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: Sarai on May 08, 2004, 02:53:48 PM

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

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

Peter Kurth's book Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas & Alexandra briefly mentions this episode on pg. 180. It states: "As he grew older the boy appears to have more and more often tempted fate and even to have deliberately brought on attacks. It was 'as if he did it on purpose,' said the tsar."
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ptitchka on May 10, 2004, 07:30:48 PM
I think Alexei was just incredibly bored and simply wanted to go for a slide like he had in the snow, with a disastrous result.  He was certainly demonstrating what has been called the 'daredevil' reaction in hemophiliacs, a wordless way to say  'Why can't I be like other boys?'

The 1971 film does the character of the Tsarevich a great disservice.  No one could have enjoyed life 'when it let him' more than he, because he took not even the smallest joy for granted.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Suzanne on May 10, 2004, 08:08:13 PM
Although the 1971 film has many strengths, I believe it is a disservice to the characters of all the Tsar's children. Pierre Gilliard notes in his memoirs that when he told Alexei of the Tsar's abdication, the boy did not make reference to his own rights but just seemed confused asking "Who would be Tsar". Therefore, the scene in the movie where he reproaches his father for abdicating on his behalf does not ring true.

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

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

A three hour movie can't show everything but I think it would have helped the film if the characterisations of the children had been more accurate and the loving relationship between Nicholas and Alexandra and their daughters had been portrayed.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: BobAtchison on May 10, 2004, 08:11:20 PM
Even the Romanov family didn't like it and walked out on it.

Bob
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on May 10, 2004, 08:50:56 PM
I'm pretty sure it was Marie who exposed herself to the guard which ties into that theory about her having a relationship with a guard.

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

Bob would you mind explaining a bit more about why the Romanovs did not like the film?    
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JM on May 10, 2004, 08:52:51 PM
I don't think any of the girls "exposed" themselves to a guard. I haven't seen the movie but that sounds really stupid.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on May 10, 2004, 09:04:14 PM
In the film NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, when the family are imprisoned in Ekaterinburg a guard looks in the room of the daughters of the Tsar.  Marie who is in a dressing gown asks him if he would like to see her.  She opens her gown and exposes herself to him.  He stares for a few seconds never uttering a word. After he leaves Marie cries in Olga's arms saying that she has often been told she is pretty and she wishes she had invited him in.

I think the scene is trying to show us that the four Grand Duchesses have never, nor will they ever lead a normal life.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JM on May 10, 2004, 09:09:18 PM
I think that this scene says alot. Even if it isn't true. It speaks of the vulnerability of the girls. Both emotionally and because of the situation they are in. I suppose that the "exposing" isn't necessarily physical.

Well, I think I should watch the movie.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lanie on May 10, 2004, 10:15:42 PM
It was "Tatiana" (played by Lynne Frederick) who exposed herself to one of the guards, not Maria. I forget who the actress who played Maria was ...  I agree the movie is horrible.  Tatiana says something like, "I'm 21, I'm so pretty, everyone says I'm so pretty, and no man has ever seen me!"  Idiotic, I say!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: jackie3 on May 10, 2004, 10:48:57 PM
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In the film NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, when the family are imprisoned in Ekaterinburg a guard looks in the room of the daughters of the Tsar.  Marie who is in a dressing gown asks him if he would like to see her.  She opens her gown and exposes herself to him.  He stares for a few seconds never uttering a word. After he leaves Marie cries in Olga's arms saying that she has often been told she is pretty and she wishes she had invited him in.

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


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

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

I'm not surprised Romanov family members walked out. I would be interested to know (Bob, maybe you know?) what Robert Massie's feelings on the film were.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on May 10, 2004, 10:52:50 PM
I enjoyed the film very much--it was my introduction to the story--and I purchased the DVD last fall.

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

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

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

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

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

I'd say more, but I'm entering this from a library computer, and closing time is nigh!!  :o
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: DeAnochka on May 10, 2004, 11:37:10 PM
I saw the film once, and I couldn't help but laugh at certain scenes. I actually don't remember the scene where Tatiana "exposes" herself. That is such a disgrace. The scene that sticks out the most in my mind though is the murder of Rasputin. What was up with that?! It was totally inaccurate.  >:(
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on July 19, 2004, 08:46:28 PM
I think mine is the one where they go into Alexei's room after he's been so sick and expected to die, and he looks up and says "hello mother." That part is very awesome. Then, you have Rasputin traveling drunk by horse across Russia. "and a good day to you, too, madam!" he yells from the back of the haywagon. I can't help but laugh every time.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ptitchka on July 19, 2004, 08:55:19 PM
Mine is when Alix kisses her son goodnight once he's been calmed down after his bad dream of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.  This scene is NOT on the VHS tape but on the DVD with the restored scenes.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on July 19, 2004, 08:57:49 PM
I've never seen that! What other scenes are on the DVD that weren't in the movie?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lanie on July 20, 2004, 12:14:08 AM
A scene that's not on VHS is where Tatiana reveals herself to a Bolshevik guard.

I think the scene where the girls are painting with M. Gilliard is sorta cute.  But I don't like that movie in general.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: DOMOVOII on July 22, 2004, 05:47:41 PM
The image I'm always left with after watching is that of AF rushing to AN bedside, train caught up and oblivious to anyone else but her little boy. That was beautifully shown.

The Egg Irene Worth is handed makes me laugh out loud, utter tack!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on July 22, 2004, 06:38:55 PM
I very much like the scene that generally wasn't in the theatrical cut, but made it into the DVD--and which I believe has been already mentioned by Pravoslavnaya (haven't watched the film since March!)--because it also includes Nicholas calming his children's fears by speaking to them very directly, very rationally, and with a great deal of affection. I liked Michael Jayston throughout the film, and in particular in this scene. Just the kind of man an intelligent woman would want to be the father of her children!

Also, since some of us are commenting on scenes they don't like . . . well, as I flinch at depictions of violence, much of Nicholas and Alexandra does of course disturb me, but especially the crying child during the Bloody Sunday scene; the scene where the rabbit is actually skinned--I look away/plug my ears/turn down the sound/or whatever it takes at that point--plus, of course, the final scene. I usually tune that one out, too, although I appreciate it for the masterful job of editing. All of us know what is coming, but the editor heightens our suspense (and heart rate) by the brutally excellent sequencing of scenes.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Sergei on July 22, 2004, 07:33:56 PM
It's been a long time since I saw the film which, like a lot of us, I didn't really like. The scene that has stayed with me though is Nicholas and Alexandra returning to the palace after hearing that their son is ill.  So that no one realises the crisis they walk in a stately, calm way along a red carpert through rows of bowing courtiers until the double doors of their private apartments close behind them. At this point they abandon the pretense and break into a run in order to get to their son.
At least that is the way I remember it. Maybe my memory is influenced by Gilliard's recollections of the Empress at Spala during one of Alexei's health crises running down a corridor with her train in her hands having a few moments before been smiling and gracious to guests.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on August 14, 2004, 04:47:04 PM
   This doesn't really answer the question but I made a fabulous discovery last night.

I put N&A on and watched most the Family scenes towards the end in slow motion with the english subtitles.  

The scene with the Girls in the bedroom after Anastasia has been prattling on about the crack in the paint Olga looks on with  rather an amused expression on her face until the soldier comes in.

The scene where the Family is reading their mail, Olga is very animated. It comes thru more in slow motion maybe because you can catch it.

The scene with Nicholas, Tatiana and Maria is in the main room or Alexie's room. I assumed it was in the hall the Girls room is joined to that one it seems.

The cellar tense as it is when you knew what was going to happen ( not to get off the subject but when I first saw the film I was in high school. I met upwith a friend from school she was there with her father and we were talking she DID NOT know the story and had NO idea of what was going to happen)

In the cellar I noticed before that Ania Marston and Lynne Fredricks are glancing off to the right, Fredericks even has a slight smile on her face. I assumed that this was a way of diverting the actresses so they could get thru the scene after reading about what they had gone thru trying to film.

I noticed also that Anastasia must have been in shock she has no expression on her face nor does she move. I remember from seeing it originally (the dvd is in letterbox) that there was a general pull back at the very end and Anastasia just simply closed her eyes.

Nicholas desperately tries to shield Alexie and is shot initally thru the hand, Alexie slumps but Nicholas does not seem to be harmed even with a wound in his hand.  It almost gives you the impression Alexie was the first to die.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joanna on August 23, 2004, 10:09:18 PM
The director of the film Nicholas & Alexandra Franklin Schaffner's archives has a listing of materials including 50 photographs of the Tsar's family among other photos and postcards:

39/1 Photographs and postcards
39/2 - 39/9 photographs. [279 items] (8 f)
39/10 photographs of the tsar's family [50 items]

http://library.fandm.edu/archives/schaffner/schaffner-movie.html

It would be fascinating to see these not only for the curiosity of what was available to him c1971 prior to the prolifigation of materials after 1980's but also what photos did he use to recreate the interior scenes of the palace for the film.

Joanna

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Greg_King on August 24, 2004, 12:58:12 AM
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I've never seen that! What other scenes are on the DVD that weren't in the movie?


There are some differences too, in the version that used to be shown on TV and the VHS and DVD releases-most notably, the scene after Alexei's birth in Nicholas and Alexandra's bedroom runs about 5 minutes in the version I taped from TV 20 years ago, whereas it's either missing or greatly edited in both the VHS and DVD releases.  There are some other cuts as well-and I know I was surprised as I expected the DVD to have the complete version, but I think the TV version I taped actually has perhaps 10 minutes more of footage that never made it onto either the VHS or DVD releases.

Greg King
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Genevieve on August 27, 2004, 01:06:54 AM
My favorite scene was when Alexandra greeted Nicholas after he abdicated and was returned to the palace.  The scene was so sad especially when you know it really happen.

I did not know it was on DVD.  Will have to get it.  

I have the VHS version  but want the DVD.  Also did they ever put the theme music on a album?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 27, 2004, 06:53:24 PM
As a film, I personally think it a great.  The acting & production are beautiful.
As is the case with all films based on books, it is an incomplete picture & rather simplistic at best.
Ther will be those who rant & rave against it, but after all, it is just a film. The book won all the prizes, they are seperate works entirely.
Cheers,
Robert
[besides, any Romanov devotee simply must see it]
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JM on August 27, 2004, 07:05:53 PM
You do not know how lucky you are!

I was just like you until several weeks ago, and then disaster struck. I saw that trashy movie. :o

It was simply horrible. If you want to review it as an actual "movie" and not some stupid pseudo-documentary loosely "based" on Mr. Massie's book -- it was terrible. However when you consider it a "representation" of the book -- it was revolting!

Alix seemed happier as an Ex-Empress. They also made her look like some socially demented woman that couldn't communicate with anyone. That "dance scene" in Tobolsk was beyond comprehension and I am still at a loss for words. ??? The timing of everything was off, but that's to be expected. There was also the usual portrayal of Alix as Rasputin's begging trollop. Dr. Botkin looked more like Lenin. I didn't recognise alot of the landscapes although I did understand what they were trying to get across. The most glaring error was the execution scene -- but I'll leave that for you to find out. :)

Maybe I'm just picky. :-/
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lanie on August 27, 2004, 07:27:48 PM
I didn't like it either, mostly for the characterizations of the Imperial Family and some of the, er, more questionable scenes.  These are talked about in the other thread about one's favorite scenes in this movie.

The costuming was very nice, however, I'll admit that!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Louise on August 27, 2004, 08:00:36 PM
My advise to you is to rent the movie, and see what you think. When I first read the book and saw the movie in the early 1970's that was about all there was on the Romanov's. We are more enlightened now.

The book is still far more superior than the movie in everyway.

I would watch it for the lavish sets, the costumes, and ballgowns, and for Janet Suzman's performance.

I was starting to watch it again last night for the sheer joy of it.  :)

Go ahead and rent it and watch it. If you are like me, I read and watch almost everything on the Romanovs.

My fave scene. When the Tsar and Tsarina are walking down the corridor to go to the Dowager Empress's birthday and all the guardsmen are saluting them. The richness of the scene still appeals to me.

Louise
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: jackie3 on August 27, 2004, 08:50:54 PM
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It was simply horrible. If you want to review it as an actual "movie" and not some stupid pseudo-documentary loosely "based" on Mr. Massie's book -- it was terrible. However when you consider it a "representation" of the book -- it was revolting!


I wouldn't call it terrible but in retrospect it's very stagy and not as epic as it wants to be. It certainly hasn't aged well.

The performances are very good but the characterizations are sometimes way off. As I've mentioned before, aside from the title it doesn't seem like the screenwriter had read Massie's book at all. While Massie was very sympathetic to the Imperial family, the screenwriter (who I believe was William Goldman's brother) didn't even seem to like Nicholas and Alexandra and put in several scenes where we had various people (Keresnky, Witte, Communist Commisar) lecturing Nicholas on what a bad guy he is. Yarovsky the Executioner is made to be a kindly old gent (he wasn't) and the local Ural Soviet apparatchik is made to be a clueless ditherer (which they weren't).  Poor sick Alexis is made to be selfish snot and OTMA are seen but not heard, merely serving as background wallpaper (which may be a good thing considering that disgusting IMO cut scene with Tatiana exposing herself to her guards- a disservice to her memory and definitely NOT in Massie's book).

The definitive movie version of N&A's life has yet to be made I think.


Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Genevieve on August 27, 2004, 10:51:15 PM
Personally it was kinda long and okay.    

I enjoyed a movie on cable a lot more about 4 years ago.  Do not remember the title but it started with the grave being found.  

You hear Alexis saying  " These are the bones of my family"   And it covers the last years of the Russian Royal Family and Rasputin.  

It was really good.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Louise on August 27, 2004, 10:54:54 PM
That was Rasputin with Alan Rickman, and Greta Sacchi.

Louise
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: jackie3 on August 28, 2004, 01:45:08 AM
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That was Rasputin with Alan Rickman, and Greta Sacchi.

Louise



Considering it was a movie about Rasputin (played by Alan Rickman which is reason enough to watch it) I actually think that was a better portrayal of N&A (and Alexis as well) than the Nicholas and Alexandra movie was. The love of the family for each other, their weaknesses and their faith to the end came through very well.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JM on August 28, 2004, 10:55:14 AM
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Personaly it was kinda long,and okay.     I enjoyed a movie on cable a lot more about 4 years ago.  Do not rember the title but it started with the grave being found.   You hear Alexis saying  " THis is the bones of my family"   And it covers the last years of the Russian
Royal Family and Rasputin.   It was really good.


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

It takes alot for me to admit that.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: chris on August 28, 2004, 03:43:26 PM
The HBO Rasputin movie is out of production and kind of hard to get.  I saw one on eBay the other day, and it went up to $90.  Imagine that!  Most of the ones at auction are in the PAL version, that won't work in the US.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 28, 2004, 04:47:46 PM
Well, "seek & ye shall recieve"- sort of.
I checked Amazon.uk and they have the DVD [issued 2000] listed for preorder ! So, I preordered it !.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on August 28, 2004, 05:23:35 PM
Hi Genevieve,

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

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Greg_King on August 29, 2004, 04:32:04 AM
Quote
Hi Greg--

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

Janet


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

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

Greg King
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Silja on August 29, 2004, 04:45:50 PM
Hi!

I really agree with Robert_Hall and anna.

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

Rasputin with Alan Rickman is a rather good portrayal of Rasputin, but Greta Scacchi is a pathetic Alexandra. Couldn't agree more with anna here.
Especially her line at the end of the film, at Ekaterinburg, "I made so many mistakes" is totally unlike the real empress. So Rasputin is in many ways as flawed in characterization as N&A.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Kim on August 30, 2004, 10:46:33 AM
Even though it has its flaws it is still so far the best non documentary ever done on the IF. Come on, Rasputin and the Empress? Rasputin the Mad Monk? The Anastasia cartoons? Please!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alexa on August 30, 2004, 02:42:52 PM
Quote
and Back to the Future is a better movie too, if all you're looking for is entertainment value. I believe when something is based on a true story it should not be fictionalized like Anastasia and Pochahontas were. It's also bad for little kids who are misled into not knowing the true story because they believe the cartoon.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, I think we all need to remember that these are d-r-a-m-a-t-i-z-a-t-i-o-n-s, i.e., representations. I, too, feel that facts should be adhered to as much as possible. But just as there is a difference between fiction and nonfiction, so there is in comparing a stage play or film to a documentary. After reading Massie's book, then most of the books he lists in his bibliography, then as many additional books as possible published on the subject, I think the many people behind the 1971 film came very, very close to replicating the tone, mood, and dramatic sweep of the times.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on August 30, 2004, 03:03:10 PM
Alexa, although we do not share opinions on Nicholas and Alexandra, as someone who has been fascinated with the story of the Titanic I felt, as you did, that the recent film fell short of expectations. Certainly the art design and special effects were terrific, but I found the script to be frequently ludicrous and filled with anachronisms. The actors did the best with what they had been given, but I've seen both Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCapprio give better performances in other movies, and I understand that during the filming both made objections to director James Cameron about the script. Overall I'd say Cameron was embarked on a vanity project that turned out to be long on overinflated spectacle and extremely short on subtlety. A far more accurate film in terms of representing the 1912 culture would be the 1950s movie, A Night to Remember. Technically it is not as splendid, but it does stay away from fictionalized teen romance! Another 1950s film, Titanic, does feature fictional characters, but they are portrayed with greater dignity. Not to take away from Kate and Leonardo, but their characters--as scripted--were more like a couple of teenage mall rats.

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

 


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

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

Alexa
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 30, 2004, 03:39:29 PM
Janet, I share your views entirely on N&A. It IS a film, for goodness sakes. To copmre it to such cartoon fare as Anastasia & Back to the Future is silly, they are entirely different film genres.
Also, most of the comments here come from seeing the film on tv, by video.
I saw the film in Beverly Hills, first run. OK, that made a big difference at least to me. It does not come accross very well on a small screen format.  I was a lot younger, and went to see it 4-5 times.
On a large screen or better- full movie screen, I think it still holds up as a classy, historically flawed but acceptable film portrayal of a complex subject.
Just like anything to do with the Romanovs,  no one is going to be totally satisfied, objectivity just does not fit well with the subject matter it seems.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: AnBhanfhaidh on August 30, 2004, 05:36:39 PM
Well, I first saw the film on TV, I guess when it was first released to that medium and I had always had nostalgic thoughts about it. I was way younger then and way less informed about the Romanovs.

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

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

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

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

Just my 2 cents worth.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on August 30, 2004, 06:43:47 PM
Yes Robert, I agree with you. It's a film for goodness sakes!!! An interpretation as good as possible. Watching on full movie screen is overwhelming, sounds, colors, especialy the great scenes, the ball and others with crowds. But also the final scene causes anxiety, on tv I could barely watch it.

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

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JM on August 30, 2004, 06:54:13 PM
Gone With The Wind!  :D
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on August 30, 2004, 06:58:18 PM
I'm beginning to feel like a publicist for the film, and, if it wasn't 30+ years later, y'all would probably think that I am on their payroll!  :D

But actually I very much dislike that publicity catch-phrase which AnBhanfhaidh has quoted . . . I agree, it is a gross oversimplification. If I had been asked to supply publicity for the film I would have somehow included Alexei's hemophillia since that was Robert Massie's basic premise . . . that the child's illness was really "the last straw" in terms of bringing down the dynasty. Now, that's an awful burden to lay on the spirit of a child, but I think it would have been far better to focus on the tragedy and heartbreak of the illness--which couldn't be helped--than to heap such horrible blame on Alexandra!

Another route to have taken would have been emphasizing the great love that lasted between these two people.

The film's script does try to show how Nicholas was caught "between a rock and a hard place." I have known several men with that type of personality--wanting to please everyone, trying to placate, trying to stay on middle ground, and ultimately failing. And because they are men, people are all the more critical of them, thinking them weak because they are striving to be diplomatic!

But I think the film also makes clear the fact that Nicholas had inherited a powderkeg, and that the only possible way around the problem would have been to continue a Duma . . . but that Nicholas had been taught that to give way on this matter was failure, and so he held firm to absolute monarachy as much as he could, all the while striving to be a moderate man in personal issues.

I did think, at one point, that his reunion at Tsarkoe Selo with Alexandra after the abdication was over the top . . . and then I reread the words that Anna Vyrubova wrote about the Empress saying that "He cried like a child"--and realized that the film's scene, while painful, was probably fairly close to what happened.

As I continue to learn more and more about Nicholas and Alexandra, of course, I can see more and more things that I would have "tweaked" had I been the director or writer of the screenplay. However, I continue to maintain that the film was highly effective in bringing the basic outlines of the story to many of us, and that it would be best to judge it by 1971 standards rather than what we all know now . . . just as, if you are of "a certain age," you know that you've become a more informed person than you were in 1971!   ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JM on August 30, 2004, 07:29:29 PM
Based on pure entertainment value -- I think that Nicholas and Alexandra was horrible. However, I do think that Anastasia was entertaining.

Is Anastasia accurate? No. But it was funny. I did get caught up in the stupid plot. It was a cartoon, and as such I hold it to a lower standard than I would a feature film.

Is Nicholas and Alexandra accurate? I just think of the that wonderful dance scene during Easter in that lovely dacha near(???) Tobolsk. Remember; OTMA were dancing with their captors under a starry sky while Alexandra looked on -- smiling.

:)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 30, 2004, 07:41:43 PM
JM, GWTW was a novel, fiction. No comparrison.
However, I would nominate THE LAST EMPEROR, about Pu Yi.  It was an epic portrayal, set in the Forbidden City, exact costumes,  and, having read a shelf full of books on the subject, fairly accurate. At least as accurate as any film can be in condensing  50 years of history into about 3 hours.
Another might be THE AFFAIR OF THE DIAMOND NECKLACE, about that pivotal episode towards the end of the French monarchy. The details followed in the telling of that scandal were quite accurate, according to the non-fiction books I have read at least.
There have been some well told histories of Spanish monarchs told by Spanish filmakers-in Spanish of couirse, as well as some French films.  One usually only finds them at foreign film houses however.
Juana La Loca  and La Reine Margot come to mind.
I suppose there might be others.
The Brits, of course put out beautiful histories.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on August 31, 2004, 09:28:14 AM
While I am sorry it wasn't better, I don't dislike it at all. I had some of the same problems with it Massie said he did: for all its good look alike actors, wonderful costumes and sets, it was choppy, episodic and not right. I don't like the way they talk to each other, some of the things they say are cruel and if you read their diaries and letters I don't believe they treated each other that way.

Even though  it is full of minor inaccuracies it still blows away anything else Hollywood ever came out with on them. I honestly do enjoy watching it, until the last, sad parts.

For the record, I saw it first on TV in 1975 at age 14 but missed the second part the second night when we got home late from a family trip. I didn't see it again until I found the videotape about 1992. I have not seen the DVD.

Inaccuracies that bug me:

the use of Stolypin for the tercentenary when he'd in fact been dead 2 years

the way they drag out the Alexei bellybutton thing for months all the way to Bloody Sunday when really it all happend in Sept. (he was born in summer but it was snowing outside!) and use Rasputin when he hadn't met them yet

the way N & A talk to each other

how they act like A never heard of hemophilia- it was in her family!

they made the  OTMA girls too old too soon and never developed any of them as characters

other important characters like Ella, Anna Vyrbova, Misha, Sandro and Xenia, etc. were totally omitted

the inaccuracies in the Rasputin murder scene (though it was hilarious at times)

well those are the main ones, I'm sure you all know the rest.

I also want to add that I was scared by the creepy old man who played Yurovsky and his taunting of Alexei ("Counldn't be nice being an invalid at your age!") is awful.

Best features:

the actors who played- and looked like- Nicholas, Alexandra, Empress Marie, Kerensky, Alexei, and Rasputin.

The costumes, set, and soundtrack

I watch it about once every month or two. My kids (18 and 15) have seen it so much it's become one of those movies we make classical reference to and quote when something comes up to remind us of a scene.

The main thing about this film is that it leaves me with an incredible overwhelming desire to redo it myself as a 12 hour miniseries with a screenplay written by me! ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JM on August 31, 2004, 11:35:14 AM
I just think that as a representation of Massie's book; Nicholas and Alexandra was a failure. I could've tolerated some mistakes if I was at least "caught up" in the majesty of it all -- but i wasn't. I was disappointed because I had expected a relatively good film. The costumes and sets were not even lavish enough for me. Everything seemed so contrived! Looking back; I have a hard time even recalling what happend in the movie.

Nicholas and Alexandra is an example of how not to go from a book to a movie. GWTW -- although it is fiction -- is an example of how you can leave out important facts and still make a good movie from a book. I do realize that the GWTW is pure fiction with a little bit of history thrown in. But N&A is much the same -- it is history with alot of fiction thrown in. So while the books may not be comparable -- the movies almost are.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 31, 2004, 11:50:42 AM
Annie, ideally, to me, the "best" version would be a multi episode opus. Much like Star Wars- you know, 3 series of 3 episodes. prequels, sequels and "postquels" or whatever.  Unlimited budget, top-line cast [ Bradd Pitt & Johnny Depp as Dimitri & Felix]  costumes by Adrian- even though I know he is dead, but he did such fabulous period court gowns.  Dame Judi Dench, Liz Taylor,  Lavish sets, as well as historically correct family rooms. top-of-the-line, best money can buy screenplays & scripts,  etc. etc.
Even then not everyone will be satisfied.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on August 31, 2004, 12:21:55 PM
Quote
Annie, ideally, to me, the "best" version would be a multi episode opus. Much like Star Wars- you know, 3 series of 3 episodes. prequels, sequels and "postquels" or whatever.Unlimited budget, top-line cast

That sounds like a good idea! But the only thing about it is that the public has such a short attention span they might forget or lose interest waiting for the next movie. Even if it were a miniseries I'd still want it to be big time and big budget, if possible.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on August 31, 2004, 02:02:22 PM
I know what you mean about OTMA, I want them to be real characters so much but I don't know if there would be time to develop them. Oh what the heck, this is our film, who cares! I say go all out with Olga and her boyfriend the sailor, her possible matches and her poetry. Tatiana's illness 1n 1913, Marie and the guard in Ekaterinburg, Anastasia and Gleb and the animal drawings. We could always leave her ending ambiguous and let the audience think what they want so everyone will be happy!

If I had 3 wishes, making this film really would be one of them. I have wanted to do it for 30 years now. If I ever hit  that power ball lottery for 280 million I'll try to bankroll it, and I know you'd all help in some way!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 31, 2004, 02:13:29 PM
Oh, you know I would love to  do it ! But think a budget 3 times that !! Like I said, money is not an issue !
An ending... one could use the gimmick of several different endings, 3 or 4 seperate filmed scenarios ??
The real trick is getting great scripts and screenplays.  One can have the best of everything, including cast and a lousy script ruins it.
I do not recall the film authors for Dr. Zhivago, but as I recall, that was quite good, both screenplay and the individual scripts for each role.
Good ideas on the GDs.  I do see Olga [my favourite, if I had one] as very introspective, perhaps lots of "thoughts"- writing, instead of spoken dialogue.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on August 31, 2004, 02:22:47 PM


Btw, didn't we had auditions for a new N&A movie in another thread?

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alexa on August 31, 2004, 02:38:10 PM
Quote
What to do twith the "girls"? They really did not do enough in real life to actually create valid characters, yet we would not want them to be just "wallpaper" again.


Play up what we do know about them.  Develope Olga as her father's confidant (in addition to Alix), focus on her fears of the future.  View WWI from her eyes as a nurse.  Do the same with Tatiana as her mother's confidant.  I can't think of how to develope Marie and Anastasia off the top of my head, but I'm sure with enough research, they could be well developed too.

Alexa
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JM on August 31, 2004, 02:55:21 PM
I think that if we focused on Marie during the beginning of the revolution at Tsarskoe Selo we could definitely bring her character across. Just portray it the way it actually happend. Novel idea!

Anastasia is a tough one because I can't recall any defining moments in her life off the top of my head.

James Horner should do the music!

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 31, 2004, 03:13:54 PM
Anna, this is not a remake of N&A, it is an ideal NEW version, probably based on several different books for different parts of the whole story. Up-to-date information, unlimited budget, in-our-dreams cast and resources...
A Romanov lovers "hog heaven"!!!
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on September 01, 2004, 04:26:50 AM
Well, amateurs sometimes proof to be the best actors. Maybe we have to pluck a Nicholas from the streets, you might bumb on the perfect guy. I shall have a look in the supermarket later this day. You never know between the milk or cookies :D
Robert, there's always the possibilty of you growing a moustache and beard  ;D

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 01, 2004, 11:30:48 AM

As for ME as Nicholas. Afraid not.  With beard & moustache I look like a skinny Sebastian Cabot ! I am the same build as Nicholas though, but with "Rasputin" eyes. [it has been commented on before !!]. Not sure that is a compliment.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lisa on September 02, 2004, 02:23:21 AM

Yesterday my cousin came home. (He absolutely didn't know Alexandra). When he saw my wallpaper (it's the famous cover of Prince Michael of Greece's book Nicolas et Alexandra), he thinks that Alexandra looks like Meryl Streep!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Louise on September 02, 2004, 08:30:19 AM
My casting call would be...

Natasha Richardson as Alexandra, Julia Ormond as Minnie, Dame Judy Dench as QV, Joan Allen as Ella, Colin Firth or Gary Oldman as Nicholas, Daniel Racliffe as Dimitri, Jeremy Irons as Sergei, Ralph Fiennes as Rasputin, Liam Neeson as Alexander lll.

Louise
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on September 02, 2004, 10:48:43 AM

Louise, do you mean with Natasha Richardson - Miranda Richardson?

Anna

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 02, 2004, 11:51:28 AM
THAT was Tom Cruise in Interview ? Not who I was thinking of then. You are right, he is most probably too light. Nicholas, even though a weak Emperor needs to be a powerful actor !
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Louise on September 02, 2004, 08:26:05 PM
Natasha Richardson...Vanessa Redgrave's daughter...Miranda Richardson could play Michen.

Louise
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on September 03, 2004, 09:15:14 AM
You know what I don't think that's a bad idea at all to cast OTMA from lookalike OTMA fans! Who could play the role with more love and feeling?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Louise on September 03, 2004, 09:53:24 AM
 Once you mentioned Miranda, I tried to think of a role for this wonderful actress and Michen came to mind.

Louise
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Silja on September 03, 2004, 02:15:55 PM
In Romanovy - Ventsenosnaya Semya OTMA are NOT wallpaper, but as I didn't understand most of what they were saying I don't know about their lines    ??? ::)
At least this proves it is POSSIBLE.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 03, 2004, 05:54:03 PM
Sure, why not? We haven't even touched all the other Romanovs and others in this epic story !
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on September 04, 2004, 11:15:36 PM
I really enjoyed 'Nicholas and Alexandra', i get to barrow for my school for free! [they have it; I'm always borrowing it] ;D

IT a was little cheesy,..but good. at some parts when Nicky get slapped by someone. then what Dr. B says 'You slapped the Tsar' made me laugh,..

The Girls who played OTMA were pretty. The boy who played Alexei not bad.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lisa on September 06, 2004, 04:36:01 PM
Well, here is our casting!
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/Sanstitre-5.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lisa on September 06, 2004, 04:36:46 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/Sanstitre-6.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lisa on September 06, 2004, 04:37:30 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/Sanstitre-3.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lisa on September 06, 2004, 04:38:02 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/Sanstitre-4.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lisa on September 07, 2004, 02:27:09 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/Sanstitre-7.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on September 07, 2004, 04:27:38 AM
Lisa, c'est magnifique !

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 08, 2004, 01:05:43 PM
 Great ideas here. Remember that it is a lot easier to make a younger actor age than the reverse !
Since thie "epic" is multi episode, we could take it up to, say WWII, that would allow for a lot of our older greats of the stage & screen to be in it.

Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on September 08, 2004, 04:57:52 PM
At least we provide a lot of actors a job :)

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on September 08, 2004, 05:25:55 PM
Because most of them would be out of work and on the streets without us.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Angie_H on September 09, 2004, 06:21:02 PM
Besides Nicholas & Alexandra and Rasputin with Alan Rickman were there ever any other movies made about the family? (And please don't include the is she or isn't she Anastasia movies! LOL)
Angie
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on September 09, 2004, 07:16:30 PM
There have been a couple of very cheesy Rasputin movies, including the one Felix and Irina sued MGM over in the 30's. They were also in Fall of Eagles the miniseries but I was not happy with the way they were portrayed at all.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Katya04 on September 13, 2004, 10:03:09 AM
BRUCE WILLIS as Lenin
WILLIAM DEFOE as Trotsky
DEMI MOORE and CATHERINE ZETA JONES as Stana and Milista
MARILYN MANSON as Rasputin
JODIE FOSTER as Ella
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on September 16, 2004, 05:18:01 PM
Dmitri was the blond, but I think Felix had dark hair?He was fair and had big blue eyes but I thought his hair was dark. In the painting by Serov his hair was almost black, and I thought since he was a painter he had the right color since the pictures don't. But he was beautiful, and somebody pretty would have to play him:)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on September 16, 2004, 06:58:36 PM
Making a miniseries has long been a dream of mine. I want to do it so bad. I think it would be best written by fans like us than by people with no feel for the characters.

If anyone has any infor on actual hair colors of these people let us know! Darn the black and white pictures!;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ashanti01 on September 16, 2004, 08:58:52 PM
Annie,
I think it will happen, but how soon I have no idea. The Romanovs are a very intresting topic, and a long mini series would be the only way to do the story justice. Its simply too much information for a two hour movie.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Ming on September 18, 2004, 06:13:46 AM
Please forgive me if I'm a little confused.  Are you saying that there will be a remake of the OLD Nicholas and Alexandra movie?  I have that one on video tape, but I can't hear it well enough to understand what is being said.  I'm deaf and hope anything new that comes out will have closed captioning.  Anyone know anything about this?

Ming
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ptitchka on September 18, 2004, 09:29:02 AM
Dear Ming --

If you have a DVD player, I have some very good news for you if you want to understand the movie.  The DVD of the restored version has captioning available in six languages.  I was surprised, however, that one of these six languages was not Russian.

I was curious enough to look at the captions in Chinese and Japanese at the point where the Heir recites his little poem:

'Alexi-yay, Alexi-yay, mustn't run, mustn't play,
Mustn't jump, mustn't climb.  Must be careful all the time!'

A thousand times more difficult for me than Russian and Slavonic alphabets...

Good luck!
Elizabeth
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on September 18, 2004, 03:56:38 PM
There are some differences in the restored version on dvd. Region 1 must have more lanquages and some extra's; behind the scene's, which the dvd for region 2 lacks. Both regions have the scene's which are deleted on video.

Saw the film "Black Narcissus" an oldy from 1947 with Deborah Kerr this afternoon on tv. She's playing a nun and could be a twin sister of Ella. Just frightening to see how they look the same. It's a pity some good actors/actress are now far too old to play a role in our mini series.

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on October 20, 2004, 03:11:21 PM
Does any one know of any incidents like that which occurred during "Nicholas and Alexandra's" final scene where the performers had problems getting thru the scene?

Lydia Bellingham mentioned in an article that they had some problems with "The Romanovs a Crowned Family"

Azrael
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on October 20, 2004, 03:14:55 PM
RE: the 1971 film, I remember reading interviews with the four young actresses playing OTMA, and one of them mentioned that while filming that final scene, everyone was extremely nervous. Another of the actresses remarked that she had grown quite fond of Janet Suzman and Michael Jayston as her parents, and it was difficult to wrap the film because of that.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: James_Davidov on October 29, 2004, 02:32:18 AM
On the subject of Nicholas and Alexandra, I found an old copy at this video store, I watched it, and didn't really enjoy it.  It was really long, and I dont think stimulating enough.  I didn't understand why because there is such a rich amount of information about the brilliance of court life, there was room for tricentenery celebrations and stuff, but they didn't include it.  They also hinted at a sexual relationship between rusputin and Alexandra, this was rumoured, allthough there is no strong historical evidence to support it.  There was one scene which i thought was incredible, the love descreet scene between Nicholas and Alexandra in Yeterinberg, it was probably only added to 'sauce' up the production, but reflects on the great love they had for each other
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ashanti01 on October 29, 2004, 10:58:32 AM
I know what you mean, I too didn't like the movie all that much. The film did hint a sexual realtionship between Alix and Rasputin, which I didn't think was right.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on October 29, 2004, 12:14:16 PM
The scene which many have felt hints at a sexual relationship between Alexandra and Rasputin follows Rasputin's "healing" of Alexei and can be read several ways. Earlier Rasputin has told Alexandra she must humble herself if her prayers for Alexei are to have any effect. So the controversial scene that eventually follows could be read as Alexandra now humbled and subserviant to God--who is represented by God's servant, Rasputin--or, if you wish, the attraction (in addition to the gratefulness) Alexandra feels toward Rasputin. I personally think the director and screenwriters wanted to keep the scene ambiguous for the moviegoer, especially since the script later includes the concerns that many people--intimates of the court, as well as the general public--were having regarding the relationship between the Tsarina and the tsarets. These concerns would not have been so powerfully fueled had there not been a bond of some sort (which we now recognize as platonic) between Alexandra and Rasputin. However, if you take into consideration Janet Suzman's overall characterization of Alexandra, it becomes obvious that she was a grateful parent, drawn into the mysticism of her adopted religion, and that she loved only Nicholas.

The scene at Ekaterinberg was also frequently mentioned at the time the film was released. I remember reading an interview with Robert Massie stating that he came across information, which he chose not to include in his book, indicating that Nicholas and Alexandra were sexually intimate right up until the end. Therefore I do not believe that scene was dropped into the script for any sort of sensationalism, and in my opinion the completed scene was well-scripted, well-acted . . . . and in all probability reflected reality!  ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ashanti01 on October 29, 2004, 12:22:23 PM
Nicholas and Alexander were in love until the end, and it not that hard to believe that they were intimate in their last months together.

But I have to wonder how they could be alone together when its been said the guards were always close by.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 29, 2004, 12:28:22 PM
I agree. Although the film does not do justice to the book,and takes dramatic liberties as any film based on history must do, I think it all-in-all is probably the best so far.
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on October 29, 2004, 12:36:37 PM
Yes, we know that the guards could be intrusive. However, we also know there were long stretches of time when the mood was one of boredom and complacency for both captives and captors.

Where there's a will, there's a way!  ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: rskkiya on October 29, 2004, 12:52:33 PM
In my opinion--
  This movie was good but not great -- no "Citizen Kane/Lion In Winter/Godfather" - but it was a charming if overblown costume drama with lots of lush music and fantastic sets.
   Historically its mostly wrong (suprise!)
    Good?Bad? Its a matter of taste I guess -- Its at best a sweet and harmless lark!
    I do hope they don't remake it !

  (  And yes I do think that N & A were able to have a few private moments --  I found that scene one of the most thoughtful and appealing images in the whole movie. )
Rskkiya
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 05, 2005, 11:22:44 AM
Quote
Seller's last wife was Lynne Frederick (1954-1994), who played Grand Duchess Tatiana in "Nicholas and Alexandra".
Frederick died quite young of alcoholism.
I just recently saw a 1973 movie "Henry VIII and His Six Wives" where Lynn Frederick played Catherine Howard!  I didn't realize she died so young.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on January 05, 2005, 01:04:31 PM


On April 30, 1994 I was sitting in an intensive care unit waiting area--just steps away from where my father was hooked up on life support (he died that evening) and trying to stuff down my feelings by scanning the newspaper--when I read that Lynne Frederick had died. My first reaction was "How could that be? She was so young!"

Since that time I've read a biography about Peter Sellers, and the information within isn't terribly heartening re: Ms. Frederick . . . she died from a combination of alcoholism, drug use, and obesity. This is very difficult to reconcile when watching her in Nicholas and Alexandra, and--in particular--in the "trailer" included with the DVD, which she narrates.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on January 05, 2005, 04:22:23 PM
I became curious to know what happened to the other actors who played the parts of the Romanov children.

As far as I know only Fiona Fullerton - Anastasia- is pretty well known as an actress, she did a lot of tv series even played a part in a James Bond film A view to a kill.
Ania Marson who played the part of Olga,  did a tv series in 1972 as Jane Fairfax in Jane Austen's Emma. In that same year she also played the part of another Olga in The Strauss Family. Someone remembering this lovely series? 1990 was the last year she played a part in a TV play, never saw something of her again.
The last thing known of Candace-aka Candy-Glendenning who played Marie was in a Horror movie in 1976. She vanished too.
It looks like as if Roderic Noble who played Alexei didn't aspired to fame. Alexei was the only part he ever did, I couldn't find anything else. Pity the boy had potential.

Of course it's possible they are still working in the theatre or do something completely else.
Maybe one of you happened to know what became of them.

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Czarevna Colleen on January 05, 2005, 09:24:05 PM
There are so many scenes in that movie that stand out for me.  I love the scenes with the actor who played Grand Duke Dmitry (Richard Warwick?) I think there is a boyishness about him.  The scene when Rasputin is banished from St. Petersberg and he jumps into the wagon with those girls. . . . .  Priceless!!!!  The scenes involving the children are great, especially the scenes that have been restored on DVD.  The scene in Siberia when the girls dance with the soldiers around the fire - and of course, the final scene.  Not to be missed!!!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Czarevna Colleen on January 05, 2005, 09:46:27 PM
Yes, Anna, I'd like to know more about those actors too, and what happened to them.  Getting back to the film, it is good, but slow and stagey in some parts, but it's an epic, so that's to be expected.  I did have a problem with some of the scenes that were obviously fictionalized, like when Tatiana 'reveals' herself to a guard at the Ipatiev House.  Also, they did such a good job with the casting regarding the main characters, but when it came to the daughters, I don't think any of the actresses (pretty and capable as they were) resembled the real people on which they were based.  Ania Marson, who played Olga, did not resemble her in the slightest - her hair was too dark (brown black) her face  and lips to thin, her nose too sharp.  Lynne Fredrick (RIP) was lovely, but her hair didn't seem dark enough, nor did she have the 'look' of Tatiana at all.  Truth be told, if Fredrick had played Olga and Marson Tatiana, it would be a bit closer, but not close enough.  Candace Glennding was pretty, but she was too short and her hair was too dark for Marie.  And Fiona Fullerton was too tall, thin and her hair was too light.  And Alexei was portrayed like a brat, and the scene at Tobolsk with the sled was portrayed as a suicide attempt, which was not the case.  And those 70's hairstyles!!!  Maybe I'm too picky - but I'm recommending the movie anyway, but try to get it on DVD to get the full scale of the film and the restored scenes that are not featured on the video release.  Also, watch the final scene - it's hard, but you'll notice some 'movie mistakes'.  Have fun, it's an adventure!!!!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Dennis on January 05, 2005, 11:17:43 PM
I always liked Minnie's line (if I remember it correctly)

"Even London on a Sunday is not as boring as a room full of Romanovs."
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lanie on January 06, 2005, 01:58:24 AM
I recall reading Candace Glendenning (Maria) committed suicide.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on January 06, 2005, 02:35:34 AM
Lanie, --- Candace Glendenning commited suicide? Sad to hear.
Colleen,---of course I own the DVD, only regret the behind the scenes trailer which Lynn F. narretes, is not avalable on DVD region 2 :-/

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ferngully on January 06, 2005, 07:49:55 AM
this link is to the actors of NandA and if you click on the people, it will tell you their credits. i saw fiona fullerton in alice and wonderland, she was pretty good. when they did the film, the life and death of peter sellers, they cut out lynne fredericks, but the actress who was going to play her (one of my favourites) could play olga maybe
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067483/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxzZz0xfHR0PW9ufHBuPTB8cT1uaWNob2xhcyBhbmQgYWxleGFuZHJhfG14PTIwfGxtPTIwMHxodG1sPTE_;fc=1;ft=1 tell me if doesn't work
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on January 06, 2005, 01:37:52 PM
Yes, the script has some nice ironic dialog--such as the just-mentioned comment spoken by the Dowager Empress--which help us to understand the character who is speaking, the situation, and/or further the action.

Although many have complained about some of the harsh words voiced between the title characters, I happen to like the banter (both affectionate, and not-so-affectionate) between them . . . it seems like the sort of dialog two people would have who have loved each other for a long time, and therefore are perfectly comfortable being frank with each other.

I've always enjoyed the scene, at the beginning of the film, in which Rasputin tells Alexandra about the woman who doesn't want to go to heaven because it will be filled with strangers.  Being a very shy person myself, this scene immediately "hooked" me when I first saw the film . . . and during each subsequent viewing, I find myself just as captivated (and ultimately amused) by the story as Alexandra is captivated and amused.

Because Rasputin has alieviated Alexandra's headache, she is happy to open a waltz with Nicholas and at that point tells him, wholeheartedly, that she adores him . . . a scene that flies by, but wonderfully encapsulates this couple's attraction to each other.

Then, the scene that follows . . . when Alexandra and Nicholas are in their carriage, returning home, and they start to bicker, until Alexandra admits, with amusement, that she's getting her headache again.

In my opinion, these scenes brilliantly set up a major story point: That Alexandra is a woman who feels profoundly uncomfortable as Empress, but can be reached and comforted by the homespun rather than the elaborate . . . and who, above all, loves her husband.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Dennis on January 06, 2005, 10:42:07 PM
Martyn and Janet:

I just watched a portion of "Nicholas and Alexandra" to check out the quote.  It is "Not even London on a Sunday is as boring as a room full of Romanovs."

Question:  In the movie, where is this birthday party for Marie F. held?  I don't know who he is supposed to be, but the older gentleman talking with Nicholas indicates that he is the owner.  Would he be Vladimir?

Also, the scene with the headache and the short quarrel is in the troika before the party.  Alix says that Nicky doesn't listen to her and he says that "right now, I find you all too audible."  After that she says that she has her headache.  Later, after talking with Rasputin, Nicky comes over and says that they can leave and Alix responds that "we haven't even danced yet."
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on January 07, 2005, 11:30:28 AM
Dennis, you're absolutely right about that scene coming before the party rather than after! I hadn't taken a look since last July, but last night I played the first part of the film again, and there it was.

As to the location of the party for the Dowager Empress, the implication is that it is the palace of the Grand Duke Nicholas, played by the wonderful Harry Andrews. (He speaks, if I recall correctly from last evening  ::) about trying to sell the place.)

I was also interested to see the introduction of Rasputin, since it is the Grand Duke Nicholas who brings him to Alexandra's attention. This, of course, is technically innacurate . . . but, it was his wife, and his sister-in-law, who helped introduce Rasputin to Alexandra, so the point is made that Rasputin gained access to the Imperial Family through members of the Romanov family.

As a point of comparison, I also took a quick look at my copy of the Anastasia movie starring Amy Irving . . . but that is for another thread!  ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Czarevna Colleen on January 09, 2005, 12:28:14 PM
Something else:  Richard Warwick, who played Grand Duke Dmitry, died of AIDS on 16 December 1997.  He was 52 years old.  Some of his last performances of note were as Bernardo in Mel Gibson's "Hamlet" and as John in the 1996 version of "Jane Eyre".  N&A was one of the few mainstream films he made early in his career (there are a few exceptions).  Sad he's no longer with us, he was cute and talented, and deserved a longer career.  He's one of the reasons I sit through the Rasputin murder scene.  RIP Richard.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Anya on January 10, 2005, 10:17:39 AM
I love when at Marie Feodorovna's birthday party Alexandra asks Nicky if she can say something personal: "Nicky, I adore you."

Also when they are reading the letters, in the end of the movie and Olga (I think) reads her grandmother's letter telling them to dress up for dinner! I thought that would be just what Minny would write them to do...
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on January 12, 2005, 08:28:41 PM
My favorite scene is when the girls are all painting and one of the Gd's says that Tatiana is in love with Gilliard, or when the GD's are playing a game in the forest with Gilliard.
But what annoyed me from that movie was all the girls looked very old for the age of the GD's and they didn't look like them at all. Alexei looks dead on though!
 ::)
I actually thought this was a very well put together movie, but a part made me sick when a soldier just ripped a life rabbit in half and started eating it raw! :-X
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on January 12, 2005, 08:38:57 PM
Yes, moonlight_tsarina, I always avert my eyes re: that one scene. The others I can generally deal with, since I know that what is going on in front of my eyes is acting. But not so re: what happened to that poor rabbit.  I have often thought the graphic violence of that scene was unnecessary; some skillful editing would have achieved the same effect.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on January 12, 2005, 08:45:09 PM
I love the movie.  It started everything for me.

Since my trip to Russia I wish that the movie could have been filmed at the actual locations but I know that it was not possible when the film was made.

I  also wish Anna Vyrubova could have been included in the film.  Couldn't they let poor Sunny have one friend?  But I love the movie no matter what.

The film is not  nearly as good as the book.  I've read that book so many times!    

I love any scene with Janet Suzman.  Wow, is she pretty or what?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Dennis on January 13, 2005, 09:37:13 AM
It was the book that really captivated me with Nicholas and Alexandra, although Massie could have tied some of the details up a little tighter so a young reader like me could have understood who some people were and how they were related to each other.

About the film, yes, absolutely, Anna Vyrubova's absence makes no sense.  Not only was she Alexandra's closest friend, but she plays a part in the Rasputin relationship as well. She is a major part of the story.

Ella could have also been there, but her absence is not as glaring.

One thing I didn't like about the movie is the way it was filmed.  It seems dark and the dialogue sometimes is so low.  I can't really explain what I mean, but does anyone else understand what I'm getting at?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on January 13, 2005, 07:15:41 PM
Quote
Yes, moonlight_tsarina, I always avert my eyes re: that one scene. The others I can generally deal with, since I know that what is going on in front of my eyes is acting. But not so re: what happened to that poor rabbit.  I have often thought the graphic violence of that scene was unnecessary; some skillful editing would have achieved the same effect.


This scene was indeed awful to look at, I don't know if skillful editing would have had the same effect,  It was reality showing us demoralized soldiers, numb, hungry angryr- re; the blunt way the soldier shot his superior in rank.

Well my favorite scenes--the one Alexandra disputes with Nicholas on wanting Rasputin back in St.P,
explaining why she needed him, knowing people dislike her, blaming herself being the cause of Alexei's illness and hopelessly trying to find a cure or other doctors.
I think the acting in this scene was very good.
An other scene is the one in which Nicholas is coming home after his abdication. We see a physically and mentally broken man, sort of dragging himself through the palace corridors. When he's confronted with Alexandra he breaks down in tears. A moving scene.

Anna

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Czarevna Colleen on January 16, 2005, 04:10:57 PM
Another scene from the film that I adore is after the family has their photographs taken in Tobolsk, and they are looking at them and laughing at them and sharing jokes.  As Tatiana, Anastasia, Nicky and Alix trade funny comments, in the background, you can see Olga take her pictures over to Nagorny and Dr. Botkin, and when she shows Nagorny her photograph, he makes the funniest face and bugs his eyes out, and then shows Dr. Botkin and again makes his priceless face, and Olga picks up Nagorny's picture and places it in front of hers, as if to say, "Yours isn't any better!!!"  There was such affectionate and lighthearted humor there.  By the way, does anyone know where it was filmed?  I don't think it could have been filmed in Russia at the time.  It does bother me that the actresses playing OTMA don't resemble them at all, and that they weren't given much to do.  Another mistake that I noticed:  the nursing uniforms that Janet Suzman, Ania Marson and Lynne Frederick wear are the British style uniforms, not the ones that Alix and her daughters actually wore.  (Look at the photos of the Empress and her daughters during the war and at the hospital and you'll see what I mean). :) ;) :D ;D :o ???
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Czarevna Colleen on January 16, 2005, 04:15:39 PM
One more thing, and then I'll shut up  ;) ;D :-X
The actor who played Nagorny was excellent!!!
Although he didn't resemble the real Nagorny, he was very funny and gave a very warm performance.  His devotion to the IF was very touching, and the scene where his taken away for defending Alexei is so heartwrenching!!!!  Gifted actor!!! :'( :-* :o
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Douglas on January 16, 2005, 04:35:49 PM
My favorite is when the Dowager Empress  is angry with her son Nicholas for abdicating the throne.  The scene takes place onboard one of the Imperial  trains.

Priceless and  very convincingly acted.

Douglas :)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on January 16, 2005, 06:47:16 PM
Colleen,

I don't know how English nursing uniforms looked like at that time but you're probably right about the nursing uniforms, I must say the original nursing caps where not particularly flattering, perhaps that's why they decided to let them wear a different style of uniform. Tho' it's rather strange they kept eye on so much details and overlook details in costumes. I've read somewhere, they used real marble floors, expensive draperies, carpets and chrystal on the filmset and other film-makers even royalty visited the sets built at the studios.

There's one thing I've never understood, what was the purpose of the blind man with the dark sunglasses sitting in the middle of the ward, surrounded by severely injured soldiers. For some silly reason-I'm always thinking the director wanted to play some sort of cameo (not that he was blind. LOL) but  just as Alfred Hitchcock sometimes did in his films.

The film was shot on location in of that time Yugoslavia and in Spain. The Palazio Casa Riero, owned by the mother of the Belgium's Queen mother Fabiola was used as the setting for the meeting between Nicholas and some of his ministers. The rooms where a perfect replica of Russian state rooms of the period.

Anna

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Czarevna Colleen on January 16, 2005, 09:56:45 PM
Thanks for the info, Anna!!!  I had a feeling that it might have been filmed in Spain and Yugoslavia, since "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) was also filmed in those locations.  I don't remember the gentlemen in the ward wearing sunglasses.  I'll have to watch it again.  It wouldn't surprise me if it was the director or a producer, since I've seen many Hitchcock films and I know that's what he liked to do.  And wasn't Michael Jayston handsome?  He looked so good in that bathing suit (and they were not particularly flattering).  He's just a good-looking guy all around!!!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on January 22, 2005, 09:07:56 PM
Of course this movie was good!  
Well, considering some annoying actors/actresses that didn't look anything likecertian characters, Nicholas and Alix were superbly portrayed. The movie is pretty long, but it's engrossing!
And it's one of the rare movies that actually shows the execution, or at least some of it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Marlene on February 01, 2005, 10:47:10 AM
I recently got the DVD - but have not yet watched it.  This morning I turned on the tv at 6 am and flipped through the channels - and what is on one of the movie channels -but Nicholas and Alexandra, just as Nicholas is about abdicate .. so got on my treadmill and watched about 30 minutes of the movie before changing the channel to watch a comedy for the final 20 minutes of my run on the treadmill.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on February 01, 2005, 11:57:09 AM
Quote
I recall reading Candace Glendenning (Maria) committed suicide.

oh my gosh! the person you mean who played maria in N&A right? that's so sad!

I cant believe it!
That movie came out in th 70's, so the "kids" would all  older now.

iI Janet suzman and the Nicholas charater still alive?  ???
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Marlene on February 01, 2005, 01:05:58 PM
Quote

oh my gosh! the prson you man hoplayed maria in N&A right? thats so sad! i cant believe it!
That moi cam out in th 70's, so the "kids" would all  oldernow. is janet suzman and th nicholas charater
still alive?  ???


Janet Suzman certainly is ...  and I think Jayston is too
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on February 01, 2005, 04:04:00 PM
Quote

Janet Suzman certainly is ...  and I think Jayston is too



Actually Janet Suzman is doing a play together with (Sex in the City) actress Kim Cattrall at the West End in London. The play "whose life is it anyway" opens this month and Kim Cattrall is playing the lead. Wish I had the time to see it :-/
Its already discussed in another thread but Michael Jayston played a part in the film "Highlander III", also did some tv-series. Because of his beautiful voice he's doing a lot of narrating.

For the ones interested: I'm reading a biography on Sam Spiegel's life, he not only produced the film Nicholas and Alexandra but also Lawrence of Arabia,  the Bridge on the River Kwai. Interesting book and I found a whole chapter dedicated on the film Nicholas & Alexandra.

Some tid-bits and quotes:
[ Spiegel wanted to make another big move - and it had to be an epic, N&A had to be his showpiece.  They got through several directors, some of them ended up walking off the project because of disagreements.  before they finally contracted Franklin J. Schaffner.
Spiegel wanted the film shot on location in Russia, but a message from the Soviet Embassy's cultural counselor said:this picture was an American interpretation of events in Russia; the Soviet organization will not participate.
In the press Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Vanessa Redgrave even Grace of Monaco and Rex Harrison were to play the leads. As for the records, only Hepburn and Redgrave were sent copies of the book and Harrison was offered a minor role, that of Count Witte. Harrison reacted a bit offended: Tell him (Spiegel) that I don't play bit parts.
Yul Brynner was desperate to play the part of Rasputin, but Spiegel was after Peter O'Toole (he was interested )but for some reason the option time ran out and O'Toole made a different film.
As for the leads: Spiegel wanted Vanessa Redgrave play Alexandra, but his hand were financially tied, so the leads had to be unknowns. Later Spiegel's argument was: the audience had to believe the actors were N&A....if they were famous, they wouldn't.
The film had several gala benefit premieres in Europa., including a Royal Command Performance. The Queen was meant to come but she had chicken pox, Princess Anne and Lord Mountbatten filled in and were presented to the entire cast. Afterwards Lord Mountbatten wrote to Spiegel: I suppose the shooting scene was so devastating to me because of my affection for the whole family who were murdered in this horrible way.

Nicholas and Alexandra was not going to be one of Spiegel's smash hits, it stood out as the spectacular film of 1971 and managed to paint human portraits and tell events of world-upheaval in terms of flesh and blood and common experience, it was killed by the critics. ]

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on February 02, 2005, 12:03:08 PM
Quote
Its already discussed in another thread but Michael Jayston played a part in the film "Highlander III", also did some tv-series. Because of his beautiful voice he's doing a lot of narrating.


yes, Jayston does have a very nice voice!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: otmafan on February 18, 2005, 03:19:47 PM
Quote
Why were you disapointed ? I love the movie.


I am very judgemental (sp?) when it comes to movies and documentaries on the Romanovs. I became a little suspicious of the accuracy.

Some of the things that made me wonder were:

1.) Did Alexandra call Rasputin by this name? I thought she just used Our Friend, Father Grigory, and names that put him in a postive light.

2.) Did Nicholas really blame his wife to her face for giving Alexei hemophilia?

These may be true, and I just haven't heard them. But I have read a lot on this family and haven't come across anything that supports this. I know these many be minor, but still.

Since I have seen all the pictures and read all the stories, it is all weird to have actors and actresses playing the parts who look nothing a like the real people. (this doesn't go for all of them).
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: felix on February 18, 2005, 05:56:36 PM
All good points, I hated the scene of Tatiana ? bearing her breast.  And I agree 100% that Nicholas would never have said that to his wife. F.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Ortino on February 18, 2005, 11:52:42 PM
Hmmm, perhaps the way that Nicholas blamed Alexandra in the movie was inaccurate, but I think that at some point he might have blamed her. I CANNOT imagine that they did not fight about Alexei or their lives in general at some point. I think everyone paints their marriage as too perfect to be real. Everyone fights, and given the pressure that Nicholas was under as czar (which he wasn't truly prepared for) and the constant worrying about Alexei's health, I seriously doubt that the thought did not come across his mind at one time or another. People blame other people for things. It's just the way life is.

As for Tatiana, it is a horrible and crude image of the Czar's daughter. Honestly, how could they possibly think she would do that?  >:(

As far as accuracy goes, no movie is ever entirely faithful to its source. I don't think it's even possible if movie producers hope to get an audience. I think other than for a couple major (like Tatiana) and minor errors, it was a relatively decent representation.  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Czarevna Colleen on February 21, 2005, 10:00:12 PM
Hey, everybody, I wrote a review for this movie and it has been posted on imdb.com.  Here is the link:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067483/usercomments

The review is entitled, "Nicky And Alicky - Interesting Piece If Somewhat Flawed".

Check it out, and feel free to feedback and let me know what you think!!!!  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ferngully on March 01, 2005, 02:21:06 PM
i love the bit where they are comparing photos and anastasia is accused of being a trollop! i love the relationship between nicholas and alexandra there :D
selina         xxxxxxxxxxxx
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lostfan on March 05, 2005, 05:08:47 PM
I liked all the scenes with the girls and Gilliard. The one at the beginning of the movie with the younger OTMA sledding down the snow mountain and Gilliard reading in the park and coming over to them was cute. The scenes with OTMA & Gilliard were also really nice. Does anyone know excatly what Gilliard was saying in French to the girls?

I also liked the scene en route to Ekaterinburg, where they show Alexei with Botkin and Nagorny; I didn't notice this until yesterday when I was watching N&A, but Alexei is playing the balalaika!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bluetoria on March 28, 2005, 02:28:17 PM
 I recorded 'Nicholas & Alexandra' on Good Friday & have only watched it in fits and starts but I'm finding it terribly tedious. I normally like Michael Jayston (at least I did in Jane Eyre) but in this he seems so stilted & even when he's alone with Alexandra they seem so stilted together which is nothing like how they appear in their letters. I thought Nicholas & Alexandra were far better portrayed in 'Rasputin'.
Also I find 'Alexandra' really too much! At Marie Feodorovna's birthday party her 'shyness' is almost laughably unreal. And there are too many angst-ridden expressions which seem melodramatic rather than moving.
Maybe it's because it's quite dated  :-/
Eventually...some very rainy day when I'm ill or something I may bother sitting through the rest of it...
It's very disappointing.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on March 28, 2005, 03:06:43 PM
Quote
 I thought Nicholas & Alexandra were far better portrayed in 'Rasputin'.
 


I can't believe my eyes, but obviously you mean it.


Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bluetoria on March 28, 2005, 04:01:05 PM
Quote

I can't believe my eyes, but obviously you mean it.



Yes, I do.  ;)
Even in 'Rasputin' I didn't think they were THAT good, but at least they managed to portray something of the closeness of Alexandra & Nicholas which I found totally lacking in N&A.  The only problem with 'Rasputin' was that that Nicholas looked so old & not sufficiently handsome, because he WAS a handsome man & Sir Ian, sadly, isn't.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on March 28, 2005, 04:28:04 PM
Well, you only saw one part of the movie, we speak again till you saw the rest of it ;)

Yes, Sir Ian-great actor- but not the most handsome Nicholas, simply not to compare with Michael Jayston.
As for Greta Scacchi in Rasputin- kind of wheeping willow to me.

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bluetoria on March 28, 2005, 04:33:56 PM
Yes, you are quite right, Anna. I am judging it only on the three quarters of an hour or so; I'll TRY to stick with it...if only a bit at a time...maybe when I'm ironing or something since it bores other people here I'm afraid.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tucker on April 04, 2005, 11:58:11 PM
I really enjoyed this movie. But it's just that; a movie. We also have to keep in mind that the movie was made. At the time when there was a lot less knowledge available to the writers than what we have today. But I think all in all the movie gives a pretty good idea of the times the Romanovs lived in.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bluetoria on April 05, 2005, 05:03:51 AM
I've been trying to watch more of this but I just take it for more than about twenty minutes at a time. It is the relationship[ between Nicholas & Alexandra that I find so hard to accept. The one terible scene I saw was when Nicholas sent Rasputin away & Alix wails,
"You are killing my baby!"
To which Nicholas replies, "It was YOU who gave him this illness. It was YOU not me!"
At which point I turned it off because that clearly would NEVER have happened.
Their letters to one another are so filled with affection yet in this film they are simply stilted with each other. Even when there issome semblance of romance between them, it is stilted. I think the couple in the film are more like George V & Queen Mary than Nicholas & Alexandra....
I will persevere... :-/
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Frederika on April 05, 2005, 07:04:19 AM
i saw this movie on good friday or when ever it was
i quite liked it.  It was nice they showed both sides of the story it wasnt a sentimental one sided accouned of what happend. of cause wee have more info now then we did then the Execution scene was if not completely correct more tastful than in rasputin which i thought was to graphic and over the top and wrong but ive seen portrade four times so far in Rasputin The Lost Prince, N & A and The Russian Revolution in colour a poor and incorect channel 5 program.

out of them all i would say that the lost Prince is the a better portrail of the Romanov story even though this tv drama was entirly about them.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 08, 2005, 09:36:05 PM
I do not expect dramatizations of books to track the text except in very bold outlines, nor do I expect movies to be able to convey anything beyond synopsis and tone when tackling complex historical subjects.  Given my admittedly low expectations, I found "Nicholas & Alexandra" to be quite intriguing.

