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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 31 October 2015
This region Free Blu Ray is absolutely amazing. Just by sheer chance did I stumble across this Spanish release of "Nicholas And Alexandra" whilst looking to purchase the American Twilight Time release of the movie.....which Amazon did not stock.....and originally rejected it. Its a Spanish release right - WRONG. Whilst the box cover is in Spanish (as is the disc menus) THE ACTUAL MOVIE HAS ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND ALL THE CAPTION/CREDITS ETC ARE IN WRITTEN ENGLISH! Also the standard of picture and sound quality I would rate 4.5 out of 5. Beautiful deep rich colours that shine - Blacks are dense without crush, reds are vibrant and flesh tones look totally normal. The resoloution is at once very noticeably higher from the standard DVD and detail excellent and there is hardly an ounce of grain to be seen so the picture has a wonderful filmic visual content - especially visible on the lavish oscar winning costumes and sets. The sound is DTS HD MASTER and although only mono, automatically clicked into a psuado mono surround mode on my THX amp.

The story of the doomed reign and downfall of the Romanov dynasty is beautifully acted by Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman with strong support from Tom Baker as Rasputin, Lynne Frederick and Fiona Fullerton will be recogised as two of the Tsar's 4 daughters whilst a host of other great acting talents will be spotted throughout. Presented in a full 2:35:1 Cinemascope ratio you will be captivated for the entire 3 hour running time.

I did find the Region free English Twighlight Time release on ebay for £26. This Spanish release (probably identical) cost just £10 - cheaper than a UK blu ray! I have since purchases Spanish Blu Rays of "The Fearless Vampire Killers" and "Anne of The 1000 Days" (NOT AVAILABLE ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD IT WOULD SEEM) and also "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" which according to the box cover on the Amazon page purports to be in a 16:9 widescreen ratio with 2 channel Dolby sound (which is hopefully a step up from the 4:3 matted Cinemascope presentation released in UK with single channel and horrendous sound)

But I digress - the moral of the tale here is.....If you find what you are looking for in Blu Ray as a Spanish release DONT DISCOUNT it as chances are you will be thrilled with your purchase
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on 12 February 2011
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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on 2 October 2000
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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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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on 19 May 2006
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 cheap is that!
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on 25 May 2015
What and absolutely stunning and brilliantly acted film. Almost took you back to pre-soviet Russia with Nicholas as the Tsar and Queen Victoria's granddaughter Alexandra as his wife.
Each part is played to perfection from Michael Jayston as Nicholas and Harry Andrews as head of the army.
Some of the scenes are so stunning and realistic that you can almost feel the cold from the Siberian weather where they are sent to be killed.
The children do not figure much in the movie except Alexei (the Tsarevitch) who is an haemophiliac and of course this brings the royal family into contact with Rasputin (Tom Baker) played with wide-eyed excellence by the way.
I am fascinated by history and cannot read or see enough of it and this made my night's watching really pleasurable.
Add to that there is even an intermission on the DVD for that cup of tea but the film does not drag or even linger on any subject.

Bear this one thing in mind when the Bolsheviks killed this group of people THEY HAD KILLED THE ROYAL FAMILY!!!
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on 16 April 2009
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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on 17 August 2014
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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on 31 March 2016
This Blu-ray is a Spanish (Region B) release so will play on all UK Blu-ray players. Whilst the case is in Spanish language, understandably given it is produced for the Spanish market, the film itself has the original English language print and soundtrack. As the film has yet to receive a UK Blu-ray release this is an ideal way to add this to your collection. The picture quality is very good and an obvious step-up in quality from the UK DVD. If you like the film then at this price I would say this is a bargain. The Blu-ray arrived in 3 days from Spain too so I have since bought additional Blu-rays from this firm through the Amazon marketplace. Excellent service.
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on 22 March 2016
This is a very good and lengthy film about the end of the Tzars that gives you a clear idea of how the whole system dramatically unravelled as if almost by accident, but mostly because of mistaken decisions, hesitations etc by the Tzar Nicholas, who did not seem to realise the rapidity or gravity of events unfolding in Russia - all this leading to their families shocking execution at the end, this in itself seemingly the result of bureaucratic confusion.
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