The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934) Movie Script

- Well, what do you want?
- Nothing.
Then what are you doing here?
Just came to say good-bye.
Well, that's easy. Good-bye.
And to wish you
a very happy marriage.
- I'm not getting married.
- I'm afraid you are.
The lady has already arrived.
And Ogarev is here to fetch you.
To the devil with you!
And Ogarev!
And the empress with you!
What am I, a child
to be fetched and married...
and ordered about
by a parcel of women?
Heir to the throne.
Heir to a baby's rattle
and a box of toys!
Get out! Out of here, all of you!
Go on! Get out!
All of you, out of here!
Didn't you hear me, Orlov?
- You need one friend.
- Friend!
I-I'm sorry, Grigory.
Well, i-it's these women.
The empress treating me
like a half-witted child.
Sending to fetch me home
to marry some... some girl...
Since you must marry
some time or other...
wouldn't it be wiser
to face it and get it over?
But I loathe
the whole idea of marriage.
Watched on. Spied on!
Peter, you must learn to control yourself.
I'm always telling you.
Remember that one day
you will rule Russia.
Does it take such a fine character
to rule Russia?
Look at my aunt, the empress.
If she weren't on the throne
she'd be on the streets.
Russia knows it
and Russia loves it.
To the most shameless rake
that ever wore a petticoat...
empress of all the Russias.
Her Imperial Majesty...
Empress of all the Russias!
That's all right, ladies.
So you've been trying to upset
my plans again, Bestujhev.
I've brought this girl
all the way from Germany...
and the marriage will take place
whether you like it or not.
- But when I think Your Majesty is wrong...
- Shut up!
You've no business to think I'm wrong.
I'm not wrong!
Shut up, I tell you!
That's enough!
Get out!
Bestujhev! Bestujhev!
- If you could see yourself!
- I wish to resign Your Majesty's service.
They will be married in three months.
The girl has to change
her religion, of course...
and she must have a new name.
Let's see. Alexandra.
- Alexandra?
- Why not Alexandra?
Such a great name
for a slip of a girl.
Call her Alexandra, if you like.
I prefer Catherine.
All right.
You see how reasonable I am?
Let the little one
be called Catherine.
Couldn't we stop for a moment?
The empress and the grand duke
are waiting for us.
Yes, I know, but Russia
just takes my breath away.
The country's so vast...
the corridors in the palace
are so endless.
I have the feeling we lived
in a hut in Germany.
We lived at the castle in Stettin,
Lieutenant Orlov.
Pull yourself together, please.
And don't forget the deep curtsy
before the empress.
She might then give you her hand to kiss,
or she might embrace and kiss you.
Kiss me?
But how shall I know
which is the grand duke?
- He will stand at the empress's right.
- Yes.
- Is he as tall as you?
- Taller, Your Highness.
- Shall I just shake hands with him?
- He might kiss your hand.
- Let him kiss your hand.
- Yes.
Don't ask any more questions.
Now, hold yourself up.
Shoulders back. Look at me.
Why aren't you in full dress?
To meet a couple
of country cousins?
To meet the girl
you're going to marry.
- But I'm not.
- The throne must have an heir.
- The throne has an heir.
- Yes, but you won't live forever.
And if you don't marry
and have a son, I must.
Please do.
Which of your lovers do you propose
to make an honest man?
Hold your tongue
and do as you're told!
- I won't.
- You will marry the Princess Anhalt-Zerbst!
- I'm off!
- You'll stay where you are!
I won't marry her, and you can do
whatever you like about it!
- Peter! Peter!
- Your heart. Your Majesty!
Quick, the doctor!
Bring some vinegar.
- What is it?
- I think I'd better inquire, madam.
- What happened?
- The empress fainted.
- The grand duke doesn't want to marry the girl.
- A family scandal.
He doesn't want her.
Her Majesty has fainted, and His Highness
has retired to his apartment.
I'll, uh... I'll try to find out
what has happened.
Excuse me.
It's all over.
We can pack our bags.
- Why?
- The grand duke doesn't want you.
- Why?
- I don't know.
Perhaps you're not
good-looking enough.
But, Mother,
he's not even seen me.
Go to the grand duke...
and tell him he either marries
the Princess Anhalt-Zerbst at once...
or he thinks it over in a fortress.
In six months time
I will ask him again.
I'll see the empress.
This marriage is her idea.
- She must bring this young man to reason.
- Oh, no, Mother.
You won't do that.
You can't force him to marry me.
Oh, no. Please, let's go home.
Let's go home immediately, I beg of you.
- I'll see the empress.
- Mother. Mother, please!
I won't stay, Mother.
Offiicer! Offiicer!
Please show me the way out.
- Out where?
- Out! Out of the palace.
Out of the town.
Out of the whole barbarian country.
- Why? What's happened?
- He insulted me!
- Who?
- The Grand Duke Peter.
- Oh, that fellow.
- You know him?
- Oh, yes, I know him.
- Oh, then perhaps you know
why he refuses to marry me?
Why he refuses even to see me?
Well, perhaps they suggested
some other German princesses to him.
Maybe he prefers one of them.
- Which one?
- Well, there's the Mecklenburg princess.
- Oh, that's impossible.
- Why?
Because she has a cavalry mustache
and rabbit's teeth.
Well, then there's the, uh...
there's the Oldenburg princess.
Which one? Which one?
There are four! Four old maids!
I know them all, and I tell you...
I am far the best
and far the prettiest too.
And the most ambitious as well.
So you want to be empress.
- So you want to govern Russia?
- Nonsense!
