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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious and Intelligent Filmmaking
I first saw this film on its first television broadcast, which I seem to recall as being on new years' day 1978: although only ten years old, I was captivated by the story, which was new to me, never having studied any Russian history at school. Coming back to it now, it seems even more impressive, if anything. Franklin J. Schaffner remains a seriously underrated...
Published on 12 Feb 2011 by Wakefield, 2011

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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant movie, but a seriously dodgy DVD - get the video!
I'd just like that this movie is excellent, the acting is perfect, the storyline really compelling, the soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful and the director ought to have won an oscar - the film really evokes a feeling of 'Mother Russia', and it brings out the full drama and turbulence of the Russian Revolution. It's such a unique, beautiful film - many of the scenes will...
Published on 19 May 2006 by Stew Carr


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious and Intelligent Filmmaking, 12 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I first saw this film on its first television broadcast, which I seem to recall as being on new years' day 1978: although only ten years old, I was captivated by the story, which was new to me, never having studied any Russian history at school. Coming back to it now, it seems even more impressive, if anything. Franklin J. Schaffner remains a seriously underrated director, one of a select few whom, as screenwriter William Goldman observed, could convey a story of epic dimensions on film. Yet Schaffner never loses sight of the intimate love story at the centre of his sweeping historical saga: the portrayal of N & A may be overly favourable to some (a criticism often made of Robert Massie's source book) but, by the end of the film, we can hardly fail to sympathise with a family destroyed by historical events over which they can have had no control. Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman are superb in the central roles.

The Menshevik/Bolshevik opposition is inevitably given less space and Lenin and Kerensky (the latter surely deserving a film of his own) emerge only sketchily, despite the fine performances of Michael Bryant and John McEnery. There is some truly EXCELLENT dialogue, which is obviously the work of playwright Edward Bond (credited as supplying 'additional dialogue', but his style is so distinctive, it could hardly be anyone else). Listen to Witte's moving lament when the Tsar decides to go to war: heartbreaking and prophetic.

Tom Baker's performance in this film gets a lot of attention: I find it very hard to dissociate him from his Doctor Who role (not his fault, of course) and though he conveys well Rasputin's offbeat charisma, he's less successful at portraying his menacing side. Just my opinion!

The transfer of this film looks generally good, but could have been better and I do wish the soundtrack (with Richard Rodney Bennett's wonderful score) was in stereo. Compare this to the care lavished on the DVD of David Lean's Doctor Zhivago (made five years earlier) and this comes up short: a 'Making Of...' documentary would have been nice, too.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant movie of the downfall of the last Tsar., 2 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This movie is absolutely brilliant with some fine acting by Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman as the last Tsar and Tsarina of Imperial Russia. Tom Baker is also very good as the mad monk Rasputin. The editing isn`t very great and sometimes it is quite hard to follow the plot of the movie. Some points of the movie are not very historically accurate but they do try and cram the last 25 years or so of the Tsar`s life into 160 minutes. Altogether a very good movie as an introduction to the lifes of the Romanov`s and the downfall of the Imperial Family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at Czarist Russia during the Revolution..., 19 Dec 2014
This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beakerThe perfect companion for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKER

While this is indeed a long film, it's worth the time spent if you enjoy historical epics. The writing, direction and acting all come together very nicely in creating the peculiar dichotomy of Nicholas II as doting father, dominated husband, and apparently well-meaning but ultimately naive and incompetent absolute ruler. I'd be curious to know just how true a portrayal of Nicholas as monarch this was.

Was he really a paternalistic czar who simply didn't understand that the world was changing around him in ways he couldn't come to terms with? Or was he really as brutal a tyrant as most of his forebears were? Whatever the truth was, in this film you can't help but feel sorry for him as he makes one bad decision after another that inevitably send him down the road to insurrection and abdication, and he and his family into imprisonment and doom. Michael Jayston certainly looks the part, and he's no slouch in the acting department here.

Janet Suzman does a wonderful job as the czarina Alexandra. If it was possible for anyone to be even more detached from reality than Nicholas, she certainly makes Alexandra come across that way. In fact, it's hard to feel as sympathetic for her as one does for Nicholas; the way Suzman plays her, it's no wonder the Russian people disliked her so much.

Tom Baker is utterly believable as Rasputin, especially with those great staring eyes of his, and Laurence Olivier gives an excellent turn as the prescient prime minister Count Witte. The scene where he is vainly trying to persuade Nicholas not to call for the general mobilization and to avoid going to war against Germany and Austria is truly sad to behold. The actors playing Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and Markov all present the Bolsheviks as the most implacable of enemies.

