Rasputin (1938)

  |  Biography, Drama, History


Rasputin (1938) Poster

Story of the Siberian monk Gregory Rasputin and the hold he exerted over the court of the last Russian czar, Nicholas.


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21 February 2010 | dbdumonteil
7
| Twilight of the Romanov
So count Igor Hourloff killed Raspoutin;that's what we are told in Lherbier's movie but all that concerns the assassin is false .Maybe the script writers were afraid the true killer might sue them -he had done it before ,reportedly,in Hollywood-.

Prince Felix Iusupov was part of the imperial family but was much smarter than Igor in the movie;never he showed contempt or hatred :he made friends with the monk,won his trust.The scene of the murder is depicted like in the other versions ;we even see the murders throw the body in the frozen river -it was reportedly said that Rasputin did not die from his wounds but got drowned -.Pierre Richard Wilm overacts and gives an unconvincing performance as "Igor";Harry Baur is ideally cast as Rasputin but he would be upstaged by Pierre Brasseur in Georges Combret's "Rasputin" (in a version inferior to Lherbier's though).

We are spared Rasputin's orgies-replaced by the monk's sermons in which he urges the crowds to take advantage of life ,"Carpe Diem" so to speak- but the scenes with the hemophiliac tsarevich are excellent:using bedtime stories why not?The Russian people 's hatred for the empress ("the alien") is not passed over in silence and can be compared to that of Marie-Antoinette in France .

Except from the part of the assassin,this is one of Lherbier's best talkies in an era "Russian" stories abounded in France .Very well directed (the last scenes look like a thriller),it stands the test of time quite well....

Like this ? try these.....

"J'ai Tué Raspoutine" (Robert Hossein,1967):the more historically accurate version since based on the assassin's recollections;the movie begins with an interview with Iusupov and his wife) "Raspoutine" (George Combret)Pierre Brasseur's portrayal of Rasputin is worth the price of admission,even if the movie is rather undistinguished .

"Rasputin the mad monk " (Don Sharp,1965,after he made "the face of Fu-Manchu"!!): unreliable,but entertaining.

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Biography | Drama | History

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