The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934)

Not Rated   |    |  Biography, Drama

The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934) Poster

Straightforward biography of the Russian Empress, up to her assumption of the throne.


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9 November 2010 | mjneu59
| the other Scarlet Empress movie of 1934
Yet more intrigue from the court of imperial Russia, which (at least according to movie history) must have functioned entirely on plots, counter-plots, rumors, gossip and scandal. Produced in England by the celebrated Alexander Korda, this handsome spectacle stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (less dynamic but a better actor than his father) as the petulant heir to the royal throne who marries the petite German princess Catherine more or less against his will. Favored by the Queen Mother and beloved by her subjects, the sensible and modest Catherine has only one flaw in her character: an unquenchable love for her power-mad, playboy husband. Their bittersweet love/hate rivalry must have seemed quite sophisticated to a 1934 audience, and seen today the film still possesses a freshness rarely seen in early sound productions, thanks in large part to a quality script and some lively, natural performances.

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