One last character that I thought was particularly well-played was that of the tsarevich, Alexis. I don't recall ever seeing the young man who played him in anything else, but he does a very fine job here. He alternately comes across as tragic, sickly, and wan, completely out of step with the rest of his vivacious siblings, or as possessing a bitter, vengeful, and imperious spirit out of proportion with his age. I thought one of the most chilling scenes was the one where Nicholas is talking with him after Alexis has attempted suicide, in which Alexis is angry with his father for abdicating on his behalf. I certainly came away from it imagining what the consequences to Russia would have been if Alexis had ever successfully come to the throne
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant movie, but a seriously dodgy DVD - get the video!, 19 May 2006
This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I'd just like that this movie is excellent, the acting is perfect, the storyline really compelling, the soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful and the director ought to have won an oscar - the film really evokes a feeling of 'Mother Russia', and it brings out the full drama and turbulence of the Russian Revolution. It's such a unique, beautiful film - many of the scenes will stay with you long after you have seen the film and it's one of my favourites.

The problem is not the movie, it's this DVD. Am I right in thinking this DVD used different takes than the original film? It seemed to use takes which weren't as top-notch as the original movie, it incorporated some 'extra scenes' of err... circumspect quality (there was a good reason they were left out!) into the main feature, and as a whole, the film looked sloppy and messy with bad editing - it just didn't go together like the original film.

To add to this, the sound on this DVD is really bad, it was either extremely loud or extremely quiet, and I kept having to mess about with the volume every 2 seconds.

All in all, this is a really good film and it's just a shame that the DVD doesn't do full justice to it. If you want to see 'Nicholas and Alexandra' in it's original form (the way it's meant to be!) get the video. Only watch this if you absolutely MUST see the extra scenes (which are fairly pointless).

And there were no extras in this either...how cheap is that!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True British Acting talent at its very best, 16 April 2009
By 
C. L. Greenway (Warwickshire,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Watched this film one Sunday afternoon and I didn't want it to end, a tragic tale of the last Tsar of Russia, told in true British style. Winner of Two Academy Awards, with a superb cast of Britains finest actors its a film everyone should get a chance to watch.
It relives a piece of history that should never be forgotten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NICHOLAS & ALEXANDRZ, 17 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
An excellent film. I had just finished reading the book of the same name which was produced from historical research and had found it very interesting. So I wasn't sure the DVD would live up to the facts written in the book. I needn't have worried, the film was very much true to the facts and fantastically acted. 100% recommended viewing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my top 20 films of all time, 29 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
A majestic piece of cinema that uses a great script well directed cast and an important time in our history to tel this tale. There is suspense, intrigue, grandeur, momentum and style in equal measures and this recording is technically sound which is always a gamble when digitalising older films for DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good..., 15 Oct 2012
This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
..thought this would be a cheesey soapy nonsense about royalty but it works as historical drama, the acting is great - dramatic licence a given of course. It stays fairly close to the course of events for a film of its time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grand Tale on an Epic Scale, 23 May 2012
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I was six when this film first came out. I'm not sure if I saw it at the cinema or on the TV a few years later, but it lodged a memory in my head and probably introduced to me for the first time - and in vivid form - a love of Russian history. So it was good to revisit the film on DVD.

`Nicholas and Alexandra' came after the sweeping epic of David Lean's Dr Zhivago (1965). It was a time when the giant tales of history were popular at the box office, whether it was Caesar and Cleopatra or Becket and Henry II, but Russian history, more than any other (apart perhaps from Chinese), seems to naturally demand a grand stage for its tales, a stage as metaphorically large as the country itself.

This 180-minute film from 1971 allows for plenty of detail. (There is a three-minute intermission as the troops march off to war in 1914.) Presented in widescreen, and based on the book by Robert Massie, it tells the story of the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia from the time of the birth of their son Alexei in 1904. It ends with their deaths in 1918, the last hour of the film following the Tsar's abdication.

Its historical veracity - at least in outline - is made manifest by only a short list of inaccuracies posted on the Internet Movie Database website. Ultimately it takes no sides: whilst showing Nicholas's humanity, it also makes plain his arrogant disdain for the condition of his people.

The film comes with high production values and is beautifully shot on a grand scale. I was never bored watching this film. Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman are excellent in the main roles and are very natural in their intimacy. There is a fine supporting cast, including Tom Baker as Rasputin. There are many names down the cast list that would later find greater fame, such as, Brian Cox, Ian Holm, Diana Quick, Timothy West, and John Wood.

For sure it's not all royal pomp. After all, the film is half-concerned with the intimate family relations of the Romanovs. We see also the seamier side of early-twentieth-century Russian economic life, but these are, alas, token scenes to explain the origins of the revolution and are thus a little contrived and idealised. But if I had to change one thing it would be to cut before the final shots are fired: I think this would have had more of an impact.

The disc, alas, comes with no extras. It would have been nice to have known where many of the scenes were shot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicolas and Alexandra, 28 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film is beautifully crafted and provides an insight into life at the Tsar's court . The settings are magnificent and contrast starkly with the revolution. The acting is superb particularly Rasputin and the film ends with the murder of the Tsar and his family .There may be some artisitc licence on the history but it is nevertheless an excellent film
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Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002]
Nicholas And Alexandra [DVD] [2002] by Franklin J. Schaffner (DVD - 2002)
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