If you've got the patience to read on, here's a review I wrote of the movie on Amazon.com:

The unadulterated history of the Russian monarchy has produced more compelling drama than anything Hollywood could produce in its wildest flights:  Ivan the Terrible's descent into madness; Peter the Great's violent childhood and adult retibutions (including the murder of his son) as the backdrop for supreme political accomplishments; Catherine the Great's seizure of a throne from a madman and her emergence as the dominant monarch of her age; Alexander I's possible complicity in the assassination of his father, his defeat of Napoleon, and the likely faking of his death to live out his life as a religious hermit; Alexander II's death at the hands of terrorists.  And the curtain drops on the Russian monarchy much as the play ran -- in pools of blood.  The main difference in the Nicholas and Alexandra saga is that their predecessors created their own dramas, whereas Nicholas and Alexandra succumbed to the drama of events swirling around them.

This movie is inaccurate in many details.  For instance, the real Dowager Empress visited her son on his train only after his abdication, not in the weeks before the monarchy fell.  Anna Vyrubova, a significant and unwittingly sinister player in the Rasputin debacle, is missing.  And the loyalty to the Tsar professed by the other Romanovs in the movie glosses over the fact that there were serious family discussions about a coup to send Alexandra into exile and maybe even to remove Nicholas himself.

But these are nits.  In a larger sense the movie compellingly captures the essence of the two fundamental issues that combined to bring the Romanov dynasty crashing down.  The first had to do with Nicholas.  He was a kind, gentle family man much more suited to the life of a country genteman.  When called upon to exercise real power to influence complex events, he fell into a pattern of posturing, denial, and a passive belief that he could just go with his reactionary biases instead of with disciplined examination of reality.  After all, God had made him emperor, and therefore it must be God's will that he felt and decided as he did.

The other issue had to do with Alexandra.  A shy, high-strung woman who was equipped neither by temperament, intellect, nor upbringing to ride herd on a decadent court or fractious nest of in-laws, she inclined to a mystical view of religion and monarchy that could rise almost to hysteria.  It would have been a volatile situation in the best of circumstances.  But Alexandra got dealt a very bad hand.  Russia was opening up culturally and intellectually and looking to unshackle itself from unthinking political and religious orthodoxy.  And she was failing in her principal purpose -- to produce a male heir to the greatest throne on earth.  Nearing menopause after bearing four daughters, she finally bore a son, only to find him cursed by the hoemophilia that ran through her relations.  She had offended God, and she had to know why.

Alexandra responded with a downward spiral into an increasingly bizarre mysticism that further clouded her husband's foggy view of his world and his role -- and that ultimately opened the door to perhaps the most bizarre case of malign political influence in the annals of government:  Rasputin.

While botching a detail here and there, the movie does a marvelous job of accurately portraying the salient aspects of how these things ate away at Nicholas' real power to replace it with a mushrooming fantasy of power as he, and Alexandra even moreso, perceived it.  Although ruling one-sixth of the world's land surface, the couple's world view finally came to extend no further than the small circle of their tight-knit immediate family and their gilded enclave at Tsarskoye Selo.

When the revolution came -- as Nicholas' fatalism and the insane yielding to Rasputin's interference in government made inevitable -- Nicholas actually entered a few months of calm that on some level were the most peaceful of his life.  Power scared and exhausted him.  The shackles of jailers were light compared to those of a throne.

The fact that the revolution that deepened his country's enslavement actually freed Nicholas from those things he most abhorred illustrate just how far the Romanov dynasty had come to odds with the very purpose of its existence.  In the end, Nicholas and Alexandra showed a grace and sanguinity in captivity and extermination that was utterly absent when they ruled the world's largest country.  No scriptwriter could improve on this script, and the great art of this movie is that none tried.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on April 10, 2005, 10:55:31 AM
Quote
I've been trying to watch more of this but I just take it for more than about twenty minutes at a time. It is the relationship[ between Nicholas & Alexandra that I find so hard to accept. The one terible scene I saw was when Nicholas sent Rasputin away & Alix wails,
"You are killing my baby!"
To which Nicholas replies, "It was YOU who gave him this illness. It was YOU not me!"
At which point I turned it off because that clearly would NEVER have happened.
Their letters to one another are so filled with affection yet in this film they are simply stilted with each other. Even when there issome semblance of romance between them, it is stilted. I think the couple in the film are more like George V & Queen Mary than Nicholas & Alexandra....
I will persevere... :-/


I too found Nicholas's harshness in the movie too much to stomach. He was much more tender to Alix in real life.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 10, 2005, 01:51:23 PM
In explaining to Prime Minister Witte why he was overriding his order to banish Rasputin from St. Petersburg, Nicholas said "better twenty Rasputins than one more day of hysterics at home."  As Greg King and Penny Wilson point out with compelling data in their book on the imperial family, the homefront was not the unblemished idyll that many romantics fantasize.

"Nicholas & Alexandra" is not a documentary.  It's a costume drama that, in order to compress a multi-year saga into a couple of hours, manipulates facts in order to make broad points coherently.  For instance, Marie Feodorovna did not visit her son at Stavka in the final weeks before the revolution.  That scene in the movie was created as a means of describing -- and describing accurately -- the sentiments that prevailed in the extended Romanov clan about Nicholas and his handling of the government, the war, and Alexandra.  (The closest real events to this scene were probably the confrontation between Alexandra and Sandro or between Ella and Alexandra at the Alexander Palace.  But a movie can only present and develop a certain number of characters within its time constraints, so the Dowager Empress, whom the viewers already knew, was employed to deliver the message.)  While the scene itself is a complete fabrication, it's a very useful dramatic device to convey a very real current swirling around Nicholas in his final months.

If you wish to see a totally accurate portrayal of real events, conversations, and people, this movie will fail you.  If, however, you can accept this movie as a historical drama meant to convey a larger sense of the real issues that brought the Romanovs to their bloody end, you might find it very well done . . . for it captures at least two of those larger issues with edifying clarity:  Alexandra's religio-mystical view of autocracy, and Nicholas' odd mix of intransigence and irresolution, which combined to create the deadly morass of fatalism into which the monarchy sank.

To me, the biggest fault of the movie is not that it did not capture the range and depth of the Massie book, but that it adopted Massie's overly-simplistic view that the Tsarevitch's hoemophila was the key driver of the events that unwound the monarchy.

I, too, am fascinated by the imperial family and would love to see an accurate dramatization of their lives based on the most recent scholarship.  A movie cannot do this.  To get the job done right would take a project of the length and scope of, say, "I, Claudius."  I'd be at the front of the line to buy it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Elisabeth on April 10, 2005, 03:52:22 PM
Since childhood, I've tried to watch this movie at least half a dozen times; every time I fail to get through it - because let's be brutally frank, it's a CRASHING BORE.

How could any scriptwriter, no matter how incompetent, translate all the drama and turbulence of the last tsar's reign into this pale, pathetic, bewizened copy of Dr. Zhivago - without Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, no less - ?

Yes, I fault the script. It's completely lame. It reduces everything - Bloody Sunday to the massacre at Ekaterinburg - to a similar level of triteness and predictability. Please, I second Tsarfan's motion, let's get the scriptwriters of I, Claudius - Elizabeth R - The Six Wives of Henry VIII - any of the BBC historical costume dramas - to do the next film version of the Romanov story. Begin with twelve-year-old Nicholas witnessing the death of his grandfather, Alexander II, reduced to a bloody pulp by an assassin's bomb, continue with Nicholas and Alexandra's first meeting... turn this into what it was meant to be, a truly Jacobean melodrama, with overtones of Greek tragedy and plenty of malicious dark humor. That at least might raise some sympathy in the audience for the poor, hapless imperial family - as opposed to this film, which makes me, a diehard NAOTMAA fan (no pun intended), want to applaud Yurovsky for killing off this boring bunch of self-pitying layabouts.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bluetoria on April 10, 2005, 04:02:05 PM
Quote
Since childhood, I've tried to watch this movie at least half a dozen times; every time I fail to get through it - because let's be brutally frank, it's a CRASHING BORE.


I have to agree with you, Elizabeth. I keep trying & trying to watch more of it....but, any excuse to go and make a cup of tea....
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 10, 2005, 07:13:04 PM
I know I'm off topic . . . but I wonder what you folks thought of "Young Catherine" or "Anne of the Thousand Days" or "Lady Jane" or "The Lion in Winter" or "Charles II" (the English version, not the truncated U.S. release) or "Queen Margot" . . . most grossly inaccurate but all wildly entertaining.

I'm awfully forgiving of these types of movies, I suppose, because I'm a hopeless fan of costume dramas about royalty.  I really cannot figure out why I'm so obsessed with an institution that I feel became a net negative influence on human affairs by the start of the 19th century and a downright blight by the start of the 20th.

I think back to Ruth Gordon's wonderful line in "Harold & Maude" where she recalls her pre-WWI childhood in Vienna.  She said "I don't miss the kingdoms but, oh, how I miss the kings."  Maybe that's it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lanie on April 10, 2005, 07:14:47 PM
I enjoyed Young Catherine (have it on video but one of my favorite actresses was in it!) and Anne of a Thousand Days but I've not seen the others!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: rskkiya on April 11, 2005, 09:31:32 AM
    Aside from the fact that most of the conversations would have been in either latin or french (rather than english) and the fact that there would have been no valve trumpets at that time - I would say that The Lion in Winter would be the most accurate historical film of the lot. In my opinion it is alo one of the most witty and well acted films, that I can think of ... ( I admit that I am a Peter O'Toole slave) blush

   I would recommend it to anyone - historically minded or not- as a great movie!

rskkiya

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 11, 2005, 12:04:14 PM
I loved "The Lion in Winter" as a cleverly-written dramatic piece loosely based on Eleanor's and Henry's tempestuous marriage and dynastic maneuvers.  But with lines such as, "It's 1183 . . . we're all barbarians" or "Every family has its little ups and downs", it's a bit hard to take seriously as history.  Eleanor of Aquataine was a phenomenon in her time and would be even in ours . . . but I've never seen any indication she was a comedienne.

What most movies of this ilk do is paint a picture of historical figures that generally conveys their personalities and the events of their lives using various dramatic devices ordained by the limitations of the medium.

I think so many people are disappointed in "Nicholas & Alexandra" because they (and I, too, for that matter) are so hungry for as strong a connection as possible to the real people through a literal re-enactment of their lives.  Unfortunately, the real things were apparently quite tedious the overwhelming bulk of the time.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Johnny on April 11, 2005, 02:41:49 PM
I didn't like N&A because I found it so pale, innacurate and ah-so-sweet. Alexandra's public and private personalities didn't go together at all. I understand she was shy in public, but a person that in shy in public cannot all of a sudden turn into a Anne Bancroft at home. Also her shyness at the ball was portrayed very unrealistically. She wouldn't be sitting on a chair in the middle of the hall and keep quite. She would try to hide either behind her husband or a more incuspicuous spot where she wouldn't be approached by people. Her first meeting with Rasputin was completely unrealistic. Also Rasputin's character could not have been further than the truth. I agree that the movie was not long enough to do justice to the story (or history), but even that doesn't justify the movie's many failings that could have been easily avoided with a better script and more suitable actors (especially in Alexandra's case). And please, give me an Anna Vyrubova!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: rskkiya on April 11, 2005, 02:50:23 PM
Tsarfan
   You might have a point about TLIW - but I would  like to imagine that E of A of would have had a rather "dry wit".

rskkiya

PS -- Actually I don't have a real problem with N&A for all its historical flaws and silly sixties hairdos(see also Dr. Zhivago) it's just a lark ...The fact that the characters seem indifferent and vague to the world around them simply makes them seem more like the historical figures that they represent. (Of course I really don't care much for NAOTMAA)

rskkiya
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Elisabeth on April 11, 2005, 02:52:07 PM
I think what makes BBC historical costume dramas and, for that matter, a French costume drama like Queen Margot, so memorable and watchable is that their scriptwriters were first of all, not afraid to take poetic license with history (well, why shouldn't they? Shakespeare did!) and secondly, and perhaps just as importantly, they were bold enough to make one major character an "outsider," who served the role of looking in on and commenting upon the actions and thoughts of the primary characters. The outsider supplied the narrative, as it were.

For example, in "I, Claudius," Claudius was the main character but also the ultimate outsider, denigrated and despised by most of his own family, free to comment at will on all their most monstrous and/or ridiculous behavior. In "The Six Wives of Henry VIII," each wife was free to give her two cents worth on the personality of her husband - which added up to a well rounded and very entertaining (and not entirely historically inaccurate) bird's eye view of Bluff King Hal.

With Nicholas and Alexandra, IMO, you really need an outsider- character to narrate and comment upon events, because the tsar and tsarina themselves were so prim and proper (in the best English sense of those terms - but propriety starves drama!). I don't know who a good scriptwriter would select - but there seem to be myriad choices - Olga Nikolaevna, Grand Duke Dmitry, Felix Yussupov, Stolypin, even Rasputin himself.

Then you need to get a really superb cinematographer to make the film itself ravish you with its visual beauty - e.g., Queen Margot, really the superlative example of this type of film - remember how the scene of St. Bartholemew's Massacre is turned into a painting worthy of an entire gallery unto itself. I thought Nicholas and Alexandra was a tremendous let-down in terms of its cinematography - considering the landscapes they had at their disposal, and which were employed to such effect in Dr. Zhivago and Reds, I wonder what on earth they were thinking? The whole film seems kind of washed out, deprived of necessary color - in short, as drab and lacking in originality as its script.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: rskkiya on April 11, 2005, 03:02:27 PM
Quote
I didn't like N&A because I found it so pale, innacurate and ah-so-sweet. Alexandra's public and private personalities didn't go together at all. I understand she was shy in public, but a person that in shy in public cannot all of a sudden turn into a Anne Bancroft at home. Also her shyness at the ball was portrayed very unrealistically. She wouldn't be sitting on a chair in the middle of the hall and keep quite. She would try to hide either behind her husband or a more incuspicuous spot where she wouldn't be approached by people. Her first meeting with Rasputin was completely unrealistic. Also Rasputin's character could not have been further than the truth. I agree that the movie was not long enough to do justice to the story (or history), but even that doesn't justify the movie's many failings that could have been easily avoided with a better script and more suitable actors (especially in Alexandra's case). And please, give me an Anna Vyrubova!

 WOW
   Someone ought to consider a version from Anya's perspective -sometimes syrupy and sometimes harsh and hungry/ it would be the outside voice that could bind it all together!
Anyway N&A was just a jolly colourful lush romp and perhaps we are asking too much of it.-at least it's better than Titantic or Gone With The Wind!

rskkiya
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 11, 2005, 04:12:04 PM
The real problem with an accurate portrayal of the lives and personalities of the imperial family is that they were basically tedious and insipid.  Nowhere do you find the grand gestures of Russia's great monarchs.  Nowhere except during the March Revolution and the abdication do you find any good grist for the mill of gripping drama.

When events of great moment roiled around the Romanovs, about all you got was flat responses reported in vapid diary entries.  On the day that Grand Duke Serge was blown up in Moscow, Nicholas and a cousin played after dinner at pushing each other off a sofa.  Alexandra's diary entry upon the assassination of Stolypin (in front of two of her daughters, no less) was equally colorless.  Observers reported that even as young women, Olga and Tatiana discoursed much as silly 10-year-olds on most topics.  Many reported the daily routine in the Alexander Palace as one of unrelenting tedium.  Conversations between Alexandra and her confidante Anna Vyrubova were about as historically significant as the lunch menu.  The decor in which they lived was not that of a palace, but of a prosperous London townhouse.  After 1903, there were not even any balls to depict.

Maybe all the paleness and flatness of the movie that some perceived was a more accurate portrayal of life in the inner sanctum than we want to admit.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Elisabeth on April 11, 2005, 04:17:48 PM
Quote
 WOW
    Someone ought to consider a version from Anya's perspective -sometimes syrupy and sometimes harsh and hungry/ it would be the outside voice that could bind it all together!
Anyway N&A was just a jolly colourful lush romp and perhaps we are asking too much of it.-at least it's better than Titantic or Gone With The Wind!

rskkiya


Egads, Rskkiya, where have you been? I think we're all agreed that N&A was a colossal bore, nowhere near as interesting as the other films you mention (at least they had, respectively, good costumes and special effects). Hardly a "jolly colorful lush romp" with all those dreary drab greys, browns, and whites.... and the dialogue - as milquetoast as it gets ("Oh, Nicky!" "Oh, Sunny!" Oh, whatever!).

But I'm happy to see that you have taken up my idea of the "outsider" narrator - although I had not considered Anna Vyrubova, who was propriety incarnate (and propriety, I repeat, bleeds drama), to the extent that once she was in exile in Finland she spent all her spare time showing around her official certificate of virginity, issued by the provisional government, to prove that she had not been Rasputin's lover... All's the more pity, from the dramatist's point of view!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 11, 2005, 05:05:36 PM
I for one do NOT think the film a bore, colassal or otherwise. It is a very entertaining COSTUME DRAMA- nothing else. It does not pretend to depict history as it happened, but as the film makers saw it. It was produced to make money, and achieve some artistic status.  The depictions were exagerated as can only be done in film & stage. If you want the boring, endlessly tiring realistic truth, fall asleep reading the diaries.
So Nicholas blew up at Alexandra a couple of times- who wouldn't under the family and state stress he was under. Amazing he did not deck her as well.
It is a MOVIE  for goodness sake. As a MOVIE I think it is wonderful. Find the money and talent to do your own, then we can take that apart as well.
And, for the record, I also enjoyed, very much, TITANIC and GWTW as examples of film excellence in their genres.  They were NOT history lessons. They were presented as ENTERTAINMENT. If that fails the audience, i.e. enetrtainment, then it fails in the intent of the film.
Obviously all films mentioned at least by me,  succeded in their intent.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Johnny on April 12, 2005, 06:42:15 AM
Quote
 WOW
    Someone ought to consider a version from Anya's perspective -sometimes syrupy and sometimes harsh and hungry/ it would be the outside voice that could bind it all together!
Anyway N&A was just a jolly colourful lush romp and perhaps we are asking too much of it.-at least it's better than Titantic or Gone With The Wind!

rskkiya

I don't like either GWTW or Titanic, but I think they are far better movies than N&A. The tediousness of the IF is no excuse for making a boring movie about them. The events that they went through were certainly interesting enough to keep us all glued to this website. Billuy Bud is also a very boring character, but WHAT a  story! Alexandra's  masterful manipulation of Nicholas in order to get rid of Nikolasha and himself become commander in chief is as interesting as Lady MacBeth's. Too bad, there were no Shakespears among the script-writers. Anna might have been a boring person, but her hystrionics could be pure enterainment if used properly in a movie. The moment Alexandra receives news about Nicholas's abdication would have been prime material for a Bellini or Donizetti for the climatic aria of their primadonnas. Just like Donizetti's opera Robert Devereux, in which Queen Elizabeth I receives the news that Robert had been executed before she could pardon him. That was the occasion for a Donizetti masterpiece.
Besides, if Robert Massie's book was so darn interesting to begin with, you really need to be really bad to come up with such a boring movie based on such an interesting book.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 12, 2005, 08:03:10 AM
Massie's book was primarily about the heir's disease and how those dynamics effected N&A.  It was not about the politics and drama of court life.
Without dramatic lisence, N&A were boring, dull and terribly inane people.  Vacuous, self-centered and egotistical. The chatter on this site alone gives them more personality than they ever had in real life.  Their's was not an opera, and if they had not met an end "up against a wall" they would most likely have been merely a footnote of history on a simple estate in Holland. Making 2 dreary adults and 5 insecure kids of debatable intelligence into a movie was the challenge. It did not take a Shakespeare to do much with them. It took lights, costumes and sets.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: PucknDC on April 12, 2005, 08:57:38 AM
I remember a review that stated the character of Alexandra , was like a stoned Pat Nixon! Let's face it, Hollywood always changes history in their films to what they think will sell. (Exampled by Troy, Alexander, etc.) As a great lover of History, I find this to be a shame, because history really is more interesting than their version. I have had more arguements with people over facts, because they absorbed the knowledge through film.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: rskkiya on April 12, 2005, 09:02:03 AM
Robert
   I agree - at best it was a silly costume piece, but as many people here are looking for some connection to NAOTMAA this pretty fluff piece becomes a real touchstone for them. Yes I think it was silly/cheezy/hammy and I don't think there were any profound performances - even Rasputin was over the top melodrama, but maybe the continuous descussion over this says more about this site than about the film itself?  

rskkiya


PS (For what its worth - I LOVED the last scene, but remember good people- I'm EVIL!  ;) hehehe  ;) )
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 12, 2005, 09:16:15 AM
A "stoned Pat Nixon"?  When I dust myself off from falling to the floor in laughter, I'll try to respond . . . .

Okay, ready . . .

Oh, hell.  You're right.  What more can I say?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 12, 2005, 09:20:41 AM
How could one tell if Pat Nixon was stoned or not ? She was the prototype Stepford wife was she not ?  Alexandra at least had a bit more life in her.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: PucknDC on April 12, 2005, 09:26:09 AM
 ;DFunny about Pat Nixon huh??? Actually the two books that started me on my love of Russia and the IF was Nicholas and Alexandra, and Susan Massie's Land of the Firebird. Unfortunately, I think they both have a highly romanticized view of Russia etc...
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 12, 2005, 09:44:23 AM
I agree with your view of the Massies, and early on I shared their romanticism about imperial Russia.

One of the reasons I still like the movie is that -- for some of the very reasons others did not like it -- it woke me up to the mundanity of Nicholas and Alexandra.  There is no high drama in this movie because they were incapable of dramatic responses, even in the midst of dramatic events.  Hysterics are not drama, and this movie avoided the pitfall of confusing the two.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Elisabeth on April 12, 2005, 10:19:41 AM
When I speak of drama, I am referring not to hysterics but to such personalities and events as Queen Victoria, Nicky and Alicky, the heir's hemophilia, Bloody Sunday, the Revolution of 1905, Rasputin and his murder, Stolypin and his murder, World War I, the March Revolution, the October Revolution, Ekaterinburg... N&A was not a boring book, nor for that matter do N & A's letters make for boring reading - so where did the filmmakers go wrong?

A bad script and a cast without any chemistry, for starters, but also the willingness to alter the timing of historical events (Stolypin's murder) without a similar willingness to go the whole way and exert a great deal more poetic license (as Massie certainly did to some extent in the book, by romanticizing the royal couple and focusing so much on Rasputin). Either you make a film that is totally historically accurate (in which case you'd be better off doing a documentary) or you make a film that is entertaining and artistically interesting (The Lion in Winter, Queen Margot, Reds) - but you can't have it both ways, as this film tries and fails to do.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: PucknDC on April 12, 2005, 10:30:12 AM
I would have to agree Elisabeth. The Lion in Winter is probably my all time favorite film. I think the difference would be, that in "Lion" it was historically acurate but took artistic license with the dialogue, while some of the other movies take much larger liberties with timelines etc... Dialogue could never be accurate unlees you were in the room or quoting from letters. "Lion" also had the cream of actors, and brilliant writing. I thoroughly enjoyed "Elizabeth" but despised Shakespeare in love, as silly "pap"....matter of taste I suppose! ;D
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Johnny on April 12, 2005, 03:03:13 PM
OK, I think it is time to confess! For the past six years I have been working on an opera about N&A. I never said anything about it on this website because I wanted to get at least the text to a presentable point.
During my research I found so munch interesting material that I could reconstuct the storyline by using direct quotes from letters, diaries and memoirs of the many people involved in those bizarre events. I hope you will all get a chance to get to know the piece once it's done. One thing is for sure, every person who has seen my original drafts or read through some of the scenes finds it extremely dramatic, occasionally funny, often bizarre and always with a lot of tension that will keep the viewers attention going and going and going...
So don't tell me that the original historical personalities were uninteresting therefore the movie turned out to be boring too. What can be more interesting than a courtier as manipulative as Anna, funnier than an opportunist like Rasputin, more dramatic than Alexandra's constant fear and panic over her son's health and more amusing than a totally henpecked man like Nicholas. The makers of the movie had all the right cards, they just didn't know how to play them.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 12, 2005, 07:50:47 PM
Johnny . . . please, please have Phillip Glass compose the music.  With all the excitement you're plumbing from these dreary lives, we'll need a Glass score to calm us down.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Johnny on April 13, 2005, 11:56:58 AM
Quote
Johnny . . . please, please have Phillip Glass compose the music.  With all the excitement you're plumbing from these dreary lives, we'll need a Glass score to calm us down.

I will be the composer. Thank you!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 14, 2005, 06:05:43 AM
I can tolerate a lot of faults in historical dramas (as some of you have probably concluded from my defense of "Nicholas and Alexandra").  But the unforgivable sin to me is bad sets and costumes.

Jeez . . . those vast, trumped-up pseudo-Gothic spaces in "Elizabeth."  What was that all about?

Any opinions out there on "Ridicule" (an entirely fictional and entirely engaging costume drama) and its portrayal of Louis XIV?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Silja on April 14, 2005, 09:56:19 AM
I thought Ridicule was okay in terms of portraying the life style of the court at which appearances were everything, and where your success and failure depended a lot on whether you knew how to be witty in the way expected.

I wasn't so much pleased with the portrayal of Louis XVI but the film wasn't meant to be about Louis but about a way of life, so that's negligible.

To me the best screen Louis so far is Jean-François Balmer's in the 1989 mini series The French Revolution (1989)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Elisabeth on April 14, 2005, 12:38:17 PM
I remember thinking Ridicule was brilliant, everything a historical costume drama should be. The only part I found silly was the hero's romance with the local beauty. Her deep-sea diving helmet was rather disfiguring. It also seemed anachronistic, even if it wasn't.

Elizabeth didn't bother me because Cate Blanchett bears such a strong resemblance to the young Elizabeth. I particularly liked the coronation scene, which looked in every detail like the famous coronation portrait brought to life. Gothic spaces - oversexed - yes, this is all true, and there were even worse mistakes, but IMO it was more accurate and entertaining than most Hollywood movies about Elizabeth have been, which, granted, isn't saying much.

One of my favorite period costume dramas is Barry Lyndon, which yeah, I know, most people find a truly crashing bore. And I sympathize. But I love BL for its cinematography, sets and costumes - indeed, it hardly needs dialogue - watching it is like slowly making one's way through an eighteenth-century picture gallery.

Barry Lyndon - "A feast for the eyes, a famine for the mind"  Gene Shallot  edited by Alixz 05/11/2009
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on April 14, 2005, 04:12:48 PM
Quote
I remember thinking Ridicule was brilliant, everything a historical costume drama should be.

One of my favorite period costume dramas is Barry Lyndon, which yeah, I know, most people find a truly crashing bore. And I sympathize. But I love BL for its cinematography, sets and costumes - indeed, it hardly needs dialogue - watching it is like slowly making one's way through an eighteenth-century picture gallery.
 


Reading this, made me think of "The Draughtsman's Contract" by Peter Greenaway.
It has all the ingredients: Tantalizing, ridicule, overdone, extravagant costumes, sharp dialogue, wrapped in eroticism, all set in 17th century. A picture in a picture, you love it or loathe it.

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RichC on April 14, 2005, 06:18:02 PM
Quote
I can tolerate a lot of faults in historical dramas (as some of you have probably concluded from my defense of "Nicholas and Alexandra").  But the unforgivable sin to me is bad sets and costumes.

Jeez . . . those vast, trumped-up pseudo-Gothic spaces in "Elizabeth."  What was that all about?


I thought Elizabeth was an excellent film.  I don't think the sets were intended to exactly recreate 16th century England.  The director was from India and I thought he was attempting to make a strong statement about Britain's (although it didn't yet exist) immense role in world history rather than just a retelling of Elizabeth's first years on the throne.  That's why the historical details are all wrong.  This was the beginning of the Empire.  There's all this stuff about ridding the country of foreign influences (the catholic church, the French Mary de Guise, the Spanish ambassador).  BTW, they're filming a sequal with Blanchett returning as QE1.

I thought Nicholas and Alexandra had great sets (and I mean sets ;D).  I first saw it when I was about 8 and was stunned by the ending -- I didn't know things like that happened in the world.  But I can't watch it now without quickly falling asleep.  But the book is truly a classic.


Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: rskkiya on April 14, 2005, 06:51:24 PM
Elizabeth
   Wonderful choice with Barry Lyndon! I think that it's perhaps the most purely beautiful film that I have ever seen. I am not familiar with Ridicule but I will look for it --Dangerous Liasons is also lovely to look at as is Amadeus although both are not entirely  accurate or  logical.  

    But of course I have the most curious tastes --I enjoyed Dogville Grey Gardens and Boxing Helena

rskkiya
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Elisabeth on April 16, 2005, 06:38:54 PM
Rskkiya, what a relief to discover that I'm not the only person in the world who loves Barry Lyndon! And if it's any consolation to you, I also enjoyed Dangerous Liaisons and Amadeus (although I haven't seen the other movies you named, now I simply must - we obviously both have "curious" tastes!).

Anna, thank you so much for the Draughtsman's Contract recommendation. I had never even heard of this film and it sounds like just my cup of tea.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on April 16, 2005, 08:40:09 PM
Make that three.  I'm a big "Barry Lyndon" fan, too.  To appreciate this movie, you have to let go of the modern taste for overwrought action and just sit back and let the mid-18th century wash langorously over you in all its muted passions.

"The Draughtman's Contract" is quite the puzzle piece, and its brilliant use of lighting creates perhaps the most evocative visual presentation of the 17th century on film.

My weakness for movies that evoke the tones of an era more than its action is one of the reasons I'm more kindly disposed toward "Nicholas and Alexandra."  While their reign was rocked by momentous political events, their lives were not -- at least until near the end.  The reign that Nicholas and Alexandra took as reality was largely a hallucinated construct arising from their own internal visions of the institution of autocracy and their performance as autocrats.

While the movie does not reflect their reign as outside observers then and now understand it, I think it does a wonderful job of reflecting it as Nicholas and Alexandra themselves understood it.  In fact, because we understand so much better than they did why they failed as rulers, I think the movie's telling of their tale from such a claustrophobic viewpoint is quite an accomplishment rather than a failing.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Silja on April 18, 2005, 02:38:36 PM
Quote
.

"Nicholas and Alexandra."  

While the movie does not reflect their reign as outside observers then and now understand it, I think it does a wonderful job of reflecting it as Nicholas and Alexandra themselves understood it.  In fact, because we understand so much better than they did why the failed as rulers, I think the movie's telling of their tale from such a claustrophobic viewpoint is quite an accomplishment rather than a failing.


I very much agree. I've always rather liked the film. Besides, I never thought it was boring.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Romanov_Fan_NAOTMA on April 29, 2005, 12:41:07 PM
I love the movie Nicholas and Alexandra  :D
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: neva on May 08, 2005, 10:21:01 PM
Does anyone know what location was used to film the part that shows the family at Livadia in the movie "Nicholas and Alexandra"? (the huge terrace).

Thanks
neva
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lanie on May 08, 2005, 10:57:17 PM
I think some palace in Spain.  I know for a fact they didn't film anything in Russia (obviously, as it was the USSR then).
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on May 09, 2005, 05:47:37 PM
Many scenes were shot in Spain. Somewhere I read the producer Sam Spiegel was spotted at the Sevilla Studios in Madrid and at the Hostal de la Gavina for the beach scenes, this could be some hotel on the coast of Spain. The Palazio Casa Riero in Madrid (owned by the mother of Belgium's Queen Fabiola) was also used.

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Victoria_Romanov on May 15, 2005, 12:04:03 PM
Quote
Mine is when Alix kisses her son goodnight once he's been calmed down after his bad dream of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.  This scene is NOT on the VHS tape but on the DVD with the restored scenes.

That is my Fav. part to
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Baby Tsarevich on May 15, 2005, 05:32:58 PM
I was just watching that movie with my friend! My favorite scene would have to be when the Grand Duchess were painting and the first scene they showed Alexei where he caught the ball that fell over the edge! ;D

~Anastacia~
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on May 19, 2005, 03:45:04 PM
Quote
My favorite is when the Dowager Empress  is angry with her son Nicholas for abdicating the throne.  The scene takes place onboard one of the Imperial  trains.


Actually, this scene depicted a meeting between Nicholas and his mother shortly before his abdication.  She was warning Nicholas of the dire consequences to the throne if Nicholas did not remove Rasputin from the scene and shake himself free of his wife's damaging influence by exiling her to a convent.

