7.2/10
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10 user 11 critic

Rasputin (1981)

Agoniya (original title)
Details the life of the Russian monk Rasputin. The film shows his rise to power and how it corrupted him. His sexual perversions and madness ultimatly leads to his gruesome assasination.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Anatoliy Romashin ...
Nicholas II
Velta Line ...
Aleksandra Fyodorovna
...
Vyrubova
Aleksandr Romantsov ...
Yusupov (as A. Romantsov)
Yuriy Katin-Yartsev ...
Purishkevich
...
Manasevich-Manuilov
Pavel Pankov ...
Manus
Mikhail Danilov ...
Andronnikov
...
Terekhov
Nelli Pshyonnaya ...
Baroness
...
Vospitatel cesarevitcha
Lyudmila Polyakova ...
Paraskeva
Olga Grigoreva ...
Yurodivaya
...
Balashov
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Storyline

Russia, 1916. Be it by craft or madness, Rasputin exercises power over the indecisive Nicholas, and the religious Czarina worships the Siberian as God. He manipulates the Czar in his relations with the Duma and influences the choice of a new premier. Rasputin assaults a baroness; her husband is jailed for defending her, and she must offer sexual favors to Rasputin to save her husband. The Czar finally orders Rasputin from St. Petersburg, but somehow he enters the palace and, in a disheveled trance, convinces the Czar to make a disastrous change in war strategy. A cadre of nobles take matters into their own hands and arrange a last dinner party for the interloping monk. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Monk.Heretic.Messiah.Madman.


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agony: The Life and Death of Rasputin  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Sovcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The Tsar's son is clearly visible in the closing scene depicting Rasputin's funeral. According to numerous eyewitness accounts though, the Heir to the Throne was absent from the ceremony. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Elem Klimov's Rasputin
11 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

This Russian language film serves as a triumph in film acting,

with Alexei Petrenko not just playing the mad monk, but channeling

and becoming him.

The prologue provides background about this mysterious man

who came from Siberia. He attempted to heal the Czar's

hemophiliac son, and wedged himself into the royal family,

eventually given unlimited access to decision making. He claimed

to have visions, and advised the royals as to their next moves. All

of this was happening during World War I, and on the eve of the

Russian revolution.

Eventually, the Czar's enemies decide to kill Rasputin, and in one

of the most absurd murders ever put on film, they find poison does

not work.

Alexei Petrenko is excellent as Rasputin. He has straggly hair, a

patchy long beard, and the same piercing stare that apparently

wooed the ladies of the time. Rasputin sinned and sinned and

sinned, all in the name of purging his own demons at the request

of God. He was truly insane, and Petrenko brings that out right

away. We do not see a gradual slide into mental illness, Rasputin

was this way right off the bat. Too bad, the royal family was blinded

by faith and not reason.

The conspiracy to kill Rasputin is a little confused, as we see a

group of men plan and execute, but it is never clear who is who.

The Czar himself is doubtful of Rasputin's divine advice, but

follows his orders anyway, resulting in a bloodbath of his troops at

the hands of the Germans. The czar's behavior here is muddled,

and the film makers do not clear it up.

The direction, by Klimov, is wonderful. He shows Rasputin's own

madness, as scenes shift from color to black and white, then back

again. A terrifying scene involves Rasputin's ambush by the

Orthodox Church, who trap him with the singing voice of a pretty

girl. Perfect scene.

Again, Petrenko is perfection. This is subtitled, but nothing is lost

in the translation. Petrenko becomes Rasputin without resorting to

theatrical tricks and showy, calling attention to one's self acting. He

was not looking for film awards, he was looking to bring one of

history's most infamous men to life, briefly.

The video version I saw runs 107 minutes, but IMDB has listings

for the film at over two and a half hours. If anything, more story and

Petrenko would be enlightening, but I am completely happy with

this version for now. I highly recommend the Russian version of

"Rasputin."

This is not rated, but contains physical violence, gun violence,

some gore, some profanity, female nudity, sexual references, and

some adult situations.


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