probably the best they could do at the time.

Some suggestions as to possible candidates :
1) Anna Vyrubova.
2) Baroness Buxhoeveden.
3) Princess Yussoupov, ( or Felix)
4) Grand Duke Nicholas   
5) Grand Duchess Olga or Xenia.

Boy, would I like to be involved in a movie like this, it would be so much fun.

Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 22, 2010, 09:32:04 AM
Pavlov, you make some excellent points.  I would highly suggest the GD Olga as a likely subject for  her view of history. Your time frame is perfect, BTW'
 As for settings..... well  the original locations are basically unavailable and  the use use of original  furniture and such  is impossible- they are too fragile, if they even still exist!  Also, studios have access to their own stock or prop rentals which specialise in such  things.
 Yes, creating a set is costly, but the furniture ans other props are created for  professional use, unlike the antiques in the real palaces. Also,  such a production  would require a lot of heavy equipment as well as people. The floors would be ruined! Lighting alone would damage wall  & artwork. So, all in all, I think the cost are probably even but the logistics quite different. I know the film N&A was not perfect, especially regarding locations,  however, it did convey the image of the splendour of the Russian court, most people have no idea of the real locations, especially at that time. I also wondered at times just what palace were they supposed to be at? I still think it a beautiful film. Exteriors, if not at Peterhoff,  can be anywhere, can't they? And, almost everything is recreated now anyway.
 I mentioned Last Emperor earlier- almost all of that was  props, because not much has actually survived of the original, even though it was filmed on location- the Forbidden City. And Titanic, out of necessity,  recreacreated all of the fittings of the ship for that film.
 As for current  views, have you seen  the Cranford series? A beautiful costume  "drama" with Dame Judi Dench leading.   Jane Austen is still popular [not to my taste]. So the studios still have the resources, but need the funds to produce.
 Remember, this is a for profit business, not a charity, so costs are going  to be high, no matter what or how any project is done!
 
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Kalafrana on February 22, 2010, 10:07:54 AM
Pavlov

At the time the original film was made locations such as the Alexander Palace would have been inaccessible to western film makers and so they had to go by the limited information available in photographs and written descriptions. So not surprising that the settings are not particularly accurate (apart from anything else, the ceiling in the corridor flanked by the Chevalier Guards seems much too low!) As you say, probably the best they could do at the time.

I think covering the period 1904-18 was quite enough for a 3-hour film. Any more and you would need several episodes. If you started with Alexander II's death scene you could do episodes as follows:
1 Death of Alexander II up to Nicholas's accession and marriage
2 First half of Nicholas's reign, including the 1905 Revolution
3 1905-6 up to the outbreak of war
4 War and Revolution
5 Imprisonment and murder

I would be inclined to end there, but that is a personal view.

I think if it was going to be done through the eyes of a survivor I would pick Grand Duchess Olga - for me she is the most sympathetic of your candidates.

Ann

Ann
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 22, 2010, 12:15:19 PM
Also good ideas Ann. Now all we have to to do do is write it and sell it!  I do not know how to write a screenplay. It would be re-written so many times to accommodate budgets and such so, that may not matter.
 I love the idea of a series. N&A was based on the book by Massie, and therefore covered a specific period. Also, the research & locations, considering the time it was produced,  was  rather limited as well, I think. A series could fill out the story. Something along the lines of Fall of Eagles, perhaps?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Kalafrana on February 22, 2010, 12:30:45 PM
'Fall of Eagles' was one of the inspirations for my interest in the period. Extremely well done (except for forgetting about the fall of the Habsburgs) and with a very high-powered cast.

As you say, we just need to write it, find the locations, and persuade someone to make it!