This scene was a dramatic device to portray the views of the extended Romanov family which, at the time this meeting supposedly occurred, were turning into outright conspiracy against Alexandra and even Nicholas.

And the depicted meeting never occurred in reality.  The real meeting between Nicholas and his mother occurred shortly after his abdication, when she joined him for several days on his train.  No written records or reliable reports of what transpired between them have been left.  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on June 06, 2005, 07:11:28 AM
It's interesting to realize that when the  film was made we had no reason to believe that we would ever have the possibility of seeing the actual locations.
I am so lucky to have visiited the Winter Palace, Pavlovsk, Peterhof and Red Square, but when I saw the movie as a 12 year old I never expected I would actually visit the real locations let alone have a good idea of how they looked.
It would be nice to do a new film or better yet BBC series with real locations and with all of the information we have now.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: carlota11 on June 08, 2005, 01:38:15 PM
Hello, the place they was used to film the part that shows the family at Livadia is in Platja D'aro (my town) it's in Costa Brava, catalonia, The livadia terrace is a Hotel "hostal la Gavina" and rhe beach's name is "La Conca", in 1970 my father (they was 14 years old) went to "la conca" and saw the actors and actresses and the set.

Carlota.
"visca Catalunya"
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: neva on June 08, 2005, 08:38:38 PM
Thank you all for the help in the identification.

I certainly want to visit the "Livadia" location - it seems to be a wonderful place.

neva
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on June 08, 2005, 08:49:54 PM
"All you ever serve is bread and butter."
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on June 09, 2005, 04:18:18 AM
It's tradition.

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on June 10, 2005, 09:42:28 AM
Thank you carlota, that's really interesting. Are there more specific things your father saw and remember?

I have been there twice in the neighborhood- Malgrat de Mar and Lloret de Mar. If I had known this I would have visited the place. What a pity being there twice and not knowing :-/

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RickV on June 14, 2005, 04:35:59 PM
 "Nicholas and Alexandra"?  It was directed by the same director of such noteworthy movies as "Planet of the Apes", "Patton", and "Papillon", but the actors in it are little known, then and now. It has a running time of three hours, and I'm sure the drama is slow, so it's probably something like David Lean would have made. All amateur film critics report please.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RickV on June 14, 2005, 08:49:09 PM
Thanks. I wasn't aware of that topic. I never had an opportunity to see the movie. I don't recall it ever being replayed on television where I've lived, so it's probably not worth it as you seemed to relate.  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tucker on June 17, 2005, 09:30:14 AM
I think anybody that would have enough interest in the last Imperial Family of Russia to join a discussion board about them should see this movie at least once.  :)

Personally, I enjoyed the film.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RealAnastasia on June 17, 2005, 08:29:01 PM
If anyone here saw this movie? All of us!!! And not one time, but 2, 3, 20, 50 times!!!  ;D It's THE movie here!

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RealAnastasia on June 17, 2005, 09:17:38 PM
As I said somewhere here, I only likes historical accurate movies. I don't like to fantasize in History. I have this movie recorded in a tape and saw it almost three times all the years . But...Like it? I didn't like it. I NEED to see the "Nicholas and Alexandra's Era", in colour, with music, and the people I read about moving and speaking...But "NIcholas and Alexandra" is NOT a good movie, for all the reasons I read in this excellent thread. The girls are badly, poorly portrayed...Nicholas was sometimes harsh, very harsh to Alix. Alexei was an self-centered boy (He wasn't in real life). The Tobolsk-Ekaterinburg trip was not as portrayed in the movie. Anya Virubova, Olga Alexandrovna and other important characters are NOT shown...The If didn't know Rasputin the way it was portrayed in the movie...The massacre in Ekaterinburgo was not like this...And blah, blah, blah.

 And now, I've a little question: How is the scene with Tatiana revealing herself to a Bolshie guard? I never saw it in my VHS tape.

RealAnastasia.

 
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lanie on June 18, 2005, 12:33:03 AM
Quote
As I said somewhere here, I only likes historical accurate movies. I don't like to fantasize in History. I have this movie recorded in a tape and saw it almost three times all the years . But...Like it? I didn't like it. I NEED to see the "Nicholas and Alexandra's Era", in colour, with music, and the people I read about moving and speaking...But "NIcholas and Alexandra" is NOT a good movie, for all the reasons I read in this excellent thread. The girls are badly, poorly portrayed...Nicholas was sometimes harsh, very harsh to Alix. Alexei was an self-centered boy (He wasn't in real life). The Tobolsk-Ekaterinburg trip was not as portrayed in the movie. Anya Virubova, Olga Alexandrovna and other important characters are NOT shown...The If didn't know Rasputin the way it was portrayed in the movie...The massacre in Ekaterinburgo was not like this...And blah, blah, blah.

  And now, I've a little question: How is the scene with Tatiana revealing herself to a Bolshie guard? I never saw it in my VHS tape.

RealAnastasia.

  


RA,

The scene with Tatiana is on the DVD version.  It was cut from the VHS releases. It's rather disgusting.  If you want to see it I made a clip of it for someone who only had the VHS version; I could email it to you.

Lanie
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: rskkiya on June 18, 2005, 07:32:15 AM
RA
 I agree - it's not accurate and its not good...
It was a big technocolour costume drama from the early 70's  - not a documentary - {I should have enjoyed a documentary!} and perhaps that's the problem!
    For so many people here its the first thing about the Romanovs that they were exposed to so it rather colours their perspective. Some people still love it, while ohers long for a less melodramatic perspective.

(I like the last scene best of all!)
rskkiya
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: etonexile on June 18, 2005, 02:37:51 PM
"Barry Lyndon"...one of my favy films...in spite of Ryan O'Neal....who was dreadful...worst film accent since Dick VanDyke in "Mary Poppins"...

I'd love to see Nicholas and Alexandra done as a multi-part series...rather like "Lily"....or "Jennie"....take the time to do it right....

"Room With A View"....my total favourite film...Teddy and I watch it at least once a year....he thinks there should have been more bears in starring roles....but he can be like that.... ::)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RealAnastasia on June 18, 2005, 02:40:15 PM
Quote

RA,

The scene with Tatiana is on the DVD version.  It was cut from the VHS releases. It's rather disgusting.  If you want to see it I made a clip of it for someone who only had the VHS version; I could email it to you.

Lanie

Thank you, Lanie. If you really want to do it, email me the scene. I read that many people here didn't like it, and I'm curious to know how it was portrayed...Even if we know that this never happened in real life.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: koloagirl on June 22, 2005, 02:50:40 PM
 :)

I'm kind of two minds about this film.   >:(

Without giving my age away :-X (ha!) I first saw it back when I was in grade school (okay, now you know!) and really liked it -- the movie was what started me into my Romanov interest - reading the book, etc., etc. !  
I guess much like the cartoon "Anastasia" did for some of our younger members on the forum.
And now here I am God knows how many years  later  ???(please don't remind me!) and I'm still fascinated by them.  ;D

So yes, I think as a good starting point for someone into the Romanovs.  At least it isn't totally fantasy and with the notable exceptions that other members have mentioned, fairly accurate.  

Maybe the film is good -- I have always liked the actor who played Nicholas -- altho I agree that he was overly harsh with Alix in some scenes -- I have never seen another actor who looked, sounded and pretty much acted the way I at least think Nicholas was.  I have to say that his eye rolling in some scenes was way disturbing tho'....looked like he was having a fit or something!

Alix was portrayed fairly sympathetically by Janet Suzman and again, I thought that she captured (if not in looks) the essence of Alix - regal, elegant, but also human and loving.  I think hers is the best portrayal of all.

The rest of the characters - feh!  The GD's were, as usual, portrayed as stock characters and I don't know what they were doing with Alexei's character.  :-X

Despite all my criticisms, I have yet to see another film that captured the era and the love that the family had for one another as well.  

Janet R.

P.S. -- the scene with Tatiana was really disturbing to me.....after I'd read about the real family and saw the film again....I know it made a point about their wasted youth and loveliness, but yikes! >:(

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RealAnastasia on June 22, 2005, 06:32:11 PM
I must agree with you, Koloagirl...Tatiana's scenes revealing herself to a red guard is pretty dusgusting! Awful...Why showing one of our beloved girls doing this? As far as I read about them, I think that Tatiana would never do this... :-/

RealAnastasia.

P.S: Why didn't you like the way they portrayed Alexei? I'm curious... ;D
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: koloagirl on June 24, 2005, 12:37:00 AM
 :)

As some of the other posters have mentioned, he was
portrayed towards the end of his life as bitter and suicidal - even having an argument with Nicholas over why he abdicated without telling Alexei first!   :-[

The child actor who played him was very good -- it just wasn't the Alexei as he was - at least IMHO!  :-X

Janet R.
:)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on June 24, 2005, 10:59:20 AM
Quote
he was portrayed towards the end of his life as bitter and suicidal


I thought the scene in which Alexei deliberately injured himself was contrived, too . . . until I later learned that he did, in fact, shoot down a stairwell on a sled at Tobolsk.  His resulting injuries were the reason the family was split up for several weeks during the move from Tobolsk to Ekaterinburg.

Was this the action of a bored adolescent or a young teenager trying to commit suicide?  Or something else?

Let's see what he knew:

- even a minor bump could trigger an attack
- going down a stairwell on a sled would certainly result in more than a minor bump
- Rasputin was no longer available to "cure" him.

For some reason, he wanted to injure himself seriously.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RealAnastasia on June 24, 2005, 07:33:25 PM
Well, Koloagirl. Now, I understand you . And be sure I share your opinion. Alexei a suicidal and Tatiana an exhibitionist? Ugh... >:( I can't understand WHY they portrayed the two children like this. And other thing that disturbed me is that they show him as a selfish boy, and wanting to kill people (Do you remember the awful scene when he says: " I'll kill them all!" ). That's not the real Alexei.

But yes...The little actor is a good professional and did his job well. Excellent acting. As for the the four girls, I don't know even if the actress were good ones...They speak so little! ::)

RealAnastasia.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Bobrinski on June 26, 2005, 06:22:19 AM
I watched this yesterday and it is still a favourite - a feast of intelligence and fine acting - it's a delight to watch. Bits are clunky - especially the arrival of Rasputin at the Dowager Empress' birthday party.

I first saw it in the cinema when it was first released, taken by my great-aunt Olga and her friend Galina - they both tutted at inaccuracies and were impressed that Madrid could stand in for Petersburg  ;) - and it certainly started my interest, which ended up in a degree in Russian History....strange how these things happen.

The dvd has some scenes that were not in the original release...which don't seem to it ant harm - although the paint fight between the grand duchesses is a little surprising.

It is obviously a drama like A Man For All Seasons and Elizabeth - both of which are great historical films, notwithstanding the fast and loose approach to the historical timeline (especially in the latter) - it sums up the experience, without being an historical document.

I  prefer the scenes in exile, the irony that  the family, especially the Tsar and Tsarina, come to understand each other and find strength from each other, is not totally lost. It may or may not be true, however it makes sense in the dramatic arc.

My other favourite scene is when Nicholas receives a visit from mother-dearest at Stavka.  A marvelously well-written scene that exemplifies Nicholas' situation.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: koloagirl on June 29, 2005, 07:42:25 PM
 :) :)

Yes I agree -- and I must say that one of my all-time favorite scenes is the one where Nicholas and Alix are alone in their bedroom at Ekaterinburg and he places the chair up against the door and then goes to her --

We know now that they were intimate during this time  -- and to my mind that says so much about their relationship - that they still shared that physical love and closeness despite all the hardships of those last days.  Theirs was such a love story!   :)

Janet R.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Georgiy on July 10, 2005, 05:50:01 PM
I saw this on DVD for the first time in probably well over a decade, and truth be told, I did not like it. The main reason is that I felt, apart from Rasputin, there was very poor character development, and I felt no empathy for the characters being portrayed. I think it was overly ambitious, and if they want to look at the entirity of the Reign (or most of it), it would need to be a mini series of several parts. They had too little time to cover too much, so the characters are like little pencil outlines and sketches. OTOH, Ventsenosnaya Semya only deals with about a year and a half of their lives, and really explores the characters and personalities of the IF. I was not moved by the execution in Nicholas and Alexandra (I thought "finally it's over" instead); I burst into tears at the end of Ventsenosnaya, somethong that has never happened to me with a movie before. It had the effect that you really empathise with and like the characters so much it is the hugest shock to see what happens (even though we all know what happened.)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on July 10, 2005, 07:33:51 PM
Georgiy,

Ventsenosnaya Semya, If there's any movie I would love to see than it's this one. I know there's a site about this movie. I can't understand why this movie isn't realesed in Europe. I know other members here are trying to lay hand on it  but it seems very hard to find. It must be on Russian video/dvd sites, don't know which and can't read them.
Georgiy where did you find a copie of this movie?

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Georgiy on July 10, 2005, 08:59:42 PM
Quote
I got mine (VHS) via the internet from Arlekino which sells Russian CDs, videos etc. It was about US$7 or 8 which was quite resonable, though I had to top up the order to $20 with CDs as that is the minimum order apparantly. I have seen it available on DVD on various sites,

Goodness knows if this company still exists or if they still have the movie, but you could try.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dac87 on July 10, 2005, 09:09:43 PM
I'm desprate enough to try anything to get this film!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Georgiy on July 10, 2005, 09:19:34 PM
Well, Arlekino doesn't seem to have it any more, but books.ru does - they are in Russia, but you can search in English: just type in Romanovy, and it is about the 29th item. (The word for search looks a bit like: nouck)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on July 12, 2005, 09:04:47 PM
I  Love the  "No fact begins with if"  scene
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dac87 on July 14, 2005, 11:09:50 AM
Well... I emailed the people at books.ru and they emailed me back with all of the info for Romanovy...Semya and it turns out it is in video format PAL.  I can't view pal videos on an American vcr, uggggg.  I have a region free dvd player, so I guess I'll have to keep looking for a dvd version.  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Shvibzik on July 16, 2005, 11:09:16 AM
I was wondering if anyone has or knows a place where I can see "screengrabs" of the N&A movie.  I'm just curious to see.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on July 16, 2005, 12:16:37 PM
Hi Shvibz,

Here are some links:

http://search.freefind.com/find.html?pageid=r&id=7141720&mode=ALL&query=nicholas+and+alexandra&lang=en&fr=0

http://www.alexis-romanov.narod.ru/artikles/nascreen.htm
pics take some time to download, be patient

http://www.boyacts.com/cgi-bin/movie.cgi?ref=538
add: Nicholas and Alexandra

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067483/
look at trailers under promotional at the left

Hope this helps ;)

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lanie on July 16, 2005, 01:51:14 PM
http://www.livadia.org/trw/movies/na/ - I uploaded some I took.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Shvibzik on July 17, 2005, 12:01:23 PM
Thank you for the great links, Anna and Lanie!  That was just what I was looking for. ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: xX_Mashka_Xx on July 20, 2005, 07:49:13 PM
I liked Nicholas & Alexandra to some extent. I only wish it were more accurate. The casting was ok, except they cast the right people in wrong roles. For example, Ania Marson should have played Tatiana, instead of Olga, because of her dark hair and similar nose, and other features. Lynne Frederick should have played Olga, instead of Tatiana, because of her light hair, and, also, her nose was close to that of Olga. Other than that, it wasn't too bad. Marie & Anastasia were cast pretty good. Those playing Lenin & Trotsky looked alot like the real people.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: ajv123ajv on August 05, 2005, 12:39:43 PM
The movie Nicholas and Alexandra should be made into a Mini Soap/doc and shown over three or four nights - who could play Nicholas and Alexandra in it?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on August 14, 2005, 09:03:15 PM
And I really liked it. But did anyone else find it amusing how the actor playing Nikolai always had that deer in the headlights look on his face? And wasn't it a bit unrealistic that Aleksey would keep climbing on the rocks even after people were screaming at him? What was he thinking? "Hmm, I'll keep going, see how much trouble I can really get into..." And for some unknown reason, I busted out laughing when I saw Felix Yusupov. He looked kinda like a mix between the real Felix Yusupov and a mouse...
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RussiaSunbeam1918 on August 15, 2005, 03:43:18 PM
Haha, what really cracked me up was the guy who played Yourovsky (?)

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on August 16, 2005, 05:54:30 AM
lol! Yeah. He was very old.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 16, 2005, 02:31:08 PM
I am sure the producers, directors, writers and actors, especially the one who portrayed Olga, appreciate you ever so wise erudation.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: xX_Mashka_Xx on August 16, 2005, 08:41:53 PM
The girl who played Olga wasn't really ugly, but she didn't look like her one bit. That's what's bad, is that the actresses playing OTMA looked nothing like OTMA
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on August 16, 2005, 09:56:55 PM
Many of us became interested in the Romanovs after seeing Nicholas and Alexandra. Speaking for myself, the film haunted my thoughts from the moment I stepped outside the theater, and since that time I have spent many exciting hours in a number of university and public libraries, tracing down books and other materials that Robert Massie had consulted in writing his book, then going beyond his bibliography to review additional materials.

The film is just that . . . a film. It is, by virtue of its cinematography, more than a play, but still less than reality. It attempts, as do other history-based films, to present a time which no longer exists. It does not present everything just as it was, moment by moment, person by person, but is instead a dramatic representation. In this I think it succeeds magnificently. I could quibble--and have, on other threads--about certain individual aspects of the film, but all the same it remains my introduction to and inspiration for a life-long obsession, and I am grateful to everyone who played a part in making the film a reality.

Also, I second Robert regarding comments about the actors.  Furthermore, if Ania Marson ever happens to visit this website, I would like her to know how much I appreciated and continue to appreciate her portrayal of Olga. True, Ms. Marson's nose is not the retroussé feature which inspired adolescent despair from the actual grand duchess. But it is nose that suits Ms. Marson, and each time I see Nicholas and Alexandra I am reminded of how well her wide-spaced eyes and intelligent demeanor represent the look of Nicholas and Alexandra's oldest daughter.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Ortino on August 17, 2005, 04:19:44 PM
As a result of the controversy that was ignited by my original post and my realization of what a poor impression it gave, I have removed it and am ready to start afresh. I apologize to both the original poster and the repliers for the side tracking and any offense it might have caused. So...back to Nicholas and Alexandra.

As can be surmised, I am not a huge fan of this movie, but I feel that I should be more thorough in my analysis of it now. Overall, it was a good attempt to recreate the life and death of the Romanovs, but not up to par with its successors. I understand that this was made in the 1970's, a time when I'm sure there was not as much interest in the Russian royal family. I applaud it for bringing attention to the family's lives. However, I found three major failings with it. The first is that it rushed through everything way too fast. I understand that they had to fit the story so that it would not be too long and include as much as they could, but had I not known about the Romanovs, I might be somewhat confused. What they do include they don't explain very well. The second major failing in my opinion is its lack of focus on the actual family. There are only brief moments when the viewer can actually get a view of what their lives were truly like, like the girls' short appearances and the events at Spala. I would have preferred if the movie had focused less on the political events going on around them and more on them. The final problem with the movie I found was its inaccurate details. Things like Rasputin's murder and the "events" in Tobolsk bothered me. I understand that this is film and basically every story in the history of film making has deviated from the original somehow, but I still think it could have been better if they had gotten these things right. Perhaps because of how interested I am in all the little details of their lives and world these things bother me more.

 On the other hand, there are some good qualities in this movie that should be mentioned. I thought the costumes, particularly those at the Dowager's party, were lovely. I also think that the acting overall was fine, not the best, but still good, especially Michael Jayston. Finally, like I said previously, I would like to point the film's effort to introduce many viewers to the tragic and fascinating lives of the Romanovs. The more interest, the better.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tsarfan on August 17, 2005, 04:53:33 PM
There are now three threads specifically on the Nicholas & Alexandra movie under this topic .  (No wonder . . . the movie elicits all kinds of strong reactions, pro and con.)

Forum Admin, is there an easy way to consolidate the three threads so that we can read all the posts in one place?  It's been such a rollicking discussion that it would help us follow the various opinions more easily.

Thanks if you can do it . . . or even if you can't.


Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: sailor_of_standart on August 29, 2005, 09:24:57 PM
I too just saw N & A last night. It was quite interesting, but I just couldn't bring myself to watch the execution, I watched it in Rasputin (1996) but with this I just couldnt.
It was also interesting to see the scene where the young guard tried to humilate the girls with that crude drawing of a fellow making love to a big bosomed woman.   I thought at first he was going to try and flirt with the four girls till he stoodback and showed them that drawing.  I too was taken aback.
It did get kind of annoying for that young actor who played Alexei to keep repeating that little chant about not having fun and playing.
At least it confirmed that Alexei tried to commit sucide by toboganing down the stairs at Toblosk.  
Also did the train they originally went on from Toblosk was it really going to Moscow or was that just a set up as depicted in the movie?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Lizameridox on August 30, 2005, 09:57:44 PM
I have some trouble with the statement that the movie N+A 'confirmed that Alexei tried to commit suicide by tobogganing down the stairs'.  The movie did take a lot of liberties with the actual book by Robert L Massie on which it is based.  I think the reason why the Tsarevich was depicted as suicidal in the movie was that it is hard to depict a state of mind that could make the boy say to his mother as he lay ill from an incident that occurred because of recklessness or boredom that he wished he could die because he was afraid what of the Bolshevik jailers might do to him and his family.

Any remake of the movie will definitely have to improve on the script.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: sailor_of_standart on August 31, 2005, 08:03:42 PM
The scene depicted with Alexei trying to commit suicide was also used in Anastasia the Anna Anderson story and Anastasia the daughter of the last Tsar.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: LisaDavidson on September 04, 2005, 01:20:04 PM
For those who have problems with the historical accuracy of the film, you are in good company. I was told by a Romanov descendant that Prince Vasili Alexandrovich (Xenia and Sandro's youngest son) was a technical advisor on this film and that his suggestions were for the most part ignored. He reportedly walked out in disgust from the film, although the family chose not to make an issue of it in public.

As Janet said, it is a film, it was not real life and that should be understood when viewing it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Antie on September 14, 2005, 06:03:56 AM
Quote
http://www.livadia.org/trw/movies/na/ - I uploaded some I took.

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/2711/tanyaactressodd1pr.jpg

Wow, that's Tatiana?  I wouldn't have recognized her!

I like her sailor suit! :D
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Laura Mabee on September 14, 2005, 08:48:26 PM
Just wait till I get my website up (hopefully this month) I have over 100 screencaps of this movie
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on January 09, 2006, 08:26:51 PM
Even though I like this movie ( I'll rate it about a 7 on a scale of 1-10) I am always nit-picking it each time I watch because of the inaccuracies.  Some of the parts that I really don't care  for are:

The scene with Tatiana and the guard. Tatiana would have NEVER done anything like that! She was a proper young lady. Disgusting! >:(

Alexei was shown as a spoiled brat and not the happy child that he was. It looked like the sledding down the stairs incident was a suicide attempt which it was not.  And that silly little rhyme he kept saying. At times I wanted to say "Shut Up!"  I hope that if they ever do a remake they show Alexei as the kind, gentle  and curiuos boy that he was despite his fragile health. Nothing against Roderic Noble's acting. I just didn't like the way the scriptwriters wrote the part.

But some parts of the movie are really good. I thought Michael Jayston did a great job as Nicky and Tom Baker was fantastic as Rasputin.

As someone else has mentioned I too hope that any re-make will focus more on  family life rather than politics.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Olga_Anna on January 09, 2006, 09:46:52 PM
Quote
Even though I like this movie ( I'll rate it about a 7 on a scale of 1-10) I am always nit-picking it each time I watch because of the inaccuracies.  Some of the parts that I really don't care  for are:

The scene with Tatiana and the guard. Tatiana would have NEVER done anything like that! She was a proper young lady. Disgusting! >:(

Alexei was shown as a spoiled brat and not the happy child that he was. It looked like the sledding down the stairs incident was a suicide attempt which it was not.  And that silly little rhyme he kept saying. At times I wanted to say "Shut Up!"  I hope that if they ever do a remake they show Alexei as the kind, gentle  and curiuos boy that he was despite his fragile health. Nothing against Roderic Noble's acting. I just didn't like the way the scriptwriters wrote the part.

But some parts of the movie are really good. I thought Michael Jayston did a great job as Nicky and Tom Baker was fantastic as Rasputin.

As someone else has mentioned I too hope that any re-make will focus more on  family life rather than politics.

I agree with you totally.
It was discussed on a Tatiana thread about the way Nicky blamed Alix for Alexei's illness. Lines such as... "You gave it to him!" shouted over and over in one scene, and another along the lines of... "What did you give me? Four daughters and a sick boy."  I think Nicky would have never said those things.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on January 12, 2006, 07:46:39 PM
Quote
.. "You gave it to him!" shouted over and over in one scene, and another along the lines of... "What did you give me? Four daughters and a sick boy."  I think Nicky would have never said those things.


You're right. I can't imagine Nicky saying anything like that to Alix eeven if they were having an argument.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on January 12, 2006, 09:25:51 PM
Yeh what was with that arguement that N & A had??! Would Nicky ever said those things to Alix and Alix say: "D*mn you!" I don't think they would ever have an arguement like that!
    Although N & A are rather intimate in the movie ... like that scene when they're in captivity. I just find it SO heartbreaking in the end when they get shot. N & A had the best love story!
    And what about when OTMA are in their bedroom and suddenly this stupid guard comes in and Tatiana shows herself. I'm pretty sure the guards did sort of interfere like this, but never would one of the grand duchesses show themselves like that!
    It was a pretty good movie but I do get REALLY sad thinking of it. Some parts are not exactly right and some things are missing in the movie.
    My favourite part of the Romanovs is N & A's love story. Does anyone know any movies that are mostly based on N & A's love story (if there is any)?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: LarissaAnn on January 13, 2006, 12:41:52 PM
Quote
Nikolai always had that deer in the headlights look on his face?

lol, that was absolutely hilarious, clock.  I agree the acting was not very good by today's standards.  I was also amused at how Felix and Dimitri looked and at how old Yurovsky was.  I've heard it mentioned a lot on this board that there should be a remake, I absolultely agree.  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Caleb on January 13, 2006, 02:18:30 PM
It would have been interesting if they had more royals, like King George V & Queen Mary, Queen Victoria, King George I, Christian IX, Edward VII & Alexandra etc....
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on January 14, 2006, 06:37:32 PM
I was just thinking that if Michael Jayston is still alive (someone here must know) that he is 70!!!

Ditto all the others who acted in this film.  They are now old age pensioners.  What has that got to do with anything?  I don't know.  It just amazed me, I guess I am amazed by small things.

The quality of the film was good for its time.  I am old enough to have seen it in the cinema.  Remember, back then we saw a movie once and didn't have dvds to watch and re-watch and nit pick.  It went by so fast that it was over and then cut down for TV viewing.

It is historically inaccurate, but it is a film.  Not a biography or even a biopic.

I loved the costumes and was confused by which Grand Duchess was supposed to be which.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Grace on January 14, 2006, 06:55:44 PM
Michael Jayston is still a working actor/narrator.

He recently recorded an audio-book of The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on January 14, 2006, 10:12:52 PM
Thank you for letting me know.

I remember him in another movie (without the Nicholas bread).  It starred Mia Farrow as his American "flower child" wife and he was a stuffy banker?

I only recognized him because of his eyes and then searched the credits for his name.

Does anyone know the title of that film?

As for the inaccuracies in N&A, why was everyone tired up in knots about the Tatiana scene or the N&A fight scene?

How about the fact that Alix never met Rasputin at a birthday party for Minnie?  I know that Nicholasha and his wife were into Rasputin, but right from the beginning the movie was so inaccurate that I needed a score card to keep it straight.

But still it is just a film.  I don't think it ever pretended to be historically accurate.  Except for the costumes which they made a beautiful statement with.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Grace on January 15, 2006, 01:46:05 AM
Quote

As for the inaccuracies in N&A, why was everyone tired up in knots about the Tatiana scene or the N&A fight scene?

How about the fact that Alix never met Rasputin at a birthday party for Minnie?  I know that Nicholasha and his wife were into Rasputin, but right from the beginning the movie was so inaccurate that I needed a score card to keep it straight.

But still it is just a film.  I don't think it ever pretended to be historically accurate.  Except for the costumes which they made a beautiful statement with.


Quite a few here (including myself) don't like this film because it should have been historically accurate or at least better attempts made to make it so.  It was about real people and real situations that actually happened.  The story was dramatic enough without having to embellish it with untruths that many feel slur the characters of the Romanovs concerned.

Glad you enjoyed it though, Alixz!  

NONE OF THE SMILIES ARE WORKING!!!!!!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Sarushka on January 15, 2006, 07:33:17 AM
Quote
As for the inaccuracies in N&A, why was everyone tired up in knots about the Tatiana scene or the N&A fight scene?

How about the fact that Alix never met Rasputin at a birthday party for Minnie?  I know that Nicholasha and his wife were into Rasputin, but right from the beginning the movie was so inaccurate that I needed a score card to keep it straight.

The way I see it, errors of chronology or setting are far less offensive (for lack of a better word) than errors of character. The scene with Tatiana and the guard was completely at odds with the way Tatiana was brought up, considering the times, her attitude toward religion, and her character in general -- that's what makes it distasteful.  As for the N&A fight -- I'm sure they fought from time to time. Doesn't everybody? But I question whether, given their devotion to each other and to Aleksei, that Nicholas would have made such hurtful, below-the-belt remarks to his wife.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on January 15, 2006, 03:27:00 PM
Quote
I was just thinking that if Michael Jayston is still alive (someone here must know) that he is 70!!!

Ditto all the others who acted in this film.  They are now old age pensioners.  What has that got to do with anything?  I don't know.  It just amazed me, I guess I am amazed by small things.

The quality of the film was good for its time.  I am old enough to have seen it in the cinema.  Remember, back then we saw a movie once and didn't have dvds to watch and re-watch and nit pick.  It went by so fast that it was over and then cut down for TV viewing.

It is historically inaccurate, but it is a film.  Not a biography or even a biopic.

I loved the costumes and was confused by which Grand Duchess was supposed to be which.



Alixz,

Michael Jayston is very much alive, at times at British tv.
The movie with Mia Farrow is "Follow Me".

Janet Suzman is also still very busy with acting on stage and tv, but concentrates herself more on directing. Born in Johannesburg, she is very political engaged with South Africa, she is a niece of the famous anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman. Her multi-ethnic versions of Shakespearean plays, Othello 1987, Death of a Salesman 1992 and Hamlet 2005 and a reworked politicized version of Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" called "The Free State" (1997), which is set in South Africa, are an example of what she thinks theatre can educate and change peoples views. I admire her very much not only for her great performances in- and knowledge of Shakespeare's works but also for what she's trying to achieve in South Africa . After all the Bards words are blind to colors.

And maybe you are right, this movie never pretended to be historcally accurate which is important to us, at least not to its producer Sam Spiegel. A movie doesn't make itself, there's always more behind it, and the audience are not aware of what took place before watching the end product on screen. I saw this movie when I was twelve and had no idea of the Romanov tragedy although I had already an interest in history and acting. So at first I was only interested in the performance of  the actress who played Alexandra. After seeing the movie the second time I became interested in the real tragedy.
I thought it interesting to know how and why this movie was produced. Here's a brief look behind the curtains.
Some quotes from S. Spiegel's biography by N.Cavassoni:

Sam Spiegel had had enough of having his name attached to small movies and delegating to others. His next- Nicholas and Alexandra- was to be an epic and he - Sam Spiegel- was to be in charge. Besides he was the last of the Dream Merchants and his public expected to see films of that type. Also a personal element was involved, this movie had to be Spiegel's "Doctor Zhivago". He was enchanted with the idea of the Russian palaces and exquisite jewels set against the rise of the revolution, and perhaps, most importantly, the young Grand Duchesses,  Anastasia being the most famous of the four.
In subject matter it was being louded as having the same echoes of romance and history that "Lawrence of Arabia" had. Baronesse Budberg (advisor) warned Spiegel that Nicholas and Alexandra was not up to that level. There were also those in the motion picture industry who sensed that Nicholas and Alexandra was either too early or too late.


