Author Topic: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)  (Read 257747 times)

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Offline TroubleTwin2

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #450 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.

Offline heavensent

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #451 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 ?



.

Offline TimM

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #452 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.
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Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #453 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

Offline TimM

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #454 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.
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Offline TroubleTwin2

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #455 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.

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #456 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.


Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #457 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

Offline TimM

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #458 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. 
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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #459 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.


Offline TroubleTwin2

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #460 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.

Offline TimM

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #461 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. 
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Offline NAOTMAA Fan

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #462 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.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:42:45 PM by NAOTMAA Fan »
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Offline TroubleTwin2

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #463 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!)

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Nicholas & Alexandra VHS & DVD
« Reply #464 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.  

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