Nicholas and Alexandra

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Nicholas and Alexandra is a 1971 biographical film which tells the story of the last Russian monarch, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra.

The film was adapted by James Goldman from the book by Robert K. Massie. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.

It won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (John Box, Ernest Archer, Jack Maxsted, Gil Parrondo, Vernon Dixon) and Best Costume Design, and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Janet Suzman), Best Cinematography, Best Music, Original Dramatic Score and Best Picture.[1]

Contents

Plot

The story begins with the birth of the Tsarevich Alexei in the opulent surroundings of the Imperial Court. The Russo-Japanese War is on and Tsar Nicholas (Michael Jayston) is warned by Count Witte (Laurence Olivier) and Grand Duke Nicholas (Harry Andrews) that the war is futile and costing too many lives. They also tell him that the Russian people want a representative government, health care, voting and workers' rights, but Nicholas wants to maintain the traditional autocracy left to him by his forefathers. Meanwhile, underground political parties led by Vladimir Lenin (Michael Bryant), Joseph Stalin (James Hazeldine), and Leon Trotsky (Brian Cox) have formed.

Alexei is soon diagnosed with hemophilia. The Tsarina Alexandra (Janet Suzman) is frantic. A shy former German princess who is not highly thought of by the Russian royal court, she is isolated, but is befriended by Grigori Rasputin (Tom Baker), a Siberian peasant who describes himself as a religious pilgrim or holy man. He has become a curiosity with some people at court. Later Alexandra calls upon him to help her pray for Alexei, and comes to believe in his healing, life-saving abilities.

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