You have to realize Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia were movies made in the sixties and N&A was made in the seventies, since then a lot had been changed not only in movie industry as well as the taste of the public.

quote: With everything that was happening in the world, was there room for an epic about a weak Tsar who let his country drift into ruin, and his hysterical wife who believed in Rasputin, a total charlatan? It was fine to read on paper, but who would want to see it on the screen? And did Spiegel himself really care?


The movie went through a lot of financial struggles, rewritten scripts, four announced directors and casting problems.
After reading his biography I believe this movie was a personal proof that he could do the tric again as it was his last big picture. He wanted to make a epic of the fall of the Russian empire but it was also a fall of his own pedestal as his star was fading on the movie firmament. He made only two movies after Nicholas and Alexandra.

Anna




Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on January 15, 2006, 04:52:18 PM
I was just thinking, people have a lot of comment on this movie but what did the actors themselves thought of it.
As I already said I'm very interested in acting, so whilst quoting about Sam Spiegel I remembered I have this fabulous book by Carole Zucker "In the Company of Actors". British actors and actresses give their reflections on the craft of acting one of them is Janet Suzman.
Very interesting is her view on her part of Alexandra.
Sorry for quoting again:

Nicholas and Alexandra a Hollywood experience.
Directors can sometimes cut throught the shit that you're mulling over in your head, when you can't find your way. Alexandra, in Nicholas and Alexandra, I rather had to tussle for myself, because Alexandra was just the opposite of everything I am. She was very right-wing; she was a Lutheran; she was very blinkered: and also terribly stupid. None of which I am. But I had to find a sympathetic way into Alexandra, and of course, in the end it was through the child, because any woman can understand, if you've got a littel haemophiliac son, how utterly obsessed you are with that child. So her behaviour, whether it was towards Rasputin or towards the Russian people, was all because she couldn't see further than the nursery.
I read a lot around her, fascinating contemporary stuff. Anna Virubova wrote some wildly overadoring diaries. One is required to find the middle way, really. In Virubova's eyes the empress could do no wrong; it was really a maid-to mistress eulogy, very overprotective, so I knew that wasn't quite the case. I felt quite sorry for her. It was a general consensus that she was not very popular. But she seemed to be very much in love with Nicholas; I think she was a very good mother to her daughters, all that seemed fine. There's always a way.

You know, to do the Russian revolution in three hours is impossible! I'd rather it had been kept a domestic drama. I think it would have been fascinating if they'd stayed inside the palace, and if the revolution was merely a distant rumble- which it was to them, they didn't know what was really happening. But of course it was a big Hollywood movie, and so Sam Spiegel had to move out to the grand set scenes, and introduce the revolutionairies, and this and that and everything.
It had to be panoramic.


Interesting to see she would have prefered a different story. I think the characters could have had more depths and maybe bigger parts for the girls as the movie was only focused on the family in their last months. But that is not the story of a big Hollywood movie, and definitely not Sam Spiegel's story.
Was it made accurate, less grand and not particularly for the big audience, the subject would have been good for a little- or cultmovie as we call it nowadays.

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on January 22, 2006, 04:58:17 PM
I have two favourite scenes:

1. When Nicholas and Alexandra are at Livadia taking a walk in a garden. They share a passionate kiss and Alexandra says:
"Sometimes I wonder, how you live with me."
Nicholas replies:
"I wonder, too. Only I know I could never live without you ... Sunny."
And then they continue their walk holding hands.

2. My second favourite scene is when Nicholas and Alexandra are at The Dowager Empress Marie's birthday party. Alexandra is in one of the rooms talking for the very first time with Rasputin. Nicholas walks in, holds his wife's hand and says that they could leave the party. Alexandra says:
"Already? But we haven't danced yet."
The scene breaks off and then the camera shows all these guests looking and then Nicholas and Alexandra come into the scene dancing.
A = "May I say something intimate?"
N = "In public?"
A = "I'll whisper it."
N = "Well, if you must."
A = "Nicky, I adore you."

They're just romantic...
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on January 22, 2006, 10:45:58 PM
Well, my favourite scenes were:

When "baby" was born. The happiness that Aleksei brings to the faces of Alix and Nicky are portrayed perfectly there!

Also...whenever Aleksei is on-screen.... :-* ;D

Sofia
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on January 24, 2006, 02:03:29 PM
I've always liked the scene near the end of the movie when that brute of a guard is trying to streal from Alexei :'( and then Nagorny comes to his rescue and punches the man. Very touching how he gave his own life to protect Alexei. So sad what the Bolsheviks do to poor Nagorny though.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: julia.montague on January 26, 2006, 09:18:04 AM
I really like the "Dancing in the snow"-scene ;D
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: sailor_of_standart on January 29, 2006, 05:24:18 AM
I would like to ad that Tom Baker aka Rasputin, is still alive and well.  He is a bit over weight, having seen him on the behind the scenes of British comedy Little Britain.
He did the narrative and voice overs of the tv series and also on the radio series.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on January 29, 2006, 02:56:45 PM
Quote
I really like the "Dancing in the snow"-scene ;D


I like that scene too. Does anyone know what the name of that song they danced to is? I like the tune. :)

The scene where OTMA are painting with Gilliard is also cute. I laugh every time when they start throwing paint on each other.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on January 30, 2006, 08:38:26 PM
I Love it when Yurovsky  (that old  Red  pig >:()  asks Alexei
"whats it like being ill"
and Alexei  says   "Whats it like having grey eyes"   I'm always cheering on the inside when he says that    and yes the part  with  Nagorny  and  the Tsar hugs him with the words  "I wont let them"
and Nagorny  says something  and the Tsar hugs him  sadly  and says   "Dear God"   You can hear the hurt  in his voice
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: xX_Mashka_Xx on February 01, 2006, 10:14:10 AM
Does anyone have any screen captures of that scene in Tobolsk, where the girls are dancing with the soldiers?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: sckkr on February 01, 2006, 06:11:55 PM
My favorite scene from the film N&A is when Micheal Redgrave who plays Sazonov is in Rasputins apartment in St Petersburg. Accusing him of ruining Russia. When in walks prince Yussopov and Grand Duke Dimitri after a short exchange of words Sazonov tells Prince Yossopov to "take your girls ( Casts a sly unbeliving look at the prince Yussopov) and adds or your Boys and frolic in the provences". That one always gets me considering the film was made in 1971. Great entertainment
Stu
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on February 01, 2006, 08:34:16 PM
I Love that scene  too ;D   but can never tell  which one is Felix  and which is Dimitri
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Ortino on February 03, 2006, 05:28:52 PM
Hmmm, I mostly prefer the scenes with the Grand Duchesses because there are so few of them.  My favorite is the scene where the girls are playing at Livadia. I don't know why, but I like the carefree, happy side of the children. The scene with a drunken Rasputin also never fails to make me laugh.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on February 04, 2006, 07:46:16 PM
I Also  like the one where Lenin says  "300 years of Romanovs,Why not 300 more"     MY OPINION  EXACTLY!!!!   lol
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: divine_grace on February 05, 2006, 10:40:28 PM
Don't you wish that some one would make a new movie about the Romanovs that would be filmed in Russia. I'll be the first in line at the movies!!!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 06, 2006, 09:04:30 PM
Hey, do you people think that this movie implies that Alexandra did have an affair with Rasputin? Remember the scene where Alexandra is looking out the window as her husband and son go on a horse ride, then this scary music comes up and Rasputin comes in? Alexandra gives like a sly smile, walks up to him very closely and kisses his cross. Then they just look at each other and the scene breaks off. Is that implying that they did have an affair? The music and Alix's look on her face did look rather suspicious.  :o
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: nene on February 07, 2006, 01:00:33 PM
I have a couple of favorite scenes in the movie:

1) When OTMA and Gilliard are painting and the girls start throwing paint on each other. So hilarious and cute!

2) The Assassination Party scene- I hate Rasputin, and seeing that pig get what he deserves makes me happy every time.

3) When OTMA was dancing with the soldiers in Siberia. That is such a fun scene that brings such a big smile on my face! I find myself dancing with the girls too.

4) When one of the guards tries to steal a gold cross from Alexei. Alexei pulls the man's hair, and kicks him. I was like Yes! go Alexei! I was cheering for him.

5) When Nicholas and Alexandra were alone, after Nicholas bolts the door in Ekaterinburg. A very tender, loving moment between them. This scene shows how much they truly loved each other, how devoted they were to each other. And, how, in the midst of the danger they were in, they found one moment of happiness and joy. These people were true soulmmates in the truest sense of the word (it's too bad other people didn't see that. I guess marrying for love was a rare thing in the Russian court).
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: sckkr on February 07, 2006, 05:38:50 PM
Dimitri is the one in uniform and stands behind the prince. Felix is the one who says untill it comes(meaning the Revolution)  lets have some fun. Cracking stuff.
Stu
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: nene on February 08, 2006, 07:03:24 AM
This question just came to my mind. Since there's a board on favorite scenes from Nicholas and Alexandra, let's talk about some heartbreaking scenes from the film. To me, some heartbreaking scenes were:

1) Winter Palace Massacre- after the attack on the people, the little girl started saying "Mama" over and over again and crying. That scene brings tears to my eyes every time. And I can't help it, I also feel fury at Nicholas too.

2) When the IF are going to Ekaterinburg, and they are forcibly separated from Gilliard. Olga says "Monsieur Gilliard. Monsieur Gilliard", and Gilliard replies, "I'll write. I'll try to see you!" I also feel like crying. Because you can see the reality of the situation, that the entire family is in real danger and everything around them has changed. I think OTMA (particularly Olga) realizes this as well.

That's my opinion on some truly heartbreaking scenes from the movie. How about everybody else?

Best wishes!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Sarushka on February 08, 2006, 08:07:38 AM
I'm not a big fan of this movie, but I do love the scene when the Tsar returns from Pskov after abdicating. He breaks down in front of Alix saying, "I'm sorry" over and over again.  :'(
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on February 08, 2006, 10:22:01 AM
I've always  thought a sad scene  was when the Reds  were getting ready to take away  Nagorny for having punched the guard who tried to steal from Alexei. When  Nagorny and Nicky embrace and Nicky says "I won't let them hurt you. " You can just see it in both their eyes that this is the last time that they will see each other. :'( :'(
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: leushino on February 08, 2006, 11:23:10 AM
Quote
I'm not a big fan of this movie, but I do love the scene when the Tsar returns from Pskov after abdicating. He breaks down in front of Alix saying, "I'm sorry" over and over again.  :'(



I have to admit to something. I was practically on the floor in laughter. It was probably one of the most over-acted scenes in the movie and I kept thinking, "Surely the tsar was more of a man than this snivelling caricature. If not... then good riddance." I just cannot bring myself to believe that Nicholas was such a wimpish sort as this ridiculous portrayal.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 08, 2006, 03:48:35 PM
When Nicky and Alix fight … I just can’t imagine them saying all those hurtful things to each other. Also the abdication, I feel sorry for Nicky. Bloody Sunday, when a woman got killed and then the child starts crying with his father. When the IF are trying to get through the crowds, you just feel sorry for them … And how could anyone forget their massacre, and the sad music comes on. The music I find is also very heartbreaking.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Sarushka on February 08, 2006, 08:42:46 PM
Quote
I have to admit to something. I was practically on the floor in laughter. It was probably one of the most over-acted scenes in the movie and I kept thinking, "Surely the tsar was more of a man than this snivelling caricature. If not... then good riddance." I just cannot bring myself to believe that Nicholas was such a wimpish sort as this ridiculous portrayal.

LOL. I'll confess as well: I rolled my eyes and tried not to laugh when Alexandra knelt down on the carpet just a couple feet away and reached for Nicholas, but didn't move her sorry tush even half an inch toward him... ::) That was overdone.

I do believe Nicholas could have broken down when he finally reached the safety of his home & family though.


The abdication/reunion scenes in the Russian film, Romanovy: Ventsenosnaya Semya were MUCH better, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Tania+ on February 08, 2006, 10:01:26 PM

What I wanted to say Lovy was, are you looking for agreement of what has transpired in a movie, as to actual historical evidence of what transpired between her IH A, her husband his IH N, and Rasputin ?

One should not quote, nor pass on to others what one sees in an exchange offered from Hollywood. If you look on other threads regarding Rasputin, and their IH you might find what other posters have offered on this very subject matter.

Bottom line though, there is no further thought for you to suspect that there was any romantic affiliations between Rasputin or her IH A. Her IH A loved only here husband. She remained true to him to the very end !

Tatiana+

Quote
Hey, do you people think that this movie implies that Alexandra did have an affair with Rasputin? Remember the scene where Alexandra is looking out the window as her husband and son go on a horse ride, then this scary music comes up and Rasputin comes in? Alexandra gives like a sly smile, walks up to him very closely and kisses his cross. Then they just look at each other and the scene breaks off. Is that implying that they did have an affair? The music and Alix's look on her face did look rather suspicious.  :o
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 08, 2006, 10:58:37 PM
Sorry, I'm not saying I believe that Alexandra and Rasputin did have an affair. I believe the opposite COMPLETELY!!! Look at topics I posted. You'll see I'm a big fan of the love story and I most definitely believed that Alexandra loved only her husband. And yes, you're right. Movie makers just want to get people excited and all that stuff. If you look at my topic 'Did Alexandra ever argue with Nicholas?', I asked a question and we all agreed that the fight N & A had was just way too exaggerated.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 08, 2006, 11:09:24 PM
Coudn't agree with you more, Sarushka!

Sure, Nicholas and Alexandra cried when Nicholas returned home after the abdication. But it wasn't like ... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... sort of crying, like big babies. I found it REALLY overdone when then Alexandra knelt down and reached for Nicholas, and then they both cried. So over-reaction! And when Nicholas was crying Alexandra didn't even go up to him. He was crying BADLY, that I was like: "Oh, my God." And his face was going completely red!

The real thing was when Nicholas returned home and he and his wife gave each other a nice, big bear hug. Alexandra, crying, told Nicholas that the husband and father was infinitely more precious to her than the tsar whose throne she had shared. Nicholas cried on her breast, but definitely not as much as the movie makers made him!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 08, 2006, 11:15:51 PM
Tati-Fan, isn't this picture ...

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/2711/tanyaactressodd1pr.jpg

actually Candace Glendenning, who plays Grand Duchess Marie?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on February 09, 2006, 10:31:18 AM
Quote

The abdication/reunion scenes in the Russian film, Romanovy: Ventsenosnaya Semya were MUCH better, in my opinion.


Is this film available with English subtitles?

And I do agree that this scene was overedone in N&A. I can see Nicky crying on Alix's shoulder but not to the extent it was done on the movie.  Nicholas II was not that wimpy.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on February 09, 2006, 03:17:38 PM
Let me just say that the scene of Nicky returning home from abdicating scared me.......in the point of view of a 10 year-old chldl (when i saw the movie)...I got really frightened....and I don't think that's a good compliment for the movie.  :-/
Overall, the most heart-breaking scene for me was when Nagorny was taken away from Aleksei.
Many people say that Roderic Noble was a very blank actor, but, no......he is the reason why that scene is so special.

Sofia
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on February 09, 2006, 03:55:43 PM
I don't think this movie was meant for children at the age of ten. At least not in my country.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Sarushka on February 09, 2006, 04:14:46 PM
Quote
Is this film available with English subtitles?

I don't believe so. But honestly, it's good enough to watch even if you don't speak Russian!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on February 09, 2006, 06:31:07 PM
Quote
I don't think this movie was meant for children at the age of ten. At least not in my country.


Well, I had already known about the Romanovs (I practically grew up with them) and I knew how the ending would be like. I also understood the movie perfectly.
I just found the scene I mentioned very unecessary. The producers, or screenwriters, probably thought it WAS necessary; it must have been a way to get the audience to understand what a suprememly horrible thing is to abdicate; well, in the Romanovs' shoes. Since the audience nowadays doesn't even KNOW what abdicating is.  ::)
Still; too much!
But, nevertheless; I was a very gifted 10 year-old.  ;)

Sofia
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on February 10, 2006, 10:17:38 AM
Quote
Overall, the most heart-breaking scene for me was when Nagorny was taken away from Aleksei.




Agreed. the first time I saw the movie that scene brought tears to my eyes.
:'(

And it still gets to me.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on February 10, 2006, 11:59:05 AM
Yes, whoever played Nagorny was a very talented actor.

Sofia
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: xX_Mashka_Xx on February 10, 2006, 04:40:05 PM
Quote
Tati-Fan, isn't this picture ...  
 
http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/2711/tanyaactressodd1pr.jpg
 
actually Candace Glendenning, who plays Grand Duchess Marie?



No, that is Lynne Frederick, the actress who played Tatiana. This is Candace Glendenning:

http://livadia.org/trw/movies/na/maria.jpg
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 10, 2006, 06:05:53 PM
Oh, yes! My apologies...
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: xX_Mashka_Xx on February 10, 2006, 09:11:29 PM
It's ok, Lynne Frederick does look very much like Marie. It would have been better if she played Marie, and Candace glendenning played Tatiana, seeing as Lynne Frederick was younger than candace glendenning. Also, candace looked alot like Tatiana.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on February 11, 2006, 01:26:48 PM
I agree.......all of the GDs should have been switched around.  ::)except Anastasiya....she was ok.

Sofia
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: SuSu on February 13, 2006, 12:05:22 PM
Please can anyone remind me which actress played the part of Dowager Emperess Marie Feodorovna? Thank you.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on February 13, 2006, 01:13:07 PM
The Dowager Empress was played by Irene Worth, although born in the USA she was an acclaimed stage actress with the RSC in Britain. She died in 2002.
She won three Tony Awards and a honorary C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

Hope this helped

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: SuSu on February 14, 2006, 12:13:38 PM
Thanks Anna. I think she did a fantastic job as the Dowager Emperess plus she looked a lot like her in my opinion.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Caleb on February 14, 2006, 08:26:11 PM
I think that they have Alix as almost this evil woman. I don't think they showed her as a suffering mother of a hemophiliac. Instead they portrayed her as this extremely formidable woman, who seemed willing to destroy anybody that stood in her way. (Though I do think the actors were skilled), just the portrayal was poorly done. But it's a good movie on an entertainment, not historical, level. I do think that scene when Alexei kisses his father, just before they get executed is touching. Or in the scene when Alexandra is making the sign of the cross, you can see Dr. Botkin trying to shield one of the grand duchesses, as with Nicholas with Alexei. As far as accuracy goes, I think that 1920's Russian film of the Revolution was more accurate in how they portray the execution.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 14, 2006, 11:54:07 PM
I didn't see Alix as that evil. She did seem to be suffering because of the disease she passed onto her son, just not ... a good ruler  :P :-/
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RealAnastasia on February 15, 2006, 09:52:51 PM
Quote
I'm not a big fan of this movie, but I do love the scene when the Tsar returns from Pskov after abdicating. He breaks down in front of Alix saying, "I'm sorry" over and over again.  :'(


I do agree! And I think the other heartbreaking scene is when they are murdered.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 15, 2006, 10:57:10 PM
I find the music pretty sad.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on February 16, 2006, 07:32:30 AM
What 1920s Russian film?

Azrael
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Caleb on February 16, 2006, 07:29:57 PM
I forget the name, but much of it was shown in the movie "Last Days of the Last Tsar"
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Olga_Anna on February 16, 2006, 09:19:45 PM
Quote
Overall, the most heart-breaking scene for me was when Nagorny was taken away from Aleksei.
Sofia

Same here. Also when Gilliard and the nurse were seperated (sp?) from the IF when they were getting on the train to Yekaterinburg.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Margarita Markovna on February 17, 2006, 05:21:49 PM
The most heartbreaking part of the movie, to me, was when the family is waiting in the cellar and when Yurovsky comes in, Alexei reaches up and kisses his father.  :'(
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on February 18, 2006, 12:06:36 AM
I found the scene depicting the reunion of Nicholas and Alexandra incredibly painful to watch since it illustrated those times when two people who love each other very much are overwhelmed by emotion, grief and, yes, the memories of previous disagreements, but are trying very hard to reconnect. I did not find it overdrawn; on the contrary, I thought it neatly encapsulated a number of points that the screenwriter wanted to illustrate:

1) Nicholas, in the tradition of men of that period, did his best to keep "a stiff upper lip," but once reunited with his wife--the woman who, though his lover, also could offer him a maternal love that his own mother did not--all defences crumbled;

2) The pressures of his reign, increased by the war and his abdication, had to have taken an enormous emotional and psychological toll on Nicholas. The screenwriter depicted this by showing him walking the gauntlet of hostile soldiers, then finally finding safe haven with his wife, who nonetheless had been the very person who challenged him to "be Peter the Great"--a challenge he could not fulfill. His sense of failure had to have been profound, and his constricted features and sobbing voice would be a part of that;

3) Although united, a certain gulf between Nicholas and Alexandra still existed. He would reconcile his abdication as God's will and attempt to be friendly with their captors; Alexandra, on the other hand, remained proud and distant to all but her closest circle.

4) The screenwriter had them drop to their knees because in moments of great helplessnes and shock this happens to many people (it has happened to me) but showed them facing each other, each attempting, despite tears and grief, to bridge that gulf and let the other one know that despite the abdication, the love between them was not extinguished.  

And from Anna Alexandrovna Vyrubova's book, reproduced on this website:

CHAPTER XV

In anxiety almost unbearable we waited until the morning of March 9 (Russian) the arrival of the Emperor . . . For a time at least the happiness of reunion blotted out the suspense of the past and the gloomy uncertainty of the future. But afterwards, alone, behind their own closed doors, the emotion of the betrayed and deserted Emperor completely overcame his self-control and he sobbed like a child on the breast of his wife.

********

Anyone who has tried to console a frightened child or a traumatised adult knows that Michael Jayston's performance in that scene was painfully spot-on. If you found the way Nicholas and Alexandra reacted to each other in that scene unbelievable, then odds are that you and your spouse/significant other haven't experienced excruciating loss and I congratulate you. If you found the scene comical or amusing, then perhaps you need to return to pulling wings off butterflies.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on February 18, 2006, 08:06:10 AM
Quote
I find the music pretty sad.


I do too.  Especially when the music comes on at the end of the movie after the murders.

Although the scene where Nagorny is taken away is the most heartbreaking scene IMO others are:

When Alexei kisses his daddy on the cheek as Yurovsky and hs band of murderers come into the room.

The little girl crying for her mommy after the palace massacre.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: NAAOTMA on February 18, 2006, 12:52:34 PM
Janet W has once again written a brilliant post. Among her many insightful points in her post, she mentions the reactions of traumatized people in their reactions to overwhelming emotional pain. From sad personal experience I can second her insight.

As for posters who claim to laugh during the execution on a website that was created to remember the last Imperial Family of Russia, what in the world are you thinking? You will say you are expressing yourself and have a "right" to do that. Your "selfexpression" shows the streak of cruelty that Janet alluded to in her post.

Way back in the early 1970s, the book and film NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA was virtually all there was out there for most people interested in the Romanovs. Comparisons with the embarassment of riches in regards to material now available on the Romanovs are hardly fair. Was the film perfect? No, of course not.

I have not seen the film for a very long time, but I will always remember the girls trudging in the mud at the train station, the suite members loyal to them being forced to separate from them. And Nagorny, knowing he is likely going to a terrible fate for defending Alexis, and reminding Nicholas of how to put the leg brace on the little boy before he is taken away.



Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: lovy on February 20, 2006, 04:18:44 PM
The abdication scene - I don't know what to say about it. You probably might find it heart-breaking but at the same time, a smile might come on your face because I just found it over-done.
    I thought Nicholas was a bit of a wimp then, and I thought Alexandra as a person who did not comfort. Why didn't she go up to him, but then reaches out to him ???
    Wasn't the real thing when Nicholas and Alexandra fell into each other's arms? Alexandra told Nicholas that the husband and father was infinitely more precious to her than the tsar whose throne she had shared? And then Nicholas cried on her breast? But according to Massie's book, he wrote that Nicholas cried "like a child." Maybe Nicholas was really that wimpy???
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Caleb on February 20, 2006, 05:58:15 PM
As much as it apalls me that someone was laughing at the  scene portraying the apalling & criminal execution of Nicholas, Alexandra & the children, people are allowed freedom of speech & opinions. However, there are somethings that should be said either more diplomatically, or not at all. I'm not saying that the person's comment was polite, or not the best to say here, but, I myself, as an American, am elated to enjoy freedom of speech & ideas. (This is my opinion)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on February 20, 2006, 07:55:56 PM
I agree, Caleb! The freedom to state one's opinion is very, very important. And along with that, the freedom to question why someone is so terribly intent on ripping something to shreds, particularly if that person hasn't a background in, say, screenwriting, acting, and/or film production.

Another tactic, of course, is to allow uninformed comments to sway in the breeze. Have you ever noticed that criticism usually tells us far more about the commentator than it does about the object being criticized?   ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on February 26, 2006, 08:57:59 AM
There were two at the time the film was released.

One was a magazine no longer in print called AFTER DARK
This one actually talked about what really happened during the filming.
It seems that the girls began to cry. It was said that 2 of them would start and they would calm them down and the other two would start. During this time Roderic Noble became very hyper and would run up to one of the girls and hit her.I remember it was a crew member who was interviewed for the article because he said that it unnerved the crew they had tried to make them a family for 9 months and now they were too much a family. He also went on to say that when they finally finished filming the girls broke down again.

The article where the girls were interviewed was an old SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE. They had great photos of the actresses even showed how you could do your hair they way they were wearing it.
I loved the nightgowns they wore and always wanted one like it.

What I was wondering is if in the film RASPUTIN with Alan Rickman anything of the same kind of behavior occured.
Just watching the scene the girls looked so nervous like they expected something to happen to them. I loved seeing Sir Ian reach back to take Anastasia's hand to calm her.

I believe I still have the articles but I don't know how to scan them and put them on the computer.

In reference to Lydia Bellingham she was interviewed for a newspaper article in Moscow and said the night before they filmed the final scene she took the girls out to dinner to discuss the scene with them.

I often wonder how actors and actresses get thru those types of scenes. Lynne Fredericks went on to play Catherine Howard shortly after. To portray someone who actually lived and died a young and horrible death must be nerve wracking.

Azrael
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Laura Mabee on February 26, 2006, 11:13:01 AM
Azrael,
Those articles sound very interesting! If you could tell me the year and month they were published that would be really great. I'll see if I can get my hands on them to scan.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Historybuff262 on February 26, 2006, 12:18:13 PM
Please do Laura Mabee.  ;D I would love to read those.


P.S. Which G.D. did Roderic hit and why on earth would he do that do you think?  :P
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on February 26, 2006, 08:49:02 PM
Quote
Please do Laura Mabee.  ;D I would love to read those.


P.S. Which G.D. did Roderic hit and why on earth would he do that do you think?  :P


I can't find the articles right now.

The article didn't say.  I think it was his way of dealing with the scene the same as the girls breaking  down  a boy especially at that age would react differently.

Azrael
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Historybuff262 on February 27, 2006, 05:55:52 AM
How old was Roderic Noble when they filmed N&A?
Just wondering
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Mashka_Angel on March 08, 2006, 12:50:20 AM
I love all the romance scenes, especially the one when N&A are in the garden and another one is when they're dancing! I was just curious about the one with Alix and Rasputin!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Mashka_Angel on March 08, 2006, 12:52:01 AM
The execution scene is DEFINITELY heart-breaking - ESPECIALLY when the music comes on. I really feel like crying when I hear the theme song for N&A.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Mashka_Angel on March 08, 2006, 12:53:13 AM
I would rate this movie 3 out of 5.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: jenjen on March 08, 2006, 05:39:05 AM
Hey, I am new here, so if this has been asked please forgive me.  Is there any difference between the Nicholas and ALexandra VHS then the DVD version.  I have the VHS version and I wonder if the DVD is worth buying.  Does the DVD have any extra scenes and are the extras any good?  Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on March 08, 2006, 07:06:33 AM
MAJOR difference!!! Fourteen minutes from the original release have been restored. Along with trailer, bios, and a featurette narrated by Lynne Fredericks and showing the actresses playing the girls rehearsing and just checking out the sets and costumes.

Finally the whole movie!!!!

Azrael
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on March 08, 2006, 07:18:36 AM
 I found the ending scene so disturbing that when it came on tv I couldnt' even watch the film. I found even if I passed a theatre that was running it I had to look in the other direction.

I still remember being in the theatre it was a Friday night in the days before multiplexes I was 15 at the time. During the whole scene where the family is waiting I could feel the blood leave my face and I was grasping the arms of the seat and shaking.

To be perfectly honest I lost my faith in God that night How could he let this happen to these people who put such faith in him?

It had been the first time I had ever seen the cellar sequence on film and I believe it really shocked me brought everything home.

Of course over the years you begin to think more about what happened and you read more. To this day I feel they were given a gift in their death as they all died together.
Even though there is no reason the children should have died. I think it would have been very difficult for any of them to survive without the others.

Basically I hope no one did survive that night. Can you imagen the guillt and loneliness a lone survivor would have gone thru?

Azrael
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on March 08, 2006, 09:52:39 AM
Besides the differences named by Azrael, there is also a difference between the region 1 and 2 DVD version. Region 2 doesn't have the featurette, something I don't understand why. I would like to see it very much.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joy0318 on March 08, 2006, 11:25:23 AM
Quote
The execution scene is DEFINITELY heart-breaking - ESPECIALLY when the music comes on. I really feel like crying when I hear the theme song for N&A.


Agreed! No matter how many times I watch the film I always have tears in my eyes at the end. So very heartbreaking. It's terrible that Nicky and Alix had to die like that but my heart breaks even more  for the children as they had done NOTHING wrong. They were killed simple because they were born Romanovs.  And the music is sad too.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: nene on March 08, 2006, 12:45:43 PM
Quote from: Joy0318

my heart breaks even more  for the children as they had done NOTHING wrong. They were killed simple because they were born Romanovs.  [/quote


I hear you on that one. And if anybody deserved to be canonized as saints, it is DEFINITELY those 5 beautiful, loving children. Maybe there'll be tons of chapels in their names as well. Oh well, we can only hope.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Imperial.Opal on March 10, 2006, 11:42:13 PM
   The dvd release is in wide screen which is better than the vhs format, eg the scenes when Nicholas and Alexandra leave and return to the palace are more magnificent, worth buying  :)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Margarita Markovna on March 12, 2006, 03:36:05 PM
Oh, also I think on the VHS version the "Naughty Tatiana" scene isn't included.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Grand Duchess Marishka on April 15, 2006, 06:58:04 PM
I just wanted to say something I was just thinking about earlier. It's easter now at home...My little sister and my younger twin are coloring eggs for the celebration. I just thought of how in this movie, Nicholas and his family color the easter eggs, and how Alexandra's character was so intrigued by this.
I know it's a little odd for me to say this...I just thought it was a very cute moment, and it made me feel all warm inside.
Well, better go work with some pink and yellow dye!

Peace.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: londo954 on May 04, 2006, 11:42:58 PM
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/londo954/PDVD_007.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: londo954 on May 04, 2006, 11:45:28 PM
Here is another from Marie's birthday party ....
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/londo954/PDVD_004.jpg)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Princess_Olishka on May 05, 2006, 01:30:23 AM
Those are nice. You can catch plenty more on Laura's site http://www.frozentears.org/.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on May 19, 2006, 04:35:37 AM
That photo is a recreation of a famous Romanov family portrait.
The still was used in publicity for the film and I remember seeing that photo with the real family in the World Book Encyclopaedia when I was a child.

PS - I've always thought that the actress playing Tatiana was more suited for Maria and visa versa.
Anyone else see that?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Margarita Markovna on May 19, 2006, 07:37:57 AM
Quote
That photo is a recreation of a famous Romanov family portrait.
The still was used in publicity for the film and I remember seeing that photo with the real family in the World Book Encyclopedia when I was a child.

PS - I've always thought that the actress playing Tatiana was more suited for Maria and visa versa.
Anyone else see that?
I thought so too. Even just looking at the eyes they look more like the other.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on May 20, 2006, 11:54:04 AM
Yes!
Tatiana had a thin face, Maria - round and what about "Marie's Saucers"?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on June 05, 2006, 08:29:06 PM
I was in love with this movie and those actors when I was a child.
I saw it many, many times in the movie theatre, once even in Spanish with English subtitles.  (I grew up in Miami.)
I used to have the 33LP and a souvenir program from the film.
If only I had then now. :'(
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Laura Mabee on June 06, 2006, 09:27:38 AM
Quote
I used to have the 33LP and a souvenir program from the film.
If only I had then now. :'(
You can view the Souvenir Program, and listen to the soundtrack from Frozentears.org (http://www.frozentears.org)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Janet_W. on June 06, 2006, 10:08:15 AM
I'm sorry not to have visited this thread since October 2004.

