Passed | | Drama, History, Romance
A German noblewoman enters into a loveless marriage with the dim-witted, unstable heir to the Russian throne, then plots to oust him from power.
During production, when director Josef von Sternberg's perfectionist style of film making proved to be too overbearing for Marlene Dietrich, Dietrich and her friend and purported lover, Mercedes de Acosta, hatched a plot to convince the director to abandon his grueling directorial style. In a particularly-frosty period of production, when Dietrich and von Sternberg had not talked to one another off set for three days, de Acosta told Dietrich to fake an injury by falling off of a horse. Dietrich did as her friend asked, toppling from a horse during filming and pretending to be unconscious. De Acosta had supplied a "doctor" for the situation and the doctor rushed to Dietrich's side. The doctor claimed she had passed out from overwork. The incredibly-contrite von Sternberg took it easy on his starlet for the rest of the shoot, and their working relationship was repaired.
Archimandrite Simeon Todorsky:
Her Majesty is very ill, and her days are numbered. Soon, she will be no more, poor soul, and another maniac will become our emperor. It will be a bad day for Russia, and for me if I live that long.
Princess Sophia Frederica: Why are you telling this to me?
Archimandrite Simeon Todorsky: I suppose you know...
Catherine II is a woman of the 18th century, yet Dietrich depicts her with the depilated eyebrows and cupid-bow lips that were fashionable in 1934.