One comment on “Nicholas and Alexandra

  1. You have hit on my choice for Best Picture of 1971. I guess your review is fair but it leaves me wondering if you know anything about the book…the novel, written by the Massies was inspired by their own son’s hemophilia and the impact of hemophilia on the course of history in this, the world’s most famous case. The book was even mentioned in the Vice-Presidential debates by Dan Quayle who said that the message of the book was “how bad communism is”, which also totally misses the point. As far as the historical accuracy of “Nicholas and Alexandra”, the book and the movie inspired an incredible interest on my part in the history of the period (to the point of naming my dog matushka after Alexandra). From what I have read (also from specials on the History channel and NatGeo), the historical accuracy is quite remarkable. The story of Rasputin and the final night also seems to be fairly well-documented as are reports of his unexplained “powers”. The important point of the book and film is to show the outcome of a chance event in one family and on one child on the history of the world. This unique unpredictable disease made the royal family vulnerable, caused them to be distracted and distant from their duties. Without the Tsarovich’s hemophilia, there would have been no Gregory Rasputin, no reason for him to exercize control over the royal family, less reason for the opposition to rally against them…maybe no collapse of the Czar, and maybe no Bolshevik Revolution. Bearing in mind that that the film is a remarkable adaptation of the novel and that the novel is a look at history through a particular prism, I view this as a stunning achievement with some outstanding performances: Tom Baker, nominated for a Golden Globe, deserved the Oscar for his portrayal of Rasputin; Vivian Pickles wowed as the mom in “Harold and Maude” and Lenin’s wife in this film–all in the same year. An amazing and moving picture based on a powerful historical novel…Check out the book! it will explain alot and impress the film viewer.

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