When I have the chance--and once again I apologize, but I can't promise when that will be--I'll transcribe the Seventeen magazine interviews. (I'm not high tech and don't have a scanner!)

I'll add that I remember Janet Suzman being interviewed by David Frost on his television show during the time that N & A was released. At the time I had no idea that I was going to become so obsessed by the story of the last Romanovs. I do recall, however, that Frost asked Suzman what she thought about Raputin's supposed "powers," and she smiled enigmatically and said that perhaps it was hypnotism, but it was difficult to say.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on June 11, 2006, 06:30:12 PM


Glebb,  even though I was a Romanov fan when the movie came out, I never even thought about getting the soundtrack or the program.

I recently got them both on EBay.

So if you want to hunt a little, you can probably get them again.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Glebb on June 11, 2006, 09:34:36 PM
Cool!  
Thanks Alixz.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on June 17, 2006, 10:15:53 AM
Glebb,

You and I must be around the same age.  That is where I first saw the picture, too.  

I have the whole set of World Book Encyclopedias.  I couldn't bear to part with them just because the one book had that picture.

Also the next edition had deleted the picture, I suppose it took up too much space.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RealAnastasia on June 27, 2006, 11:28:22 PM
Quote
That photo is a recreation of a famous Romanov family portrait.
The still was used in publicity for the film and I remember seeing that photo with the real family in the World Book Encyclopaedia when I was a child.

PS - I've always thought that the actress playing Tatiana was more suited for Maria and visa versa.
Anyone else see that?

I thought exactly the same... ::)

RealAnastasia
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TheAce1918 on July 01, 2006, 07:27:09 PM
Quote
It seems that the girls began to cry. It was said that 2 of them would start and they would calm them down and the other two would start. During this time Roderic Noble became very hyper and would run up to one of the girls and hit her.I remember it was a crew member who was interviewed for the article because he said that it unnerved the crew they had tried to make them a family for 9 months and now they were too much a family. He also went on to say that when they finally finished filming the girls broke down again.
What I was wondering is if in the film RASPUTIN with Alan Rickman anything of the same kind of behavior occured.
Just watching the scene the girls looked so nervous like they expected something to happen to them. I loved seeing Sir Ian reach back to take Anastasia's hand to calm her.

In reference to Lydia Bellingham she was interviewed for a newspaper article in Moscow and said the night before they filmed the final scene she took the girls out to dinner to discuss the scene with them.

I often wonder how actors and actresses get thru those types of scenes. Lynne Fredericks went on to play Catherine Howard shortly after. To portray someone who actually lived and died a young and horrible death must be nerve wracking.

Azrael

 :o  I agree.  It must have been insanely nerve-wrecking.  Those actors/actresses must have put their hearts and souls into these characters.  I HAVE GOT to get this movie!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Laura Mabee on July 01, 2006, 09:15:51 PM
You can see clips on my site.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: aussiechick12 on July 02, 2006, 02:22:32 AM
Are there any more movie stills?

Emma
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Laura Mabee on July 02, 2006, 12:11:28 PM
I didn't plan on putting more there, as there are currently eighty-four screencaps done by myself. Lanie has given me nine of hers, and Anniemarie has kindly given me five production shots, making a total of 98 screencaps. However, if people want more screenshots, I can try and see what hasn't been capped yet.  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Princess_Olishka on July 02, 2006, 06:55:17 PM
Quote
It looks interesting, is it worth seeing?

I know, dumb question ::)

I say that the movie could have been perhaps much better, but if you're a fan of the Romanovs, I believe it's worth seeing.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TheAce1918 on July 06, 2006, 09:03:48 PM
Wow ;D Interesting posts y'all!  

I watched this movie a while back and was taken aback by the 'Hollywood'.  Of course it was a movie, it didn't seem to portray the imperial children or many of those around.  Aleksey's little chant was clever for the first few times ;D  But what shocked me was how NA had acted towards each other.  Sometimes the words between the two seemed harsh :-/  My memory is a little fuzzy.  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Princess_Olishka on July 06, 2006, 11:06:55 PM
I really liked this movie, even though I found some parts appalling and exaggerated and harsh. :-/
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: koloagirl on July 08, 2006, 08:06:05 PM
 :)

I really liked Janet Suzman's portrayal of Alix -- and maybe given the time period in which the film was made (1970's) not that much was widely known about Alexandra.  But for her to say in her interview (quoted a couple of posts above here) that alix was
"stupid"?  Yikes!-- -- if Ms. Suzman read as much about Alix as she indicated in the interview I would hope that she wouldn't  come to that conclusion!  I don't mean that Alix was an "intellectual" (whatever that means), I wouldn't say that, but she certainly wasn't "stupid"!   I'm hoping that she meant politically and not overall.   :-/

I always watch this film when it is on TV -- however I just can't bring myself to buy the DVD.....too much nasty arguing (and I know that they must have argued...just not that cruelly) and histrionic eye-rolling for me!  Plus I always get a 70's "disco vibe" from the hair-styles/makeup on the GD's!!   ::)

Janet R.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: mariana on August 09, 2006, 02:30:58 AM
I really enjoyed this film and loved all your pictures Laura on your site.  Especially the black and white production shots and wondered do you know where they were bought from?
Thanks
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Princess_Olishka on August 18, 2006, 09:11:32 PM
I don't think Alexei tried to commit suicide in real life. He was just having some fun (we all know it was boring in Tobolsk) but then had a bit of an accident. The film is just trying to make things more dramatic. They all try to do that!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Katherine The O.K. on August 18, 2006, 09:43:43 PM
i just saw this film for the first time also!

I thought, overall, it was an alright film, particularly for it's time. The acting seemed either very good or very bad- the actors who portrayed Nicholas, Lenin, and Kerensky were all very real and natural... Tom Baker in particular was very enjoyable to watch, and actually sympathetic... but like Koala Girl said, the bad hair-do's (on both Alexandra and OTMA) in the movie are off-putting. So are the less-than-stellar costumes. The worst actors? I think it's a toss up between the Alexei actor and OTMA actresses. Alexei was just....so off the mark. And none of OTMA were given personalities.

The dialouge is excellent, if not really fitting. The worst scenes were the toboganning-down-the-stairs fiasco (I've certainly never read anywhere that Alexei was a spiteful little puke who hurt himself in order to get attention) and the Tatianna flashing scene... I guess that was used to try and add a human element to the girls, but...come on. Oh, and the murder of Rasputin scene. I went through the whole thing with my mouth open. It looked like a bad That 70's Show re-run. And I was not previously under the impression that Felix was a hooka-smoking flamer. 

If I could do it over, I'd focus more on the home life of the IF and start when Nicholas and Alix first met.... but that's a different thread.

I give it 3/5. 1 for dialouge, 1 for acting, 1 for sets, 1 subtraced for costumes and another subtracted for pacing. It really dragged at times.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: pookiepie on January 16, 2007, 04:05:22 AM
I just got this for Christmas so sorry this is late. I’ll just mention stuff that hasn’t been mentioned. This is also my first time watching the movie. I had high hopes but it really let me down. Was Nicholas really that whipped/weak? His relationship with Alix was bordering on ridiculous. The worst acting scene for me was towards the end when Nicholas falls to his knees in front of his wife and does the cry-speak voice. And it totally bugged the crap out of me how the girls makeup and hair was 100% 60s/70s looking. Didn’t these moviemakers catch that? It’s so obvious! And I swear, Rasputin had an ever so slight Scottish accent (I detected some very obvious rolling R’s, at least very obvious compared to the other actors. It was quite pleasant, actually, even if it was unrealistic). I wish there were more scenes with ball gowns and whatnot, not just MF’s short party scene.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Silja on January 16, 2007, 07:59:14 AM
And it totally bugged the crap out of me how the girls makeup and hair was 100% 60s/70s looking. Didn’t these moviemakers catch that? It’s so obvious!

Yes, this quite bothered me too. Ironically, the film won an Oscar for costumes, didn't it, whereas I thought costume and make-up were one of the weak points.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Sarushka on January 16, 2007, 08:32:31 AM
And it totally bugged the crap out of me how the girls makeup and hair was 100% 60s/70s looking. Didn’t these moviemakers catch that? It’s so obvious!

Yes, this quite bothered me too. Ironically, the film won an Oscar for costumes, didn't it, whereas I thought costume and make-up were one of the weak points.

That was fairly common, even in period films, in the 1960's. This isn't the greatest example, but in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, the opening scenes are set in the 1920's, yet all the young women are wearing bouffants and hair bands with their ball gowns. It's completely ridiculous.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: pookiepie on January 16, 2007, 04:50:09 PM
And I forgot to mention, alexei did a lot of backtalking to his dad, and it was almost insulting. I don’t think her really spoke like that to his father.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: mr_harrison75 on February 19, 2007, 05:11:14 PM
I have watched the movie for the first time last week, and, though overall I like it (Mr Jayston looks uncannily like Nikolai II), I disliked that a few things were botched: for example, I didn't like one bit Roderic Noble's Alexei, especially when he's supposed to be in much pain; you could tell that his cries were fake, and also his attitude...also that the actresses playing the grand-duchesses didn't look like the real ones at all...

I was disappointed that the movie was more onto the political side of things than stricly the family (although you must have some politics I suppose), and I positively hated the part at the Ipatiev House, except for one scene; when the commander put them in the cellar, and then, the family waits, waits, waits...but WE know what is going to happen...
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: James1941 on February 20, 2007, 11:39:01 PM
If I may interject a personal story concerning this movie which I have remembered for over thirty years now.
I saw the film during its first run at an Odeon theater across from Hyde Park in London. It was the evening showing, and there was a large but not overflow crowd.
The lights went down and the movie commenced. At the end was the dramatic closing scene, then the credits.
As the end the light came up there was no applause, everyone sat there quietly for a minute or two as if in thought. Then they began to get up. I stood up and as I turned I saw the gentlemen seated behind me. He was most certainly upper class. He had very nice graying hair and a neatly trimmed guard's moustache. He was well dressed, as was his wife who sat next to him.
He turned to his wife and in a rather loud and most definitely disgusted voice said to her:
"It's those damned trade unionists."
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on February 21, 2007, 08:11:52 PM

Yes I agree I would not buy the movie either I did not realy like it. It had too much arguing and a curse word was in there when Alix was arguing with Nicky and she said. In my opinion Janet Suzman does not look anything like Alix. But Jayston looked a little like Nicky. I think what they did in the movie did not seem real at all. I agree,The grand duchess did not look like the real ones.There was some inappropiate scenes when the were in the imprisonment house it was a small wooden cabin tobolsk was much bigger than that. I did not think the girls dressed like they were from the 1910's their make-up and their hair styles made the year of the movie more modern. One of the grand duchess when in the house in Ekateringburg when one of the grand duchess in front of a gaurd just did something nasty. Then when they were walking down in the cellar room the men told them to wait and they waited for a couple of minutes and then they came back in and shot them. They forgot the part about Yurosvky reading the paper the said "we are oblidge to shoot you all".They forgot so many important parts that made the movie so fake and false leading information. The characters did not do a good job. It was a pitiful one !!! I was also disapointed about the movie they should realy feel bad for themselves not being realistic at all. the characters only did this for money. They did not care about the Romanovs. The movie looked like a 70's cheap and fake movie. :)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on February 22, 2007, 08:34:56 AM
 It was not so much the actors but the writer. The actors can only do what the writer gives them. The scene in the house in Ekaterinburg with Tatiana the writer admitted he did  because it was the 70s. Unforunately he did the same thing with Anastasia the Mystery of Anna.

I too did not like Janet Suzman in the role. She seemed a very distant mother to the girls Nicholas seemed to be closer to them then she did. The arguments with Nicholas calling him a murderer if Rasputin left and he hits her you gave it to him.  COME ON!

Please Roderic Noble I think there is a reason he hasn't done any films since.  He was very one dimensional.

Unforunately those behind the scenes of the film didn't care to get things right it was the 70s and that was why the costumes and hairstyles looked the way they did. As to look a likes actors can only be reasonable fact similies.   I hate when the Girls become background. I doubt if James Goldman even read Nicholas and Alexandra.


Azrael
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 23, 2007, 03:29:58 PM
Janet Suzman's performance was generally accounted quite strong by critics, and as a theatre professional (actor/director) I think she is very good as well. Not as good as Gayle Hunnicut in Fall of Eagles, but I thought Suzman's Alexandra was coherent and elegant. If you have problems with the way that Alexandra was written, blame the writers.

Roderic Noble's Alexei was also pretty impressive, given his age and the minimal amount of screen time he had. All of the actors playing the children were on record as saying that the parts had proven unsatisfactory after the movie was cut; most of their performances ended up on the floor.

And they don't really seem to make epics like this, Dr. Zhivago, Reds, Marie Antoinette (1938) anymore. Look at the difference between Coppola's MA and MGM's --- Coppola pulled way back on the spectacle, saved a fortune on the sets, and shut the movie down before MA's story really opened up into the larger world of the Revolution. Nicholas and Alexandra tried to cover all of the bases, and I think did a credible job.

Simon
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 23, 2007, 04:54:30 PM
N&A remains one of my all-time favourite costume dramas. It is just a movie, after all, it does not pretend to be a documentary. There is no way to put a 500+ page book and make it into a 2 1/2 film. I agree Simon, right up there with the classics like MA [MGM]. At the costs of these epics, it will most likely be a very long time before someone invests in another effort. They do not usually pay off. [Titanic excepted]. TROY and ALEXANDER lost money, although beautifully made and there was a lot of artistic license taken to make  the stories coherent, if not believable.  Rupert Everett, in his recent autobio says  their job is to keep the audience from falling asleep, not give them lessons.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dunya on March 18, 2007, 08:15:52 PM
I didnt like this movie.. It was quite an unnecessary drama in my opinion. Tsareubiytsa ( Asassin of the Tsar) and  Russkiy kovcheg
( Russian Ark) are really better and more accurate . Just wanted to state my opinion since everybody seems to like the movie..

Best wishes.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: koloagirl on March 21, 2007, 07:03:06 PM
 :)

While I agree with the last few posts regarding N+A - I have to say in its defense that -- well, it was the 70's!   :D ??? ::)

It is the movie that started me on my interest of N+A, much like the younger posters say that the cartoon "Anastasia" did for them.  I was just the right age to get "hooked" by the story.    :)

While both are not exactly accurate and have big problems with historical accuracy, costuming, writing, etc. -- at least they gave some people the start of their lifelong interest of the Romanovs!  For me, "Nicholas and Alexandra" was the starting point.

Oh man - the 70's!!  Now I feel really old!!   :D ::)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Imperial.Opal on March 22, 2007, 07:17:51 AM
   I saw N+A in the 70's,  it was showing at the Paris Theatre in Sydney 1971 to 1972 I saw it 3 times, read the book and bought the soundtrack later.
Like you my interest in the Romanovs, started back there, the DVD is in widescreen format and you see more of the palace scenes ect.
Long Live the Seventies,Right On ;D
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: historylover on March 31, 2007, 06:04:53 AM
Vive the Seventies! My interest in Russian history started then too with Nicholas and Alexandra, so I will buy this movie and watch it again.  I can't find it in Australia - I'll have to order it from OS.

James 1941, my mother once told me that she'd never vote Labor (the party name is spelt Labor here) because of the execution of the Tsar and his family by the Communists! The connection is a little bit obscure but I understood at once what she meant. She has many other reasons that are more relevant to Australia, however!

Best Regards,
Lisa
www.webwritereditor.com
www.bookaddiction.blogspot.com
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Trevor on April 01, 2007, 12:47:08 AM
I like this movie, i saw it about 2 years ago and have loved it ever since. The execution part was very hard for me to watch because it was almost too sad to watch.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Imperial.Opal on April 02, 2007, 09:12:06 PM
 Considering it was made 36 years ago, it is still pretty good, still in my list of top ten films. ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Amanda_Misha on May 24, 2007, 07:39:52 PM
The scene of the execution when Alexei kisses Nicholas in the cheek :'( :'(
The sountrack of the movie is very sad but nice
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 25, 2007, 04:57:58 PM
I do like some of this movie but the actors are just horrible, especailly Nicholas when he is trying to cry and Alexei when he is trying to scream. You don't feel his pain, you just hear an annoying kid you'd like to slap.

"Alexei Alexei mustn't run mustn't play. " How many times did he chant that in this movie?

And I just LOVE the scene when Nicholas tells Alix, "It's YOUR fault the boy bleeds." lol
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 25, 2007, 05:58:22 PM
Haha, what really cracked me up was the guy who played Yourovsky (?)


What cracked me up was the kid playing Alexei. His screams were SO fake. "Ahhhhhhh!" And his stupid little chant, "Alexei Alexei. Mustn't run mustn't play..."
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: mr_harrison75 on May 25, 2007, 11:24:27 PM
The Romanovs: an imperial family's Alexei is much better!! And not unidimensional and suicide-proned like the one in Nicholas and Alexandra...
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 25, 2007, 11:49:22 PM
The Romanovs: an imperial family's Alexei is much better!! And not unidimensional and suicide-proned like the one in Nicholas and Alexandra...
where can i get this movie?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: mr_harrison75 on May 26, 2007, 12:16:19 AM
Hi!

First of all, The Romanovs: an imperial family is not available in stores these days. Two, it's in Russian, but if you know the Romanovs story well enough, you can easily follow it. It was made in Russia in 2000, and the acting in it is superb; the casting is well done, and the actors do have a good likeness with the real Imperial family. It covers the February 1917 to July 1918 time period.

It is a very well made, and touching movie, especially compared with Nicholas and Alexandra!

Send me a message if you want more details!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 26, 2007, 12:41:13 AM
Hi!

First of all, The Romanovs: an imperial family is not available in stores these days. Two, it's in Russian, but if you know the Romanovs story well enough, you can easily follow it. It was made in Russia in 2000, and the acting in it is superb; the casting is well done, and the actors do have a good likeness with the real Imperial family. It covers the February 1917 to July 1918 time period.

It is a very well made, and touching movie, especially compared with Nicholas and Alexandra!

Send me a message if you want more details!
is it availible for download online?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: mr_harrison75 on May 26, 2007, 02:31:50 PM
It is not available for download online, as far as I can tell...

Some members have a copy, though. You can try in the Romanovy: ventsenosnaya semya thread.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TheAce1918 on May 26, 2007, 11:48:28 PM
I am hunting this movie down.

First stop, IMDB!  :D
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alix of Wales had Panache on May 30, 2007, 08:01:05 PM
I got N&A several years ago and strange enough, the scene with Tatiana (sp) exposing herself is not in it.  Tel  me if some one in the Romanov family complained and it was nixed?

For the 70's it's a fairly decent effort in terms of the political aspect but I agree with what others pointed out about the N&A arguments and the Alexei chant.

The Kerensky character was the one who irrated me most.  Everything he said came off over the top whiny.  I started gnashing my teeth whenever he came on screen.

I have to see the more recent Rasputin film as I don't have that actor to compare to Tom Baker.  The scene where he rants aout his dual nature I believe captured the evil vs. good tug-of-war Rasputin always possessed.  Sadly he didn't lean towards stopping scandal coming his way and through him, the imperial family.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 31, 2007, 10:10:26 PM
I got N&A several years ago and strange enough, the scene with Tatiana (sp) exposing herself is not in it.  Tel  me if some one in the Romanov family complained and it was nixed?

For the 70's it's a fairly decent effort in terms of the political aspect but I agree with what others pointed out about the N&A arguments and the Alexei chant.

The Kerensky character was the one who irrated me most.  Everything he said came off over the top whiny.  I started gnashing my teeth whenever he came on screen.

I have to see the more recent Rasputin film as I don't have that actor to compare to Tom Baker.  The scene where he rants aout his dual nature I believe captured the evil vs. good tug-of-war Rasputin always possessed.  Sadly he didn't lean towards stopping scandal coming his way and through him, the imperial family.
Are you talking about the HBO movie "Rasputin", because that movie is truly great, and WAY better than "Nichlas and Alexandra", especially the execution scene.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dmitri on June 16, 2007, 11:54:49 AM
Michael Jayston was excellent as Nicholas II as was Janet Suzman as Alexandra Feodorovna and Irene Worth was sensational as Maria Feodorovna. Laurence Olivier was great as Count Witte as was Harry Andrews as Grand Duke Nicholas. It was all a touch too romanticised rather than showing the bungles. Also some of the events happened at the wrong time such as the assassination of Stolypin. The exile in Tobolsk did not show the real situation. It could have been so much better.  Read Robert Massie's book instead if you really want to know about the Romanovs as a starting point.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dmitri on June 16, 2007, 12:01:12 PM
Alexandra was a formidable woman. Her lack of insight and inflexible persona caused a great deal of damage and did nothing to prevent the collapse of the dynasty. She was quite cold and shut herself off from the rest of the Romanovs and the Russian people. Of course she loved her husband but she controlled him totally. Nicholas II was quite a weak character.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dmitri on June 16, 2007, 12:13:57 PM
My favourite scenes featured Irene Worth as Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and Michael Jayston as Nicholas II. One happens early on in the film and the other towards the end. Irene Worth was so good in the role as was Michael Jayston.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Silja on June 17, 2007, 03:03:30 PM
Michael Jayston was excellent as Nicholas II as was Janet Suzman as Alexandra Feodorovna and Irene Worth was sensational as Maria Feodorovna. Laurence Olivier was great as Count Witte as was Harry Andrews as Grand Duke Nicholas.

Yes, these actors's performances were indeed fabulous, so the film could have been great if the script had been better. Unlike many here though I rather like Nicholas and Alexandra despite all its shortcomings.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: mr_harrison75 on June 17, 2007, 09:07:50 PM
I like it too! But it could've been so much better!!!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joyann1 on June 18, 2007, 02:22:37 PM
i posted my favorite scenes on YouTube here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9y5-EQpA2I
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Philomena on June 26, 2007, 07:31:42 PM
The most heartbreaking scene for me is when the Romanovs are being moved from the train to that wagon - you know that had the guards not been there, the crowd would have ripped them to shreds.  Then getting seperated from Gilliard and then the next scene when they are in front of the Ipatiev House and they are all just soaking wet.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Philomena on June 26, 2007, 07:43:01 PM
I have always loved the movie. 

Janet Suzman was nominated for Best Actress - she lost to Jane Fonda for Klute.

I remember reading that Audrey Hepburn was offered the role.  While I thought Suzman's performance was wonderful, I can't help wondering what Hepburn's Alix would have been like.  Audrey always came off as very warm in her movies.  While Alix was fiercely in love with her husband and children, I thought Suzman shifted to the cold exterior very well.  Audrey may not have been able to do that.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on July 28, 2007, 06:11:24 AM
The scene depicted with Alexei trying to commit suicide was also used in Anastasia the Anna Anderson story and Anastasia the daughter of the last Tsar.

Have you seen Daughter of the last Tsar? Lili Palmer?

Does anyone know if this is available in any form?

Azrael

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Holly on July 29, 2007, 09:33:08 AM
Honestly, the only thing I like about this movie is the music. This movie isn't very good. Especially if you've seen Romanovy: Ventsenosnaya Sem'ya. It just really pales in comparison. OTMA hardly even play a role in the entire film. I think they just put in that painting scene with Gilliard to show that they talked sometimes.  ::) Nicholas would never tell Alix it was her fault that Alexei had hemophilia; that's just cruel. And the execution scene is really awful. Where were the servants? Why was Nicholas sitting in the chair? The blood hitting the camera was just tacky and the actors were awful.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna on August 05, 2007, 07:23:36 PM
Honestly, the only thing I like about this movie is the music. This movie isn't very good. Especially if you've seen Romanovy: Ventsenosnaya Sem'ya. It just really pales in comparison. OTMA hardly even play a role in the entire film. I think they just put in that painting scene with Gilliard to show that they talked sometimes.  ::) Nicholas would never tell Alix it was her fault that Alexei had hemophilia; that's just cruel. And the execution scene is really awful. Where were the servants? Why was Nicholas sitting in the chair? The blood hitting the camera was just tacky and the actors were awful.

It is impossible to compare "Romanovy Ventsenosnaya Semya" (not that perfect either) with Nicholas and Alexandra which was made in 1970s.
You must look behind the movie and try to understand: why, how and when these movies were made. N&A was made after Robert K.Massies book and obviously meant for a much broader and different public in Europe and the USA, whereas "Romanovy" is I think more a cultmovie (hardly or not shown in cinnemas an not know by the big public).
Both directors had a totally different view of filmmaking and purpose of the subject, "Nicolas and Alexandra' covers the years 1904 till July 1918 and "Romanovy" from abdication till July 1918. "N&A" couldn't be filmed on the original locations in Russia, had a lot of mass scenes, pomp and glitter, it showed us the private familly life of the Romanovs aswell the story of the revolutionary events, it was all in one. "Romanovy" tells us about the family, so there is great difference.

The actors in Nicholas and Alexandra awful?  I think you hardly know or are not interested in the backgrounds of these now aged or even passed away actors, why judge so hard?
Well, I can't imagine sir Laurence Olivier being called an awful actor ( the man would turn in his grave) also Michael Jayston, Janet Suzman (just recently played a proclaimed “Volumnia” in Shakepeares “Coriolanus”), Ian Holm are highly respected Shakesperian stage actors. Read what J.Suzman thought about her playing the part of Alexandra …..I don’t know which thread anymore.., they had to deal with a director and stick to a script, imo they acting wasn't bad at all. They are not the Keira Knightleys (talking about awful) or Brad Pitts of today.

Besides that, it could have something to do with age, when I was a teenager "Nicholas and Alexandra" was for me and I think many others the start of an interest in the Romanovs and Russian history, which is maybe today for some "Romanovy Ventsenosnaya Semya".

Romanovy also lacked important personages, and had some events/scenes made in the mind of the director/scriptwriter himself. The ultimate movie will never be, it is just a matter of opinion and liking.

Anna
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dmitri on August 05, 2007, 10:32:17 PM
I agree with you Anna. For its time Nicholas and Alexandra was a very good movie with an excellent cast. Of course it had its faults. Which film doesn't? It certainly did attract many to the Romanovs. It did make an era come to life for many. The film of course was about Nicholas and Alexandra and not their children. How much do we really know about OTMA and Alexis? We also have no way of knowing what Nicholas said to Alexandra in private. No doubt they had arguments like any other couple and they would both have had trouble accepting the reality of Alexis's illness and may well have said horrible things to one another. We will all never know. In some ways I wish the disease had taken Alexis as it would have been a far happier fate than the bullets in Ekaterinburg.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Holly on August 08, 2007, 08:59:51 PM
I know why and how and when the film was made. And obviously "when" had a big impact on the films quality.
Actually, I do know quite a bit about actors from the past. I collect old films and old autographs that my father got when he was younger. And I know what films all the actors were in. :P Yes, the cast is very good on other films they were in, but I don't think they did a very good job in this film. Maybe they just casted it wrong but I don't like them. They don't act much like the real NAOTMAA did. I am entitled to judge their performances however I wish. I happen to love Fiona Fullerton. Especially in Alice In Wonderland but not as Anastasia. Keira is a great actress otherwise she wouldn't be so accomplished and many would agree with me. You can have that opinion about her just as I can have them about others. Neither is right or wrong.
For me, N+A didn't capture the real family very well. It's very obvious it was based entirely on the book by Massie. I like Romanovy better because I don't care so much for all the tiniest details about the revolutionaries. I'm more interested in the family and the individuals maybe that's why I think Romanovy is better.
I don't think Romanovy lacked any important 'personages', whatever that is. As far as events and scenes made in the mind of the director? Well so did N+A! If people are more interested in the actual family and their home life Romanovy is better but if someone is just interested in the whole revolution, ect.. then N+A would be more interesting to them. Making a film and just focusing on Nicholas and Alexandra and haemophilia isn't the best way to make a realistic film about them because as Alexandra said, they were like 7 souls in one and were so close-knit together, which was rare for those times.
Romanovy captures the last years of their life much better than N+A did. It definitely was more close to the facts; that's for sure.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dmitri on August 18, 2007, 06:32:32 AM
I think my favourite scenes in "Nicholas and Alexandra" were the ones with Irene Worth as the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. She was simply superb in the part. She and Michael Jayston (Nicholas II) were very well cast and acted so well together.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: historylover on September 06, 2007, 05:24:33 AM
Another German actress, Romy Schneider, was also very beautiful and my mother really liked her films. Has anyone seen the Princess Sissi trilogy?
Is that worth buying?

Lisa
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dmitri on September 06, 2007, 10:23:39 AM
Romy Schneider is very sickly sweet in the Sissi films. She is much better as Kaiserin Elisabeth in Ludwig with Helmut Berger.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 06, 2007, 12:21:44 PM
I would LOVE to get my hands on the Sissi trilogy and I have not even seen it. The only Ludwig I have is the Italian with Spanish subtitles. The English version seems impossible to find. And somehow I have ended up with 2 copies of Elisabeth [the musical] in German!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna11 on September 09, 2007, 01:25:40 AM
This film is very hard to get hold of in Australia, I can't remember where I saw it.

I thought it was pretty good, it's never going to be a totally accurate. They have to change things for story telling etc. But the one thing that really annoyed me is that Alexei went into like, manic depression after the revolution.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alix of Wales had Panache on November 06, 2007, 07:34:13 PM
I think my favourite scenes in "Nicholas and Alexandra" were the ones with Irene Worth as the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. She was simply superb in the part. She and Michael Jayston (Nicholas II) were very well cast and acted so well together.

Speaking of Worth as Maria, my favorite scene was her berating Nicholas about his bad choices during the war.  A very close second every scene involving Alexei's attack at Spala.  For me it captured N&A's struggles to keep his illness quiet the book conveyed.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna11 on November 20, 2007, 11:23:54 PM
Janet Suzman stole every scene she was in in the film, so she was simply marvelous imo. I think the scene where she's fiddiling with the icons is great. And that one line 'Tell them they are mistaken. My son is perfect'

What I liked about the film was that Nicholas And Alexandra, while obviously loving each other immensly did not have the 'perfect' relationship. I thought Micheal Jayston and Janet Suzman had great on-screen chemistry, and I liked the scenes where they fought, as well as the affectionate ones.

And yeah Irene Worth was great as Marie also, the scene at Starvka is also one of my favorites.

Excuse bad spelling.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: royaltybuff on November 21, 2007, 01:10:42 AM
My two favorite scenes were very sad, but it shows the despair that the Romanovs were in.

1.) When Nicholas came in and told Alexandra that he had abdicated. The agony that I felt for him was so overwhelming. But almost immediately I felt kind of embarrassed as if I were an intruder in a very intimate moment between two very important people, who were still at the core just people with the same emotions and reactions you and I have. We often forget the human aspect.

2.) When Nagorny was shot after defending Alexei. Being a person with a disability myself, I can understand only having a limited number of people around you who see you at your worst physically. Nagorny knew Alexei like few others were allowed to know him. Alexei lost his best friend and caregiver when he heard the gunshot. Horrible.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Joyann1 on November 21, 2007, 06:09:28 AM
yes it was very sad when they shot Nagorny but alexei almost didnt showed any sad feelings in that scene
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: royaltybuff on November 21, 2007, 10:00:28 AM
Yes, it was like he had endured so much that nothing shocked him.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: historylover on December 02, 2007, 12:36:57 AM
I didn't mind Nicholas and Alexandra but the film annoyed me somewhat because they appeared to argue a
lot and Alexandra was extremely unlikeable.  Also Alexai was a bit strange.

Romy Shneider didn't strike me as sickly sweet in the Sissi films which I bought recently.  She stood up to her
mother-in-law fairly well, I thought.  However, apparently the actress herself agreed with you and she spat at anyone who
called her 'Sissi' which was pretty bad-mannered!

Regards,
Lisa
www.webwritereditor.com
www.bookaddiction.blogspot.com
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Imperial.Opal on December 04, 2007, 04:36:15 AM
 Hi anna11
N & A was available on video in Australia over 20 years ago,  the DVD  of it is available from Amazon, you must have a multi zone DVD player :)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna11 on December 05, 2007, 02:35:20 PM
Thanks, but i've downloaded it from frozentears.org

After watching it again, I sill think it's a good film, but I have these problems.

