Author Topic: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)  (Read 252109 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LarissaAnn

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #240 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.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by LarissaAnn »
Head & heart - Those are a young girls holy secrets-Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna

Offline Caleb

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #241 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....

Alixz

  • Guest
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #242 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.


Offline Grace

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3126
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #243 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.


Alixz

  • Guest
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #244 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.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alixz »

Offline Grace

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3126
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #245 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!!!!!!

Offline Sarushka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6489
  • May I interest you in a grain of salt?
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #246 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.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by sarahelizabethii »
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline anna

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #247 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




« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by anna »
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Offline anna

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #248 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
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by anna »
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

lovy

  • Guest
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #249 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...

Offline Russian_Duchess_#5

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #250 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

Offline Joy0318

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #251 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.
A horse is a horse of course of  course
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is of course unless the horse
Is the famous Mr. Ed.

julia.montague

  • Guest
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #252 on: January 26, 2006, 09:18:04 AM »
I really like the "Dancing in the snow"-scene ;D

Offline sailor_of_standart

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 121
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #253 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.

Offline Joy0318

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #254 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.
A horse is a horse of course of  course
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is of course unless the horse
Is the famous Mr. Ed.