Ann
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 22, 2010, 01:02:52 PM
I do not know how true this is, but I have been told there are  2 or 3 episodes of FoE that were never produced.  13 was enough  and the costs were rising ever so much! {I would love to read them, if true). Such series are possible, if  they sell,  especially to the American market [budgets are quire  restrained]  but IMO, only  the BBC or perhaps ITV can produce  such  projects. I would never leave it to Hollywood clumsiness, if it were ever up to me.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Douglas on February 23, 2010, 12:25:18 AM
I like the idea of a series about the Romanovs as seen through the eyes of Lili Dehn and several others.  She has the advantage of being upper class yet not a complete royal.  She is one I and many of this Forum could identify with on a more personal level.  That would leave the royals in their own lofty domain on the screen.  I have read her book and she gives some good insights into the various personalities.

We could even add someone like Anna V. for a more common touch as a contrast to the Empress.

Also let's add Count Alexander von Benckendorff  who was the the type of a servile but most elegant courtier, and his memoirs are available so that we know his actual thoughts and opinions of the scene.  He was a kind of Master of Ceremonies of the last Imperial Court.

The two tutors come to mind also.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: PAVLOV on February 23, 2010, 06:49:11 AM
Yes I also thought the tutors would be a good idea.  Mr Gibbes perhaps. But I personally think that GD Olga would be the best candidate. History has tainted Baroness Buxhoeveden, so I dont know about her. So I am taking her off my list. If I had to choose between the two, I think Vyrubova would be my second choice.

Have any of you seen " Onegin " made by Ralph's sister Martha(?). It is exactly the sort of atmosphere one would need for a remake of this movie. Just so wonderful. If you have'nt, make a point of seeing it. The winter scenes in St Petersburg are breathtaking, one can almost feel the cold, and smell the trees in the country scenes.

Possibly if an English and Russian company colloborated, they could gain access to the Palaces on a limited basis. It has been done before. Russian Ark was a German/Russian joint venture. And look what they achieved. Very rushed and sometimes confusing, but they did it.
I am sure that the curators of Alexander Palace and others could use the proceeds for renovations.
Yes the floors would be ruined, but they can be covered with painted copies on canvas for protection. This has been done many times before, and I am sure they can make a plan with the furniture. Obviously they cannot use the original stuff. But the Russians will probably have copies. They were very creative in Russian Ark, although it was a bit weird sometimes. If Mr Piotrovsky allowed all these hundreds of people to rush through the Winter Palace, perhaps he would be of great assistance  in allowing the filmakers to use the other palaces as well. Without infringing on the tourists. They could shoot the inside scenes at night possibly, when the tourists are not there.

I just love the idea. I hope it happens, and that someone has the money to do it.
Maybe the world economy will come out of the doldrums soon, and this dream turn into reality. God knows, the world is in need of as much beauty as it can get at the moment, and where better to look, than in the past ? The Russian past, I would think.

 

         
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: TimM on July 02, 2010, 04:13:03 PM
A remake of Nicholas and Alexandra would be great.  It could be done better than the original, since the fall of the Soviet Union for several reasons.

1.  We have access to much more information about NAOTMAA than we did in 1971, we even know their final fate for certain now.

2.  The movie could be shot in the actual locations, such as the Alexander Palace and Livadia (sp?).  Granted Ipatiev House no longer exists, but CGI can take care of that.