-Nicholas And Alexandra seemed to fight more than not. I don't mind that really, but I thought the IT WAS YOU comment was totally unnessasary and unlike Nicholas. It kind of made me wonder if the writers actually read the book.
-The scene were Nicholas and Alexandra see each other after his abdication. I was rolling on the floor laughing.
-I also didn't like Nicholas's attitude after the abdication. The 'I created these men' attitude, it was just strange, like he had some kind of epiphany (spelling) and yeah...it was just weird.
-Nicholas in general. I've said this alot, but i'm not fan of Michael Jayston as Nicholas.
-Alexei.  I don't think he was well written, and he was annoying. I know my reasons are shallow  :P

But Janet Suzman was just fabulous as Alexandra, I don't think the movie would be nearly as good without her.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RBorquez on December 16, 2007, 01:40:59 PM
For me it's right before the execution and after.First the before part is when the guards point the guns at them and Olga and Tatiana holdon to each other, AF makes the sign of the cross and Maria holds on to Dr.Botkin.I noticed that Anastasia was the only one who didn't hold on to anyone.The sad part after the execution is when you see the wall with all the blood and the end credits music starts to play.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: dmitri on December 16, 2007, 07:39:30 PM
I guess with some editing that placed the film in correct historical order that would be a good start. Also with the benefits of computer technology in film today the same actors could be used to deal with some gaps. That would be interesting.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Annie on December 16, 2007, 10:18:58 PM
I noticed that Anastasia was the only one who didn't hold on to anyone.

Yes, I noticed that too, she didn't seem to show any fear or emotion at all. Was it bad acting, or was it that they her thinking 'what do I have to worry about, I have a cart waiting outside to take me to Romania.'  ::) I hope not.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on December 19, 2007, 12:31:38 PM
 I remember when I saw the film in it's original release back in 71 that there was a pull back shot of the family in those positions. I also remember that Anastasia closed her eyes as though I don't want to see what's going to happen.

Somewhere on the net is a picture taken from the camera on the right with Marie and Dr. Botkin that clearly shows Anastasia's eyes closed.


Az
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Greenowl on December 19, 2007, 05:35:20 PM
I saw the film twice. When it was first released in late 1971 my whole class was taken to see it one afternoon by our history teacher. I saw it for the second time about ten years ago, either on TV or on video (probably the latter). Having read the various posts on this thread I began to wonder whether had I seen a different film, as in my opinion the film I saw was a bit "flat" (if you know what I mean), in that it did not leave any lasting impression on me. The only scene that I can vividly recall is the one in which Alexis suffers a nose bleed at what I assume were supposed to be part of the Tercentery celebrations. That particular scene was well done, as it expressed a great deal of the distress and helplessness associated with the dreadful situation, as well as the futile attempts to keep Alexis' condition secret (despite the fact that I don't think that particular scene was based on an actual incident...please correct me if I am wrong about that). However, apart from that I cannot remember any other scene, although I usually have a fairly good memory, especially when it concerns history or historical events....odd! 
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Ally Kumari on December 20, 2007, 02:10:41 AM
Greeowl: Aren´t you mistaking Nicolas and Alexandra with Rasputin (the leading role was Alan Rickman)?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: XJaseyRaeX on December 20, 2007, 02:13:47 AM
yea, i thought that was a scene from Rasputin...
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Greenowl on December 20, 2007, 04:31:14 AM
I don't think so, as I don't recall ever having seen the film entitled "Rasputin". When was it released? What I do wonder, however, is whether there was another film about Nicholas and Alexandra released in the early 1970s, shortly AFTER the actual "Nicholas and Alexandra" film referred to above, as in retrospect, I would have only been about 12 years old in 1971, and I think I was older (about 14 or 15) when the history teacher brought my class to see the film, which had just been released....thus that would place the release of the film in about 1974. Mind you, if Rasputin was released at around that time, perhaps it was Rasputin I saw, and somehow got the titles "mixed up"....what do you think?? Odd how the mind can play tricks...must be old age!!!

Cheers,
GREENOWL
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on December 20, 2007, 05:35:09 AM
 The nose bleed scene was in Rasputin made for HBO back in 96. I do not recall another N&A film entitled Nicholas and Alexandra ever being made.

The only real films that have been released are Rasputin and the Empress 1933
                                                                  Anastasia  1955 Bergman
                                                                  Anastasia 1955 Palmer
                                                                  Assorted Rasputin films back in the early 60s
                                                                               Mad Monk Hammer films
                                                                               The Last Night of Rasputin
                                                                  Most of these were cheaply made European films
                                                                   Nicholas and Alexandra 1971
                                                                   Anastasia 1986 Amy Irving
                                                                   Rasputin HBO 1996

These are films released in the West.

There was also Agony made in the 70s in Soviet Union and shelved because it was too sypathic to Nicholas. It was released after the fall of the government.
Assassin of the Tsar McDowell 1991 was done in Russia and the first Russian film to go to Cannes.
Then of course Romanovy 2000

There have been documentaries called Nicholas and Alexandra but no other films

Az


Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Greenowl on December 20, 2007, 06:21:14 AM
Thanks Az! I now THINK I have solved the mystery/riddle....what probably happened is as follows: I did see "Nicholas and Alexandra" shortly after its release in 1971, but as I was so young then and it is, after all, 36 years ago, I obviously don't remember anything about it, except for the fact that our history teacher transported the whole class from the school to the city centre in a bus in order to get to the cinema. As I mentioned above, I saw "it" again "about ten years ago"....ten years ago would be 1997, and thus what I probably saw then was indeed the Rasputin film (the nose bleed scene is very clear in my mind) but for some reason (no doubt due to the similar subject matter) I confused the two and believed that I had seen the same film twice. How silly of me and thank you all ever so much for putting me on the right track. Amazing how one forgets things due to the passage of time.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Vecchiolarry on December 20, 2007, 09:25:43 AM
Hi Greenowl,

Well, join the ranks of confused & melded minds of the rest of us!!!

It's easy to get all this lumped into one story:  after all it's about Nicholas, Alexandra, Alexei and Rasputin and we tend to meld their stories all together.

I remember watching "Anastasia" (1956) last year and waiting for Helen Hayes to be wheeled into the room in a wheelchair and then get up and walk over to Ingrid Bergman.  But, she didn't;  she walked into the room and no wheelchair.
It was later that I remembered that it was Olivia De Havilland in the TV movie, "Anastasia" (1986) where she did that!!

We tend to meld things together sometimes - - it's normal, it's human, join the ranks!!!!

Larry
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Greenowl on December 20, 2007, 09:49:16 AM
Thanks Larry! Its good to know I'm not the only one to get things mixed up, but as you say, the subject matter in both films  is pretty similar, as basically they are telling the same story. I'll have to look at them both again some time soon!

Cheers
GREENOWL
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: LeahMayhem on January 29, 2008, 10:19:47 PM
Was it just me or did the guys who played Lenin and Botkin look way too much alike? I wasn't at all affected by the scenes at Spala because the whole time I was trying to figure out why Lenin was in their house (palace, whatever). It took me a while to realize that the man in those scenes was Botkin, and I had trouble telling them apart for the rest of the film.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: mr_harrison75 on January 30, 2008, 07:55:42 PM
Well, they had a little resemblance, but the actor who did Dr. Botkin looked uncannily like the real one, but as he was in the 1890's. Yevgueny Sergueyevich Botkin was much older in 1918, and had a beard, he looked a lot like he was portrayed by Ernst Romanov in Romanovy: ventsenosnaya semya.

Also, I wonder why many seem to be at odds with the idea that Nicholas and Alexandra quarreled in the movie. Do you really think that they never quarrelled even once during their lives? Maybe they acted it a little over the top, but I found realistic that they quarrelled.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: anna11 on January 30, 2008, 08:59:58 PM
No no! I liked that they quarelled, I found that Nicky and Alix in this film had a very realistic realtionship and I loved that. What I didn't like, like you said, is that it was over the top.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: LeahMayhem on February 01, 2008, 07:54:17 PM
I agree with a previous poster in that I really didn't like the "It was you!" comment. Saying something like that to Alexandra in real life really would have destroyed her, and Nicholas wasn't malicious enough to do that even in anger.

Overall, though, I liked this movie, and it made me happy because I love Alexandra and Janet Suzman completely stole every scene that she was in.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: NAOTMAA Fan on February 01, 2008, 11:22:34 PM
I would LOVE to get my hands on the Sissi trilogy and I have not even seen it.
They sell it here in Canada at relatively common movie stores....but it's always in French without subtitles x___x. I'm always tempted to buy it but never do...anyways I love this movie because of all the fond memories attached to it...

....but I can't but agree that the homicidal Alexei came off as annoying, and even had my dad asking "Was that kid really like that??". Not terribly good for those who know nothing of the Romanovs....anyways Janet Suzman and Michael Jayston were superb in their roles, I thought they did well to inherit N&A's characters.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: historylover on February 07, 2008, 05:21:17 AM
I am watching the Fall of Eagles TV series at the moment and I think that the actors who play Nicholas and Alexandra are much better in this.  The script is also much better.

Janet Suzman as Alexandra rather annoyed me.  She is more likeable in this series.

Best,
Lisa
www.bookaddiction.blogspot.com
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: wildone on March 16, 2008, 04:09:31 PM
Just saw the movie, and for me, I found the scene where Nicholas, Alexandra, and Alexei stand on the balcony at the start of WWI both sad and strange.  The way they all suddenly go still and turn black and white, as if we're looking at pictures from an already long-gone era.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: drronnie on August 07, 2008, 10:31:02 PM
I have order the DVD and I am eagerly waiting to watch it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: sckkr on August 31, 2008, 06:03:57 PM
Yes but films are films and you have to try to educate a public in one and a half hours. I think it got the message across if it did,nt maybe a lot of us would not be on this wonderful forum. It was great for the time.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: drronnie on September 03, 2008, 12:07:38 AM
Yes but films are films and you have to try to educate a public in one and a half hours. I think it got the message across if it did,nt maybe a lot of us would not be on this wonderful forum. It was great for the time.

Yes, I agree this site is wonderful and very informative as well.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: tom_romanov on September 15, 2008, 10:05:52 AM
my favorite scene has to be the one when - OTMA are dancing at tobolsk ( just out of interest it looks like they are living in a log cabin)

my funniest scene has to be the bit where the feed rasputin the poisoned cakes and Dimitri is laughing ( its his laugh the makes me laugh- not the intention of murder)

my saddest scene happens to be the one where IF&DR.B are stood in the cellar and are just waiting looking at the clock
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Ally Kumari on September 15, 2008, 02:31:49 PM
my favourite scene is a very short one: little OTMA playing with Gilliard in the snow

My least favourite scene is too long to endure - Nicolas meets Alix after abdication, and EVERY scene with Alexei (can´t stand him)

the saddest I actually found separation from Gilliard, when the girls are crying.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Vecchiolarry on September 15, 2008, 05:24:47 PM
Hi,

Because I admire the Dowager Empress so much, I like the two scenes she is in, portrayed by Irene Worth.

We first see her at her birthday party, where she is presented with a jewelled egg and then walks with Nicholas, saying, "Even London on a Sunday afternoon is not as boring as a room full of Romanovs!"...
She then goes off to dance...

Later, she meets Nicholas at a train station and berides him about Rasputin and says, "Your father would have taken this man and hanged him!"...
And she adds, "You mean we are all to be destroyed, the whole dynasty, because you cannot say NO to your wife???"......

Great dramatic scenes & dominated by Minnie!!!

Larry
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: tom_romanov on September 16, 2008, 11:24:36 AM
i agree with you Vecchiolarry, Irene Worth played a great dowager empress   ;)


My least favourite scene is too long to endure - Nicolas meets Alix after abdication, and EVERY scene with Alexei (can´t stand him)


i agree Grand Duchess Ally is it because the both portrays Alexei as pathetic
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Michael HR on September 16, 2008, 03:33:31 PM
Anything with Irene Worth, bless her. She was great. "...what can you do Nicky?" is perhaps a telling comment that sums up Nicholas.

As for dislike is the executioner they managed to make him out as a rather nice dotty old man! B*****d is the word I would use for him.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on September 16, 2008, 05:37:42 PM
Having seen pictures of the real Yakov Yurovsky - I can't understand why they made him look like that.

The movie was actually the life of Alexei as it begins with his birth and ends with his death.

I like the scene of OTMA dancing, but since we all know that the governor's house in Tobolsk wasn't out in a field somewhere, I didn't like the inaccuracy.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: tom_romanov on September 17, 2008, 12:06:43 PM


I like the scene of OTMA dancing, but since we all know that the governor's house in Tobolsk wasn't out in a field somewhere, I didn't like the inaccuracy.



thank-you Alixz, when i first saw the film ( before i'd seen pictures of the govenor's mansion) i thought ' aww how sad they have to live in a log cabin' ( which is probably what the directors wanted us to think,hence the inaccuracy)

also why is DR B. the only servant?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Padawan Ryan on September 21, 2008, 09:20:31 AM
The scene with the girls painting with M. Gilliard.

Although there's no historical evidence to suggest anything like it happened,
I find it cute...and it definitely shows the behaviour of any sisters in it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Silja on September 21, 2008, 01:28:14 PM
I think my favourite scenes in "Nicholas and Alexandra" were the ones with Irene Worth as the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. She was simply superb in the part. She and Michael Jayston (Nicholas II) were very well cast and acted so well together.

I've just watched N & A again after a long time, and I, too, loved the scenes with Irene Worth. She was indeed superb.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Imperial.Opal on October 02, 2008, 08:29:45 AM
 The N & A DVD has finally been released in Australia, it is only available in the Big W retail stores - $12 - I got my copy in Sydney
 only problem is there is no extras, not even a 1971 movie trailer,unlike the american edition which I got 5 years ago which is a much better DVD with extra features ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Imperial.Opal on October 04, 2008, 07:03:19 AM
 I watched the DVD today, it is in wide screen format and a pretty good print,same as the ameriican print,still worth buying, much better
 
 than the VHS Video I had in the 1980's  ;)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: amartin71718 on October 12, 2008, 09:45:34 PM
Does it have a blooper reel? I'd watch that.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Jebediha on November 23, 2008, 05:11:21 PM
I just saw the movie... It was ok movie but there where some historical mistakes. Which i did not like
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: AlexandersDaughter on January 25, 2009, 09:15:40 AM
My favouriite was at the very beginning with Alix singing to baby Alexei. Such a sweet scene.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: GoldenPen on January 27, 2009, 07:34:51 AM
Ahh!! It's been WAY too long, since the last time I saw this wonderful movie!! But... My favorite scene would have to be when Alexandra and Nicholas are going to a party (before the meet Rasputin) that scene seems so terribly romantic to me. But so many wonderful scenes though...It brought the book alot justice!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RomanovsFan4Ever on March 22, 2009, 03:41:13 PM
For me yes!, is one of my favorite movies about the Imperial Family (with "Romanovy - Ventsenosnaya semya" and "Rasputin - Dark servant of destiny).
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Ally Kumari on March 22, 2009, 04:24:58 PM
There are several threads already where you can find information onthe movie and also different points of view. As for me, I enjoyed it, it was the first Romanov movie I´ve seen (not counting animated Anastasia), and although there are mistakes and also the portrayal of the children was somewhat flat, it definitely IS worth watching.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Nayomini on July 03, 2009, 03:57:01 AM
 I just started watching the movie which I downloaded from the internet and I am excited. I haven't seen it in full yet but the maginificance of the costumes, the palace as it would have looked back then, the majesty of the guards saluting the Tsar including the massive Nubian guards who guard the door to the inner sanctum of the palace, the grandeur of it all on film, is what excites me. The plot looks bad I agree with most of you (after all, it was 1971 and classics of the period aren't exactly perfectly executed plots) but I love it for the fact that we can actually see Nicholas and Alix and the children in action, the palace (yes the palace) and most of the key figures in the drama. For that, I am grateful to the makers of the movie. I can watch it again and again, never mind the plot. I feel I am back there in time, when I watch the scenes.   
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alejandro Spain on August 01, 2009, 11:37:37 AM
I enjoyed it, because it have been the first film about the Tsar and his family that I have seen (I would like to see other film, but I guess that there isn't any film about them), but it have some mistakes, like the awful palace, the jewels that seemed made in plastic and some scenes.

But it's good and I was excited of see it :)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Father Gregory on August 17, 2009, 02:57:51 PM
N&A was the first film I ever saw on the last Tsar and have seen at least ten others since.  I agree there are some historical problems with the film, but
I feel the the portrayal of Nicholas II by Michael Jayston stands alone as the best, in my opinion, both for his remarkable physical similarities and character interpretation. 
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Massine on September 19, 2009, 11:33:06 AM
I wonder why the actress who played Tatiana did not play Maria who's eyes were referred to as 'Marie's Saucers'.  Tatiana was very thin like the actress who played Marie.  Also in Massie's book we are told that Marie wanted to be a wife and mother.  So it would make more sense for her to yearn to be loved by a man.

Now, something to think about.  When the Nicholas and Alexandra film was made, there was probably one fourth of the information available in the free world as there is now.  The general public hardly had access to pictures of the Royal Palaces let alone the lives of the Imperial Family.  The producers probably didn't think that anyone would ever be able to know any of the truth for sure.

Also - I had the privilege of dinner with Suzanne Massie a few years ago and she told me that she and her then husband felt that they had been 'taken to the cleaners' with the film.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: markjhnstn on November 07, 2009, 02:50:27 AM
Just wondered if this is an extra on the dvd?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNHsEO_UrDY&feature=related
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on November 07, 2009, 09:16:06 AM
I have both the VHS and the DVD and I know I have seen it somewhere.  I think it is on the DVD.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: RomanovsFan4Ever on November 07, 2009, 10:01:33 AM
I have the Italian version of the DVD, and unfortunately that extra it's not included in it, a pity...at least now I can watch it on youtube.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: koloagirl on November 07, 2009, 07:28:46 PM

Aloha all!

The "Behind the Scenes" is indeed one of the "extras" on the (at least American version) of Nicholas and Alexandra DVD - it is narrated by one of the young actresses who played one of the Grand Duchesses - it is cute and sweet and is
a nice addition to the DVD.

Janet R.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Douglas on November 07, 2009, 10:41:28 PM
The best part was the the actress that played the Tsar's mother.  Well done.

The Empress:  Too beautiful and not believeable.  The real Empress was much harder and less emotional.

The Tsar:  Way overly dramatic....somewhat of a ham.

The Heir:  Excellent and well done.

The GDs:  Overall well done.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on November 08, 2009, 03:17:29 AM
The best part was the the actress that played the Tsar's mother.  Well done.

Irenie Worth!!  So fabulous! She doesn't get much time , but boy does she ever get MF across.



 
 
 
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Ally Kumari on November 08, 2009, 09:50:31 AM
The Heir:  Excellent and well done.

Did we two seen the same movie? Alexei from this film is the spoilt brat I cannot stand!!! Plus he looks nothing like the real boy....

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Douglas on November 08, 2009, 11:13:55 AM
The Heir:  Excellent and well done.

Did we two seen the same movie? Alexei from this film is the spoilt brat I cannot stand!!! Plus he looks nothing like the real boy....


Well, I may have to re-evaluate Alexie.  I just saw a small part of his contribution.  You are probably correct.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on November 08, 2009, 12:23:51 PM
It seems to me Alexi is always portrayed as physically  smaller than he really was in 1918. He was quite tall for his age anyway.
By the  time of the murders, he was most likely even taller than we see him during captivity photos in the spring of 1917.
This makes the fact his father carried him to the cellar even more moving since they were closer in size than we usually see.
Nicholas was very strong and Alexi's size would have no been a trouble for him.

I think the young actor did a good job...but he doesn't look like Alexi in the least and don't get me started on how little the actress who played Olga looked like the actual Grand Duchess. It seems they trying to get it wrong there. However  the other girls weren't bad  given the  movie industry's way of getting things wrong! lol! 
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: historylover on November 28, 2009, 11:17:15 PM
I had some issues with the way in which the Tsarina is portrayed in the film.  She appeared to be a nasty, autocratic woman who completely dominated her husband.
What do others think?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TroubleTwin2 on June 24, 2010, 07:14:14 PM
I must not being able to see what a couple of other people are seeing in this movie. Some of you are saying that Alexei was portrayed as a spoilt brat, but I just can't see it, he seemed like a sweet child to me. Maybe I'm a bit biased though as Alexei is one of my top favorites in the IF. Are you thinking that from that scene after the sled incident were he was talking to his father about the abdication, or was it from the whole movie? Maybe if I have some the parts you thought made him seemed spoilt I'll be able to see it more clearly. Also for the record I really loved this movie, I realize it had its flaws, but all movies and shows based on history will, and I also realize that it portrayed some things and certain aspects of people wrongly, but I think it can also help inform some people who had very little knowledge of the topic to begin with on some parts of it. If that didn't make anysense at all please let me know and I'll try to say it so it makes more sense, I know I sometimes have trouble with it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: heavensent on June 24, 2010, 07:18:54 PM
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)




The tragic story of Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia, set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution.


It is an inside look into the private lives of Nicholas and his wife Alexandra, their daughters,

and the painful secret which bound the Imperial Couple to the mystical Rasputin, and the eventual execution of the entire family.




Michael Jayston ... Tsar Nicholas II

Janet Suzman ... Empress Alexandra / Alix of Hesse Darmstadt

Roderic Noble ... The Tsarevitch Alexei

Ania Marson ... The Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna

Lynne Frederick ... Tatiana

Candace Glendenning ... The Grand Duchess Marie Nikolaevna

Fiona Fullerton ... Anastasia

Harry Andrews ... Grand Duke Nicholas

Irene Worth ... The Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna

Tom Baker ... Rasputin

Jack Hawkins ... Count Fredericks

Timothy West ... Dr. Botkin

Katherine Schofield ... Tegleva

Jean-Claude Drouot ... Gilliard

John Hallam ... Nagorny




Some heavyweights in the cast.... perhaps a classic movie by now ?



.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on June 30, 2010, 02:11:32 AM
I stumbled upon this on YouTube last night.  Since it had been many years since I last saw this movie, I decided to give it another look.  It was okay, but not great.  They made some historical goofs that could have been avoided if they had done a little more research.

Michael Jayston was good as Nicholas (I remember seeing him in Doctor Who, in the mid-80's, he played a character called the Valyard, opposite the then Doctor, Colin Baker) and Janet Suzman did a good job as Alexandra.  Of course, the great Tom Baker was Rasputin.  I've been a fan of Mr. Baker for years.  Until David Tennant came along, he was the best actor to played the Doctor on Doctor Who.  He really has a good time with Rasputin here.

I wish I could say something about OTMA in this movie, but the truth was I had a hard time telling one from another.  They all seemed interchangeable.  And why was Alexei portrayed as such a brat.  I found myself wanting to haul him off to one side and smack him!

The scene in which Nicky breaks down after returning from abdicating was WAY over the top!  He probably did break down, but not like that!

The guy who played Yurosky was way too old.  Yurosky was around 40 at the time of the murder of the IF.

When the murder takes place, the IF and Dr. Botkin are there, but where are all the other victims!?

I agree that a remake of this movie needs to be made.  Furthermore, they can now shoot it in Russia.  That would add to the realism. 

N&A was okay, but a very flawed film, IMHO.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Vecchiolarry on June 30, 2010, 09:52:17 AM
Hi Tim,

I liked the film and thought everybody did a good job, even though there were inaccuracies...
I especially liked Irene Worth & Harry Andrews and Tom Baker was a real scene stealer!!
'Yuriovsky' scared the hell out of me - those eyes alone were evil and his voice and delivery were chilling....

I think this movie turned many onto the history of the Romanovs and Russia in general...

Larry
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on June 30, 2010, 11:30:06 AM
Quote
Tom Baker was a real scene stealer!!

Yeah, he sure was.  I'm surprise he wasn't nominated for an Oscar for his performance in this movie.  I think he could have won it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TroubleTwin2 on June 30, 2010, 11:40:52 AM
Hey Tim, I was wondering if you could point out some of the things in the movie that IYO made Alexei look like a brat? 'Cause I've tried to see it and aside for that time after the sled thing, I just can't really see it.

Also I agree with you on OTMA, except I was able to tell who was Anastasia, she was the only one I could tell apart from the others.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on June 30, 2010, 01:42:09 PM
I have been thinking about this since I read the post by TimM.

I don't believe that Alexei was portrayed as a 'brat" but the director had to let those who don't know the story know that Alexei was a sick boy and had many prohibitions put on him.

The little poem - was annoying, but it was a short way to let those again who are uninformed know that Alexei was restricted as other children including his sisters were not.

When I first saw the movie in the theater when it was released, I found many errors, but again, there are time restraints to telling a story on film and the background had to be brought to the attention of again (and I keep repeating myself) those who are not as informed as we are.

Things have to be condensed and therefore made up to get it all in.  For example, we all know that Tatiana would not have "exposed" herself to the guard, but in order to make a point about the girls not having much life experience and knowing that now they never would, the director made his point.

My biggest problem was with Yurovsky.  We have all seen the actual pictures of the man he looks nothing like the withered wizened old man that was shown in the movie.  He was also no where near as thoughtful or nice.  In the movie he was portrayed not as the executioner, but as a kindly old grandfather figure.

I haven't watched it in a long time because, even though Michael Jayston is the best Nicholas ever, and Harry Andrews the best Nicholas Nikolaevich, the movie Romanovy:Ventsenosnaya semya gets my vote as the all time best version of the last days of the Imperial Family.  The only thing I didn't like about it was that the woman who pays Alexandra looks too much like Michael Learned who played Olivia (Ma) Walton on the American TV series The Waltons and I keep expecting her to call out for "John-Boy" at any minute.

But the director of Nicholas & Alexandra did the best he could with the material and the sets he had.  It is, after all, a biography of Alexei as it begins in 1904 with his birth and ends in 1918 with his death.

Fourteen years is a long time to condense into a 3 hour movie.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Vecchiolarry on June 30, 2010, 03:37:35 PM
Hi Alixz,

Yurovsky:-
He is portrayed as 'a kindly old grandfather figure' isn't he!!  But, all the while, the underlying evil is there and evident.
He knows that the Romanovs will be killed and he will be doing it...  And, that is chilling and his performance is equally chilling and downright cold, really...

Larry
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on June 30, 2010, 03:58:35 PM
Well, it's just the way Alexei spoke to Nicky after the sled incident.  That "Now I won't get to be Czar because you abdicated! Wahhhhhhhh!!" did not endear him to me.

Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh, they did have limited research material in 1971.  If the movie were made now, they could consult the archives and use actual locations.  As I, and others here have said, time for a remake. 
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on June 30, 2010, 04:11:20 PM
Again, I don't think that Alexei ever said anything of the sort to his father.

Again, I think it was director's license to let the un- knowledgeable in on what was going on.

But I often wondered why in real life Alexei did such a stupid thing.  Perhaps it was just frustration.  I always thought that he was a very wise young man and I do believe that he knew the future was not secure and did not have the unblemished faith of his mother and father.  The end was coming and at 14 I think he was not taking it lightly or with "faith in God's will".

I believe that Nicholas was wrong in discounting Alexei as a future tsar.  I think he would (had he learned to manage his hemophilia) have been a fine tsar.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TroubleTwin2 on June 30, 2010, 06:34:09 PM
While I respect everyone's difference in opinion, I don't think that one time after Alexei hurt himself with the sled (and was being I admit a bit of a brat) and was going on a bit about not being able to be Tsar is enough to say he was portrayed as a brat in this movie. I mean he was a 13 year old boy, hurt/sick (even if it was his fault in this case), being held prisoner, and his future at that time was uncertain. (Even if he had no knowledge at all of what was going to happen in the coming months, all he had know (that he was going to grow up to be Tsar, if he managed to live that long) was gone.) His father acted without consulting him or his mother (I acknowledge that it was most likely not a possibility). So I think he kinda earned bratty. And all that aside he was a teenager, and teenagers are notorious for being bratty, no matter what there upbringing. I'm not saying Alexei was like this or felt like this in real life.  Did I make anysense at all? Also I respect everyone's opinion on the matter and I'm not saying anyone is wrong, I just wanted to get out what I thought on the matter....I actually had a little bit more, and it made I think a bit more sense, but as I went on I kinda was losing my point so I just stopped talking.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on June 30, 2010, 08:10:05 PM
It's okay, Amber, I know what you meant.

 
Quote
His father acted without consulting him or his mother (I acknowledge that it was most likely not a possibility).


Yeah, Nicky really didn't have a choice.  Everyone was turning on him, the peasants, the workers, and once he lost the support of the military, it was game over.  He had to abdicate, there was simply no other option. 
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: NAOTMAA Fan on June 30, 2010, 08:40:45 PM
Despite all this talk, to the untrained eye, someone watching this film for the first time will get impressions. Me and my dad watched this film together once, and after that very scene he looked at me and asked me straight out if Alexei had been some kind of suicidal psychopath. No offense against Roderic Noble, but his acting was ever so slightly melodramatic and affected. I mean I personally can't stand that scene. It's the way Noble and the directors went about personifying his character with whole sled incident, and to be frank, he does come off like a disturbed, whiny little sod. They show him intentionally harming himself to get everyone's attention. And it bothers people like you and me because we like to think we have a better understanding of Alexei's personality. It doesn't help either when later he sits there like Norman Bates while Nagorny is shot and says "I want to kill them ALL." But to be honest, this entire film is deeply dramatized in that same manner. That's just good ol' fashioned Hollywood for you.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TroubleTwin2 on June 30, 2010, 10:39:10 PM
I really glad you understood what I was trying to say Tim (sometimes I get myself turned around in my wording, so even I don't know what I'm saying.) I didn't want you to think that I was saying you were wrong and I was right, 'cause that's not what I was doing it all. It just seems to me like allot of people who say Alexei was portrayed as a brat in this movie are saying it just because of that one scene (I know that's not the case with everyone)

Also I completely get that Nicky didn't really have a choice in the matter, he really could take that time to talk to Alexei or Alix about abdicating not just for himself but Alexei too. I was just wondering were everyone else saw the bratty parts, or if it was just that one thing. Because (and this is just in my case) for me that one scene is not enough to say Alexei was a brat. It was one time! And I think I'm doing it again (sorry, sometimes I think I come off as trying to change everyone's opinion on a matter to how I see it, and that's not what I'm trying to do at all!)
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on June 30, 2010, 10:49:34 PM
What is interesting about the sledding is  Alexis records in his diary he and a friend sled down the stairs "for hours" and he is then fine for three days  afterwards .  Then  his last attack begins. We know of the sledding because of Tatiana's Botkin's book where she discussed how Alexis would take risks...and sites the sledding as an example of the rough games he would play. But she doesn't say the sledding caused the attack. Alexi's parents diaries give no cause. So it's not likely the sledding caused AN's last attack at all...yet that is the legend .

I think the movie does a remarkable job, given the time restraints...the story  needs more than 3 hours. However one the biggest  errors , most  likely done in the cause of time, is that the  whole family went off with Vasily Yaksovlev.  
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on July 01, 2010, 12:07:29 AM
Quote
the story  needs more than 3 hours

Perhaps a mini-series like I, Claudius.

Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on July 01, 2010, 09:00:19 AM

I think the movie does a remarkable job, given the time restraints...the story  needs more than 3 hours. However one the biggest  errors , most  likely done in the cause of time, is that the  whole family went off with Vasily Yaksovlev.  

I had forgotten about that.  The whole family did not go with Yakovlev and I wondered at the time why the director showed that they did.  Again probably just a way to condense the story.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on July 01, 2010, 09:21:28 AM
(http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k14/Livadia13/images1.jpg)

A picture of the real Yakov Yurovksy - no kind grandfatherly figure there!  Yurovsky was born in 1878 and so was about 40 at the time of the executions.

The actor who played him was Alan Webb.  He was born in 1906 and was 65 when he played Yurovsky in the film.  I have been looking for a photo of Webb as Yurovsky, but so far I can't find one.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on July 01, 2010, 09:41:14 AM
(http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k14/Livadia13/thecellar.jpg)

I have the original theater program.  This picture is scanned from it.  Yurovsky as the "kindly grandfather" is in the middle of this group with his gun front and center.

I can see a resemblance to the original Yurovsky but Alan Webb is playing him much older than he was at the time of the executions.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on July 01, 2010, 08:47:39 PM
 Alan Webb is so different a type than Yurovsky was , I think it has to be a conscious  choice on the part of the film makers. I believe they wanted the  chilling aspect of this mild older man who's a cold blooded killer....and now that I see the firing quad from the film , they all are way older than the real ones were! 
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on July 01, 2010, 09:14:56 PM
I don't see why they wanted to change the character so much!  I remember when Webb as Yurovsky first appears in the film the audience almost laughed out loud.  How could this kindly looking old man be an executioner?  He opens the door to Ipatiev House and welcomes the family in.  This doesn't ring true to any account that I have read about the jailers and their attitude toward the Imperial Family.

I think that the film makers should have stuck more to the original.  

Those of you who have never seen the movie in a theater with a large group of people would never have heard that reaction or gotten that feeling.

Alan Webb's portrayal might be Yurovsky as Yurovsky might have been as an old man of 65, but not at all the man who was in charge of the Ipatiev House guards.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 01, 2010, 10:48:45 PM
I, for one, like the film. FOR WHAT IS- FILM. It  is not a documentary history. The artistic license taken was  for the benefit of the movie.  I do not know why Yurovsky was altered so much from the reality, but I imagine it was for dramatic conflict. Keep the viewing audience a bit confused as to what his intentions were. And, it seems to me, that the same people who complain that the GDs did not "look"like the real ones-  also adore that tacky Anastasia cartoon.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on July 01, 2010, 11:48:01 PM
They also omitted Yurosky'e speech, before the shooting started.  Or was that information only uncovered after the Soviet Union fell and everyone got access to the archives?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on July 02, 2010, 09:27:31 AM
Robert - I have to agree with you.  The number of people in the theater who actually knew the whole truth - especially in 1971 - was very small.  The film was aimed towards those people and gave what it could in the limited time that it had. 

I have often defended the film and the plot tactics, but I don't see the gain in showing Yurovsky as 25 years older than he was.

I would not go to see the "tacky" Anastasia cartoon, but I do know that it did bring new interest to the story of the Imperial Family and I thought that was good.

And the Grand Duchesses were "cookie cutter" characters, but again the story was not about them.  It was about Nicholas & Alexandra and Alexei and the fall of the dynasty.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on July 03, 2010, 01:00:32 AM
Bob,  I like the film and always have. But I'm exception to the rule. I can't stand the cartoon , but think the actress playing  Olga is totally unsuitable...the others are much more in keeping with their historical counterpart. However it's a remarkable achievement generally  given the time restraint  and  the cast is exceptional .
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on December 26, 2010, 01:31:12 AM
This was on TV Ontario last night.  Rather strange movie to show on Christmas Day.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bestfriendsgirl on February 01, 2011, 03:52:55 PM
I didn't watch Nicholas and Alexandra until recently, because I was too afraid I'd be disappointed in it! I loved it, as it turns out, because I was able to see it  for what it is ... a big budget Hollywood period piece, gorgeous to look at if nothing else. Michael Jayston made the dreamiest Nicky I've ever seen on screen! :D As for the scene with Tatiana, well, sex sells - it did 40 years ago and it does now and since when has Hollywood let the facts stand in the way of a good story? I'd love to see a remake of this, especially while Robert Massie is still with us. If I ever win one of those gazillion-dollar lottery jackpots, I'll finance one!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TsarAlexeiII on July 26, 2011, 06:17:33 PM
I know this post is a year old, but I feel it important to say that Yurovsky, while made twenty-five years older than he really was, was not portrayed as a "kindly old grandfather figure" in the move. It's true that he welcomes them in, and is conflicted as to whether or not he should allow the family to read their mail before they are killed, but nonetheless when the representative of the Ural Soviet arrives at the Ipatiev house to tell Yurovsky that it is still debating whether or not the whole family should be killed, we can clearly see that he is angered by this hold-up. His bloodthirsty attitude is emphasized when he is finally sent the order to execute the whole family by saying "I could have told you that."

I don't view him as benign person in any way, in either reality or the movie.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TsarAlexeiII on July 26, 2011, 06:28:22 PM
There were two at the time the film was released.

One was a magazine no longer in print called AFTER DARK
This one actually talked about what really happened during the filming.
It seems that the girls began to cry. It was said that 2 of them would start and they would calm them down and the other two would start. During this time Roderic Noble became very hyper and would run up to one of the girls and hit her.I remember it was a crew member who was interviewed for the article because he said that it unnerved the crew they had tried to make them a family for 9 months and now they were too much a family. He also went on to say that when they finally finished filming the girls broke down again.

Azrael
Here is an interview with Roderic Noble (now 53) from March 3, 2011: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/features/columnists/latest/8888374.Tsar_for_a_day/
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Laura Mabee on July 26, 2011, 07:31:39 PM
Thanks for that interview TAII.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on July 26, 2011, 09:27:19 PM
This reminds me what the UK actress who played Alix in Romanovy: Ventsenosnaya Semya  said about filming the scene when she did it...that even though they did some walk though rehearsals and what not,  when they did it for" real" ,it took her a long time to get over it. It becomes real emotionally  indeed.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on October 21, 2011, 04:44:16 PM
In away N&A would have been a better miniseries than a movie. Sadly if someone tried to make one it would run into some big problems with the PC crowd. Heres why:
Nicholas was somewhat of an anti-semite. he was a whole lot less later in life. Lets face it this view was commen back then in Russia, Germany, Rumania, among Poles, the there are the french (Dreyfus affair). However if there is one scene where Nichols get angry at "Yid Bankers" shaking Russia down the PC crowd will start foaming at the mouth.

Lenin was a cowardly, hatefilled, cruel, traitor ect the rest of the "Bolo" gang were a really nasty bunch too. This is historical fact. but the PC types don't see things this way. So they can't be portrayed as bad guys even Peter Emerkov

One group of people the PC types think make really good bad guys are GERMANS. Lead baddie Kaiser Wilhelm II. it helps that he does look like he is one. It also helps Alexandra detested him and OTMA didn't care for him either.
Other bad guys Von Hindenburg and luddendorf. One fellow I saw on TV peddling a book on TV called them "Two Villenous looking German Generals" it also helps that Lundendorf was sort of mean looking and post WW I was pals with a man named Adolf Hitler! who he gave alot of ideas and advise too.
Lesser German badies: help the above defeat Russian armies, Turn Lenin and his gang loose on Russia with lots of gold and other aid, carve up Russian empire.

Alexandra was a vegan which the PC types will love who also wore fur which they will hate and used lots of pills
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on October 21, 2011, 04:54:19 PM
part 2
OTMA I hope someone picks the right actresses to portray them and the PC types need to remember these are early 1900s well bred young ladies who behaved properly ect don't portray them as early 2000s girls so to speak.
You might want to end this with what happens to everyone usually: killed by the "Bolos", dies in exile, purged and shot by Stalin!
Finally, i would like for the people doing the historical commentary to be able to say most of the time this is what was said or happened in real life ect.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bestfriendsgirl on October 22, 2011, 09:48:34 AM
Yes, Nicholas was an anti-Semite, along with most of the rest of aristocratic Europe. We Americans are critical of this, as well we should be, but in criticizing Europeans for their anti-Semitism, we seem to conveniently forget that we treated African-Americans just as badly or worse. Pogrom = Lynching. Pale of Settlement = Segregation.  Not a whole lot of difference, IHMO.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on October 22, 2011, 11:31:01 AM
Yes, Nicholas was an anti-Semite, along with most of the rest of aristocratic Europe. We Americans are critical of this, as well we should be, but in criticizing Europeans for their anti-Semitism, we seem to conveniently forget that we treated African-Americans just as badly or worse. Pogrom = Lynching. Pale of Settlement = Segregation.  Not a whole lot of difference, IHMO.
Good point and let's not forget the Native Americans as well. Straight up genocide, but called " manifest destiny" ! Sadly anti-Semitism was something N II was brought up with and even educated in. His father's generation seemed very much so when one looks at Uncle Serge
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on November 22, 2011, 06:17:54 PM
I have some more comments critisms of the PC film industry which i hope will not bore anyone but sadly they are true:
Oriental bad guys the PC crowd can't have Orientals looking too bad otherwise it might be considered racism and would sales in the Asian market. However, in N&A it's the JAPANESE attacking without declaring war, defeating the Russian army, destroying the Russian navy, and aiding the 1905 revolutionaris with gold and arms. They may be able to do this without offending to many people.
The PC film industry like lots of violence, sex and foul language other wise the movie might not get a least a PG rating that will hurt its sales. Violence Wars, Revolutions, and murders in N&A good. Sex ect decadent St Petersburg society, Rasputin, Yussopov, and corousing Communists and Chekists good. Foul language except for some anti-Semetic remarks by Nicholas which I got one wrong in my post #481 the IF did not swear! The only time there is alot of foul language used is by some of the guards post abducation. Whats a PC film industry type to do!!??
Alexandra had a slight fascination with a religous symbol know as the Sawastica which will not go down well with the PC film industry types because it used later on by the Nazis. It should be pointed out that this is a religous symbol of the Bhuddist religion and Navaho Indians. It was also used by a number of other peoples over the centuries. Alexandra also had a bad drug problem. the PC type will say what drug problem?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on December 02, 2011, 12:22:49 PM
I just hope that if any new version of N&A is made, it will be faithful to history.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bestfriendsgirl on December 02, 2011, 05:51:25 PM
I'd love to hit the lottery for a gazillion dollars so I could bankroll a remake - maybe as a mini-series on The History Channel, especially while Mr. Massie is still with us.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on December 03, 2011, 04:34:33 PM
I'd go see it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: azrael7171918 on December 05, 2011, 05:52:27 AM
Yes, Nicholas was an anti-Semite, along with most of the rest of aristocratic Europe. We Americans are critical of this, as well we should be, but in criticizing Europeans for their anti-Semitism, we seem to conveniently forget that we treated African-Americans just as badly or worse. Pogrom = Lynching. Pale of Settlement = Segregation.  Not a whole lot of difference, IHMO.

Think there is something else you should be aware of. Europe was not alone in antisemitism so was America. American  Antisemitism also prevented large numbers of German and other European Jews from coming here in the 30s. It wasn't just Europe.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: bestfriendsgirl on December 05, 2011, 08:24:48 AM
Yes, Nicholas was an anti-Semite, along with most of the rest of aristocratic Europe. We Americans are critical of this, as well we should be, but in criticizing Europeans for their anti-Semitism, we seem to conveniently forget that we treated African-Americans just as badly or worse. Pogrom = Lynching. Pale of Settlement = Segregation.  Not a whole lot of difference, IHMO.

Think there is something else you should be aware of. Europe was not alone in antisemitism so was America. American  Antisemitism also prevented large numbers of German and other European Jews from coming here in the 30s. It wasn't just Europe.

I realize that. Anti-semitism was a little more subtle America, but it was, and is, there.  However, it was easier for a Jewish person to "pass" in America, and some did. There's a movie called School Ties (Brendan Frasier's first big film) where a Jewish teenage boy in the 1950s does just that and the film deals with the fallout when he's "outed." Most African-Americans and Native Americans couldn't do this, so they were more obvious targets. Also, a lot of the books, films, etc. about the Romanovs were written by Europeans (Robert K. Massie is a notable exception) and tend not to make comparisons.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Rodney_G. on March 17, 2012, 03:38:12 PM
Was this movie in DVD form any way different from the original film version? any cuts? added scenes, etc,? I ask because I thought the opening scene in the movie was Alexandra  , in closeup, crying -out in the pain of childbirth of Alexei. I saw the DVD of N&A last night: no such scene. Was it edited out or am I thinking of a totally different flick? It's possible I'm losing it, but there mught have been changes at some point.   ????
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on March 17, 2012, 08:07:00 PM
I remember in the very beginning Nicky and Alix looking at each other and she's both happy and in pain, indeed about to give birth... was that missing? It was a great way to show the bond right off
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Vecchiolarry on March 17, 2012, 10:14:29 PM
Hi,

Yes Rodney, you are right - the film does start out with a red backdrop, which morphs into a lamp over the bed where Alexandra has just given birth to Alexis....  Nicholas is beside her and they dialogue that Alexis will be "a gentle czar".....

The film ends also in red - the blood on the wall of the murder room....

A director's artistic touch - brilliant!!!

If the DVD deviates from this, then it misses an important artistic aspect of film making, I would surmize...

Larry
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Jen_94 on March 18, 2012, 06:47:55 AM
On my copy of the DVD, that scene is there, with Nicky and Alix looking at eachother. I think it is a lovely scene and as BlessOTMA said, shows the lovely bond they had.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Rodney_G. on March 18, 2012, 02:32:48 PM
As three of you responders confirm, the DVD version is as we agreee, that is, opening with Alexandra 's face , at or just after giving birth to Alexei, and with Nicholas there and the morph into the red lamp.
I didn't see the film at its release or on tv til later and missed the opening scene then. My first full viewing was on a video cassette about seven years ago and I don't know the date of the release of that video version. But it opened with a startling shot of Alexandra's face, mouth open in a scream of agony, where you could almost see her tonsils. Almost 'graphic'  and for me unforgettable.
Might anyone remember this scene from the 1971 theater release? Any chance of this being a scene included in the video cassette version and quickly withdrawn upon reconsideration or negative feedback?
Upon reflection, I withdraw my earlier doubt. I know I saw that startling scene. It opened the movie, and til I conected it to Alexei's birth, I had no idea what was happening. I was specifically looking for it when watching the DVD a few days ago and it just wasn't there.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Jen_94 on March 18, 2012, 04:40:04 PM
Really? Well that does seem like an almost 'graphic' sort of scene. Perhaps it was withdrawn?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 18, 2012, 05:38:15 PM
I think Greg King knows more about this than I do, but it is my understanding the cellar murder scene was heavily edited as it was simply too graphic. How could it not be. The original take was very  vivid and even upset the young actresses portraying the GDs. If I recall correctly, Janet Suzman  took them aside before hand and tried to prepare them for it.
 As for the opening scene, I do not recall it at the moment. I saw the film when it first opened in Beverly Hills or West LA in 1971, but do not recall Alexandra in distress.  I have the film on DVD, UK version, which are usually  more complete than US releases and will  have a look at it when I have the chance. Have not watched it for some time now.
 There is a very hard to find DVD of outtakes from the film. I have seen it but do not own it. That might have the opening scene in it.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: blessOTMA on March 19, 2012, 10:05:57 AM
Robert , I remember reading the UK actress of the Russian  1990 film playing Alix did that with those GD actresses....took them to dinner the night before to discuss it. Interesting that Janet Suzman had helped N and A's GD actresses  as well.  I also remember another  Janet Suzman story about this from the time. They rehearsed her crossing herself in the orthodox way as Alix did in her last moments ...but when  it was filmed, Ms Suzman was  so much in the moment , she went back to her learned from youth western way . One goes with what is  hard wired in such a moment , even if one is  acting .
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: edubs31 on March 19, 2012, 11:56:08 AM
Quote
I think Greg King knows more about this than I do, but it is my understanding the cellar murder scene was heavily edited as it was simply too graphic. How could it not be. The original take was very  vivid and even upset the young actresses portraying the GDs. If I recall correctly, Janet Suzman  took them aside before hand and tried to prepare them for it.

Yeah I agree, and was pondering the graphic nature of the murder scene in the other topic thread.

They rehearsed her crossing herself in the orthodox way as Alix did in her last moments ...but when  it was filmed, Ms Suzman was  so much in the moment , she went back to her learned from youth western way . One goes with what is  hard wired in such a moment , even if one is  acting .

That's so impressive & thanks for mentioning it. Like reverting back to your native tongue in moments of stress or anger.

Does anyone know what order particular scenes in the movie were filmed? Clearly it sounds like the murder scene was done well after much of the rest had been filmed. Not being a director but being able to relate to the human element I scratch my head and wonder, if given the option to film any scene at any time, what I would want to capture first, last, or roughly in the middle...?

Obviously actors take part in drama films and horror scenes all the time. I doubt many are filled with much apprehension on the set or lingering feelings of discomfort long after production comes to a close. But I'd imagine it's different playing fictional characters than real life individuals who they, like so many of us, have taken the time to emotionally bond with.

I'd like to think the actors in preparation for their parts read Massie's book first. But I'm guessing that probably wasn't the case for all...so is it harder to do such a scene, graphic or not, when you've come to know and care about the subject at hand...or is it worse when you're not sure what to expect? Then as a director how does it change your approach to piecing together the film? Did Franklin Schaffner, etc, decide it best to get the hard part out of the way first, or better to save it for last, or place it toward the middle of filming as I probably would...?

Tough call!
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 19, 2012, 02:13:58 PM
I know they were not filmed in sequence. Very few movies are. It is the editor's job to put them in order. On You Tube there is a trailer of sorts  where one of the actresses who portrayed a GD said their first scenes was  actually in the middle of the film. As an example, I recall one film   a friend of mine worked on.a violent death scene was filmed first.  That took a lot of preparation, which costs a lot of money. When they got that over with, they went on to the other scenes.
 This all depends on  location or studio filming, availability , and, of course, money. As costs rise, some scenes even get eliminated from the script.
 AS for reading the book, I imagine the leads may have.  There was not much for the GDs to go on though. They were not exactly major players in the film.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: edubs31 on March 19, 2012, 03:01:57 PM
Quote
On You Tube there is a trailer of sorts  where one of the actresses who portrayed a GD said their first scenes was  actually in the middle of the film.

Interesting, I'll have to check that out. You are talking about "Nicholas & Alexandra" and not another Romanov movie correct?

Quote
As an example, I recall one film   a friend of mine worked on.a violent death scene was filmed first.  That took a lot of preparation, which costs a lot of money. When they got that over with, they went on to the other scenes.

That makes sense. I guess actor fatigue ought to be taken into consideration as well. Best to get the tough scenes out of the way immediately I guess.

Quote
This all depends on  location or studio filming, availability , and, of course, money. As costs rise, some scenes even get eliminated from the script.

Which makes sense why they would have filmed that death scene first. The big budget stuff that's critical to the plot should probably be budgeted around and then completed first so, as you were saying Robert, they can decided which less critical scenes make the cut.

Quote
AS for reading the book, I imagine the leads may have.  There was not much for the GDs to go on though. They were not exactly major players in the film.

Right, I don't think the OTMA actresses needed to get as deep into character considering the nature of their roles.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Jen_94 on March 19, 2012, 04:06:10 PM
I know they were not filmed in sequence. Very few movies are. It is the editor's job to put them in order. On You Tube there is a trailer of sorts  where one of the actresses who portrayed a GD said their first scenes was  actually in the middle of the film.

Wasn't that the video with Lynne Frederick? Or another one?
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 19, 2012, 04:19:13 PM
Yes, edubs,  the film N&A. I spent some time in Hollywood as a hairdresser [wigs] for studios and have a mountain of trivia about those processes.  N&A was a British film so I never worked on that.  It was filmed all over Europe,  Spain and Austria as well as Pinewood I think for interiors.  But I know how the process of film making  usually goes. I do not know when the  death scene was filmed, in what sequence. Like I said, Greg King might.
 And yes Jen, it was, I had forgotten her name.
 BTW, I was too young to have worked on it even if it were filmed in  Hollywood. But movie people love to talk about their work.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: TimM on March 20, 2012, 12:02:22 PM
It was a good film for the time it was made in, 1971, when there was limited information about the IF.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 20, 2012, 12:27:48 PM
Yes Tim. I think it still stands up.  It is a well made film, high budget for it's time. Considering the restraints of filming a book of 500 pages into a 2+ hour movie, it did well in telling the story, IMO. From the context of the film, not the book,  it contains nothing  that would make a difference with today's new information. It is, in essence  just a film, not a documentary, and as such  a superficial account.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: LauraO on March 20, 2012, 02:04:48 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNHsEO_UrDY

Just found this sorry if its already been posted!

Both my VHS and DVD versions have the opening with the lamp...i'd be interested to see how the "graphic" opening came to be and what happened to it???
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: Alixz on March 21, 2012, 06:48:20 PM
I thought I remembered the "graphic" opening, too. I haven't looked at my VHS in a long time. It was the first movie I bought on VHS and it cost me about $75 at the time. Long before buying movies became popular.

I have the DVD, too, but I know it opens with the red screen sharpening into the lamp. It ends with the red screen as well as the murder room scene ends and we move up into the credits.

I remember thinking, when I saw it in the movies, that it was basically the life of Alexei from his birth to his murder.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: LauraO on March 22, 2012, 02:07:15 AM
I thought I remembered the "graphic" opening, too. I haven't looked at my VHS in a long time. It was the first movie I bought on VHS and it cost me about $75 at the time. Long before buying movies became popular.

I have the DVD, too, but I know it opens with the red screen sharpening into the lamp. It ends with the red screen as well as the murder room scene ends and we move up into the credits.

I remember thinking, when I saw it in the movies, that it was basically the life of Alexei from his birth to his murder.

I've never really thought of the Alexei thing before, but maybe that was the directors way of saying Alexei shaped  what Nicholas and Alexandra did??? or just his general importance in the situation? Of course for instance his illness causing Alix's dependacy on Rasputin ... don't know interesting point though.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
Post by: edubs31 on March 22, 2012, 08:57:59 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNHsEO_UrDY

Just found this sorry if its already been posted!

Both my VHS and DVD versions have the opening with the lamp...i'd be interested to see how the "graphic" opening came to be and what happened to it???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKNHu-Ymkcg

This version does NOT include the more "graphic" opening scene either. Starting at the 2:05.
Title: Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD 1971
Post by: Alixz on April 03, 2012, 10:07:12 AM
This thread is only for the discussion of the original film version of Nicholas & Alexandra based on Robert Massie's book and shown in theaters in 1971. It was also sold as a VHS tape and DVD in later years.

Anyone who wishes to contribute to the proposed making of a new 12 hour mini series on Nicholas & Alexandra, please go the the new thread.

"New Nicholas & Alexandra Video - Mini Series?"
Title: GREAT NEWS--"Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) is Now Available on Blu-ray!!!!
Post by: maudelilacs on February 06, 2013, 03:34:35 PM
Made available under the auspices of Twilight Time, a specialty DVD/Blu-ray label, and distributed exclusively through Screen Archives Entertainment.com (SAE).  Official release date is Tuesday, February 12 (three days after Dame Janet Suzman's birthday!!), although it is available for pre-order through SAE, and in fact they are shipping a few days early--I already have my copy.  This edition of "Nicholas and Alexandra" is strictly limited to 3,000 units, and all interested viewers will be happy to know that it is REGION-FREE, and it is a vast improvement over the 1999 DVD release.  The sound quality is much, much better and more even, and the visual quality is gorgeous, and benefits greatly from the remastering efforts by the engineers at Sony.  The Blu-ray features the full 189-minute film, three featurettes focusing on the young actresses who portrayed the four grand duchesses; the costumes worn by Janet Suzman and Irene Worth in the film, for which Antonio Castillo won an Oscar; and make-up....This Blu-ray also boasts an isolated soundtrack, the original theatrical trailer, and subtitles in English.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: The Test Card Girl on March 09, 2014, 05:16:02 AM
GD Olga N. in this movie is "hawk-faced" and doesnt look like the real one.
Anastasia seems to be a bit tall, too.

Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: edubs31 on March 09, 2014, 11:00:18 AM
GD Olga N. in this movie is "hawk-faced" and doesnt look like the real one.
Anastasia seems to be a bit tall, too.

Yes Anastasia is a little bit taller than Marie which obviously isn't realistic. I thought N&A was pretty hit or miss in terms of its casting. The boy who played Alexei bore a fair resemblance to the actual Tsarevich, although many of his lines in the film didn't seem to resemble Alexei's true personality. The young actress who played Marie, aside from her height, also looked similar to the real life Mashka in my opinion. Beyond that I agree with you. Lynne Frederick doesn't really look like Tatiana and I don't know what the casting crew was thinking when they made their selection for Olga.
Title: Re: GREAT NEWS--"Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) is Now Available on Blu-ray!!!!
Post by: Rodney_G. on March 10, 2014, 06:06:30 PM
Made available under the auspices of Twilight Time, a specialty DVD/Blu-ray label, and distributed exclusively through Screen Archives Entertainment.com (SAE).  Official release date is Tuesday, February 12 (three days after Dame Janet Suzman's birthday!!), although it is available for pre-order through SAE, and in fact they are shipping a few days early--I already have my copy.  This edition of "Nicholas and Alexandra" is strictly limited to 3,000 units, and all interested viewers will be happy to know that it is REGION-FREE, and it is a vast improvement over the 1999 DVD release.  The sound quality is much, much better and more even, and the visual quality is gorgeous, and benefits greatly from the remastering efforts by the engineers at Sony.  The Blu-ray features the full 189-minute film, three featurettes focusing on the young actresses who portrayed the four grand duchesses; the costumes worn by Janet Suzman and Irene Worth in the film, for which Antonio Castillo won an Oscar; and make-up....This Blu-ray also boasts an isolated soundtrack, the original theatrical trailer, and subtitles in English.

Although this post is more than a year old, the question that leaps out at me is, why would this edition of the film be limited to 3,000 copies?

What am I missing about this  commercial anomaly? And also, unless I have the wrong original movie in mind, why would English subtitles be needed ,since the dialogue itself was in English?
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Ally Kumari on May 18, 2014, 07:17:15 AM
I would imagine English subtitles being helpful in English speaking films to people who have hearing disability. ;-)
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on September 17, 2014, 10:59:38 PM
ok   1 thing   Yurovsky        OLD
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: edubs31 on September 18, 2014, 01:49:51 PM
ok   1 thing   Yurovsky        OLD

Agreed. There was a lot of questionable casting. But what in the world were they thinking by using that actor to play Yurovsky? Surely they had a picture or two on hand of the actual person.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Rodney_G. on September 20, 2014, 12:56:04 PM
ok   1 thing   Yurovsky        OLD

Agreed. There was a lot of questionable casting. But what in the world were they thinking by using that actor to play Yurovsky? Surely they had a picture or two on hand of the actual person.

Yes I must say the actor playing Yurovsky looked nothing like the real Yurovsky at that time, so much so that at first I questioned whether I was confusing the characters. On the other hand, both the actor and Yurovsky as he played him were truly creepy,  devious, sinister , and , mostly, cold.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: TimM on September 22, 2014, 10:22:09 AM
Of course, it was a blooper having Yurovsky there to greet them when the IF arrive.  He wasn't assigned to the Ipatiev House at that point.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on September 23, 2014, 11:53:01 AM
yep   
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: edubs31 on September 23, 2014, 12:39:36 PM
Of course, it was a blooper having Yurovsky there to greet them when the IF arrive.  He wasn't assigned to the Ipatiev House at that point.

True. Personally I'm not as concerned about those types of flubs. In a movie you need to truncate certain things and compact broader themes into certain scenes. They probably figured it wasn't worth showing and making a big deal out of Yurovsky's arrival to the The House of Special Purpose. I'll let that slide. It's the brutal casting that gets me.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: TimM on October 01, 2014, 07:38:11 AM
Yeah, they should have cast a younger actor to play Yurovsky.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Jen_94 on November 06, 2014, 11:00:07 AM
GD Olga N. in this movie is "hawk-faced" and doesnt look like the real one.
Anastasia seems to be a bit tall, too.

Yes Anastasia is a little bit taller than Marie which obviously isn't realistic. I thought N&A was pretty hit or miss in terms of its casting. The boy who played Alexei bore a fair resemblance to the actual Tsarevich, although many of his lines in the film didn't seem to resemble Alexei's true personality. The young actress who played Marie, aside from her height, also looked similar to the real life Mashka in my opinion. Beyond that I agree with you. Lynne Frederick doesn't really look like Tatiana and I don't know what the casting crew was thinking when they made their selection for Olga.

That is one of the first things I noticed regarding the heights of the girls. The Marie actress was smaller than all of the  actress playing OTA when infact Marie was actually taller than Olga and Anastasia and slightly smaller than Tatiana.

Agreed about the casting of Alexei and I thought Janet Suzman and Michael Jayston played their parts well, with the latter showing a resemblance to the part he played, Nicholas.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: edubs31 on November 06, 2014, 12:05:50 PM
GD Olga N. in this movie is "hawk-faced" and doesnt look like the real one.
Anastasia seems to be a bit tall, too.

Yes Anastasia is a little bit taller than Marie which obviously isn't realistic. I thought N&A was pretty hit or miss in terms of its casting. The boy who played Alexei bore a fair resemblance to the actual Tsarevich, although many of his lines in the film didn't seem to resemble Alexei's true personality. The young actress who played Marie, aside from her height, also looked similar to the real life Mashka in my opinion. Beyond that I agree with you. Lynne Frederick doesn't really look like Tatiana and I don't know what the casting crew was thinking when they made their selection for Olga.



That is one of the first things I noticed regarding the heights of the girls. The Marie actress was smaller than all of the  actress playing OTA when infact Marie was actually taller than Olga and Anastasia and slightly smaller than Tatiana.

Agreed about the casting of Alexei and I thought Janet Suzman and Michael Jayston played their parts well, with the latter showing a resemblance to the part he played, Nicholas.

Agreed Jen94, and nice to see you back and active on here!

Given the era that this film was made, coming out only a few years after the somewhat grandiose Dr. Zhivago, it's easy to understand what the filmmakers were going for and understand some of their flaws. Nicholas & Alexandra delivers more or less what one should expect from an elaborate big-budget minor epic conceived and released in the late-60s/early-70s.

I for one get far more use out of the "Fall of Eagles" mini-series. Terrific casting and acting, focused and direct, and without any unnecessary pretensions. It includes several actors who had parts in N&A coincidentally.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: The Test Card Girl on March 12, 2015, 12:08:01 PM
Had they lived an average lifespan, OTMA could have conceivably been alive in the year this movie was released (1971). Interesting thought,
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: TimM on March 12, 2015, 05:06:20 PM
That's true.  In 1971 they could have still been alive.

Olga:  76
Tatiana:  74
Maria:  72
Anastasia:  70

And Alexei, assuming he survived, would have been 67.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: edubs31 on October 22, 2015, 12:55:27 PM
Quote
Hi,
Anyone notice any major historical mistakes in Nicholas and Alexandra? Aside from the Stolypin/ tercentenary scene?
Thanks,
Alexandra

Given that N&A the film was a highly modified version of N&A the book, and since N&A the book has numerous historical errors I think it's safe to say that the movie does as well.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Alexandra Romanov on October 22, 2015, 04:17:36 PM
I didn't notice that many errors in the book- which ones are you referring to?
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: edubs31 on October 22, 2015, 10:53:11 PM
I didn't notice that many errors in the book- which ones are you referring to?

Might be a little difficult for me to cite examples off the top. Although Massie's general portrayal of certain individuals was exaggerated (quite understandable given his lack of access to information in the late-60s). You should take a look at some of James Pratt's errata on that book and others.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Alexandra Romanov on October 24, 2015, 04:23:29 AM
I've never heard of that- what is that?
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Sanochka on October 25, 2015, 06:01:10 PM
I suspect that, if OTMAA were still alive in 1971, there would not have been a "Nicholas & Alexandra" published as we know it.   :)
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: edubs31 on October 26, 2015, 01:24:18 PM
I've never heard of that- what is that?

He's a member of this forum. Here is a link to the threat he created pointing out some errors and inconsistencies in the 'Final Chapter' and other books...you might want to direct any specific questions to him.

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=17781.0
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Jen_94 on October 30, 2015, 05:33:22 PM
Now that has really got me thinking, Sanochka....
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on February 10, 2016, 11:51:40 AM
What  did  Avdayev  look like?
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: Ceridwen on December 12, 2016, 07:10:44 PM
Yeah, they should have cast a younger actor to play Yurovsky.

Exactly. That is one of the things about the movie that really bothered me.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: CorisCapnSkip on October 26, 2017, 04:33:47 AM
TCM showed both Nicholas and Alexandra and Rasputin and the Empress (1932) Wednesday evening/Thursday morning for the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution so I finally got to see both all through.
Title: Re: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Post by: The Test Card Girl on December 14, 2019, 02:43:19 PM

Re: the cut "Tatiana flashing her boobs at a guard" scene.

For some reason, while Anastasia usually gets the focus, in most fiction where her sisters and brother are also featured, it's Tatiana that gets sexualised.