I think it's time for a remake.  If not a movie, then a mini-series, ala I, Claudius.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 02, 2010, 04:34:44 PM
I would not hold  your breath over those idea, TimM.  A remake would not likely sell enough to make  a profitable return for a very costly production. Hisrori cal dramas are heavy on   $$$s   every aspect of making them. Using toe original locations would also be unlikely, as none of them are in the same state as they were in 1917.  With N&A,  palace from other countries were used as well as  glorious , expensive sets in studios.
 Movies now are now [as always]  aimed at the  largest audience. Action,  inane comedies,  crime etc.  Young people fill theatres for them. N&A would be a tiny niche market in the global movie going audience.
 As for a mini-series... it has already been done - Fall of Eagles. That was not exclusively the Romanovs, but they were an essential part of it. The only  companies that could do it justice are the BBC and perhaps ITV,  but neither are interested- I asked.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: rosieposie on July 02, 2010, 06:24:32 PM
I read on an Ian Mckellen site that for Rasputin, they used locations in Budapest and a few shots in St Petersburg.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: TimM on July 02, 2010, 06:40:22 PM
Ah, well, it didn't hurt to suggest it.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 02, 2010, 07:14:45 PM
f course  not, Tim M.  Some years back, we even  had a  "recast" of a remake. It may still be here. But that went on for a while, even though we all knew it would never happen. I am with you, and many others, I would like to see a new version. Maybe not N&N  but a more updated  book. Perhasps FOTR. But  someone has to raise the money AND the cast to make it possible. I am just  being realistic. It is not at all likely to happen. And the quality of movies made today  makes me think we all might be very disappointed if it  did happen.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: TimM on July 02, 2010, 11:15:52 PM
Couldn't Steven Spielburg or Oliver Stone do it?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 02, 2010, 11:33:26 PM
Tim M, Those guys d o not make movies  without investors. Besides, it not their genre of movie. This industry is a business to make money, not provide   history lessons.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: TimM on July 02, 2010, 11:35:15 PM
Didn't Stone make Alexander?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 02, 2010, 11:55:48 PM
I think so, and it was a financial flop. I have 3 versions of it. [the original  studio release,  the Director's Cut &  Alexander Revisted, the final, uneditd cut] It lost a lot of money.  Personally, I like the film, but it did not sell well.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: TimM on July 03, 2010, 12:03:45 AM
Yeah, I liked Alexander too.  Okay, maybe they took some liberties, but it was an enjoyable film.  I guess most movie goers are too busy seeing stuff like Shrek to give a historical picture a chance.  A shame.  It seems we here at Alexander Palace are a small minority.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: PAVLOV on July 06, 2010, 07:13:35 AM
Yes we are a very small minority. And getting smaller it would seem. The world is more concerned with greed and making money, and the past seems less important now than it ever was.
My personal opinion however is that if one does not know what happened in the past and take cognisance of the lessons that history provides the future could come as a very unpleasant surprise. Given the present situation in Russia, I sometimes wonder if they have learnt anything from their history.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 06, 2010, 08:58:42 AM
 I so agree, Pavlosk. I have believed from an early age that those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.  That goes for any culture.  Movies, however, are not a good way to  learn history.  Better than  nothing, but by nature, they are made to entertain, in one way or another and  cannot be taken  as true, literal history. Some  actual documentaries can be helpful, but still,  by necessity, they are limited  by time and editing processes.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: TimM on July 07, 2010, 01:50:11 AM
So I guess if they did make a new N&A, we would go see it, but most people wouldn't, because it won't have cars blowing up or scantly clad ladies.  Sad.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 07, 2010, 11:55:37 AM
Actually TimM, you might have an idea that could possibly sell.  A fictional "rescue" of the IF based on one or more of the books about such attempts. Sounds very much like a Tom Cruise vehicle {yuck} but might sell. Of course, in such a film, he would have to be the hero who saves them so it would not be very believable [not true in any case]. I am afraid that is about as close as we may get to a new Romanov film  for now. Now, who would be the scanily clothed sexpots ?  Dread to imagine...
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: TimM on July 07, 2010, 12:13:16 PM
Quote
Now, who would be the scanily clothed sexpots ?  Dread to imagine...


Hollywood Producer:  Man, these Grand Duchesses are so bland.  Let's sex em up and Tom's character can sleep with all of them!

*shudder*

Seriously though, when you said I had an idea that could sell, were you referring to my story, Bid Time Return?
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 07, 2010, 01:11:37 PM
Well, no TimM.  I was just thinking of what you said in your last post about action cars and scantily  glad babes.
 However, I  would be  happy to read Big Time Return, I will  try to find it.
Title: Re: If you could remake 'Nicholas and Alexandra'....
Post by: TimM on July 07, 2010, 04:16:20 PM
It's in the Having Fun section.