I don't care about
becoming an empress.
I don't care about governing Russia.
I only care for the grand duke.
Why should you care about the grand duke?
You don't even know him.
Why? I've been told about him
ever since I was born.
Since I was 1 0, I've always been told
I was to be his wife.
I've thought about him.
I've dreamed about him.
Now I love him,
and now he refuses me.
If all you've lost is the grand duke...
I should call it a lucky escape.
- Are you his friend?
- I?
- His worst enemy.
- What have you got against him?
He's a bad friend, a dangerous enemy.
He's cruel, suspicious, disloyal, vain.
He mistrusts everyone...
including himself.
In a word,
the man's not a gentleman.
How dare you say such a thing
about His Highness.
I think you forget who I am.
I am the princess of Anhalt-Zerbst.
Oh, Your Highness.
Kindly show me
the way out immediately.
Oh, but didn't I come from here?
This is quite right, Your Highness.
Nothing but stairs and corridors
and more stairs.
Oh, but...
are you sure that's the way out?
Oh, yes, Your Highness.
It's the best way out for both of us.
Oh, don't cry. We'll find her
some husband or other.
What's the meaning of this?
Aunt Elisabeth, what was the date
you fixed for our wedding?
Oh, Peter!
This is the happiest day of my life,
and you bring me these rags!
Oh! French genius!
Paris makes me mad!
They've become idiots
in these last few years.
- How many dresses have I got?
- 5,000, Your Majesty.
All of them magnificent.
- Magnificent?
- What more can Paris do?
Invent a dress...
that makes a woman
look 20 years younger.
Don't look at me
with that sour face, Bestujhev!
But why don't you say something gay?
Whatever I say in these last few weeks
seems to annoy Your Majesty.
Oh? Go to the church
and wait for me, Bestujhev.
I'll send him to Siberia.
How is that, Shuvalov?
Your Majesty looks like the bride.
No, Shuvalov.
But I feel like the bride.
Who said this frock was bad?
Oh, it's charming, charming, madame.
I think this needs to be
a little shorter.
Yes, Your Majesty.
A bit longer on the side there.
How do I look?
- Perfection, Your Highness.
- Good.
Congratulations to both of you.
Comment? Both?
Hmm. Yourself and the princess.
She hooked me and landed me, and you're
dishing me up with all the trimmings.
If I may say so, Your Highness
has found a very clever wife.
She caught me quite by accident.
As a matter of fact,
she didn't know me from Adam.
- Perhaps she had a whisper from Eve?
- Meaning what?
Oh, as Your Highness knows,
women have a je ne sais quoi...
an instinct.
Did she though?
- Did she know all the time?
- Oh, mon Dieu, Your Highness!
- Such an idea never entered my head.
- No. But it entered hers!
What was it she said?
"I... I don't care about governing Russia.
All I care about is the grand duke."
Dirty little cheat.
- And you think that's clever, do you?
- No, no, no.
Yes, you do! You just said so!
I'll show you if it's clever or not.
I'll teach her to trap me.
- What will the grand duke wear?
- The uniform of his regiment.
Oh, he'll look wonderful.
So strong and slender.
I will look so little at his side.
Oh, can't you do something
to make me look a little taller?
- Perhaps this will help.
- Oh, yes, the shoes.
Of course
you can't change my face.
No dignity.
Well met.
- I've just been thinking about you.
- You fiatter me.
What are you doing here?
I just wanted to see you
happily married.
- I hear she's very clever.
- Oh, yes, very clever.
- When can I see you alone?
- What would you do if I said tonight?
I'd say 1 2:00 at the hunting lodge.
You wouldn't dare.
Her Highness,
the Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst.
See you at 12:00.
Her Imperial Majesty, Elisabeth,
Empress of all the Russias.
Do you take this woman
to be your lawful wedded wife?
Yes, I do.
Do you take this man to be
your lawful wedded husband?
Yes, I do.
Until death us do part.
Until death us do part.
Until death us do part.
Until death us do part.
Tell Sergi to have the sleigh in the courtyard
in about... hmm... 20 minutes, will you?
- Tonight, Your Highness?
- Tonight.
At what time may I expect
Your Highness to return?
Tomorrow probably.
I'm taking you with me.
But this is your wedding night,
Your Highness.
For a Frenchman, you have some
very old-fashioned ideas, Lecocq.
Were you ever married?
Not officially, Your Highness,
but I have, uh... I have dabbled in it.
Dabbled in it.
You order the sleigh.
I am sorry.
Her Majesty cannot see you tonight.
She has affairs to talk over
with her new aide-de-camp.
- Shuvalov?
- Shuvalov.
It's always a mistake for a woman...
to tell a man that she loves him.
That depends on the man.
Wouldn't any man
take advantage of it?
I shouldn't.
Wouldn't you?
What is it, Katushienka?
- What's wrong with you tonight?
- With me, nothing.
But Her Highness, she...
she's crying her eyes out all alone.
Do you mean to say he's left her?
He hasn't been with her.
The hunting lodge, I think.
But she... she's crying her eyes out
so that it hurts to listen.
The swine!
Fool! Beast!
Catherine, my poor darling.
What's happened?
What has he done to you?
Where is he?
Oh, I've never heard of such a thing!
How dare he do
a thing like that to me?
- To you?
- I'm responsible for you.
I won't tolerate your being treated like this
just because you're young and helpless.
But that's just the way
men do treat women.
They're devils if they think
they can get away with it!
But Peter can't, and so he'll find out if I have
to drag him back by the scruff of his neck!
Oh, no, no, no, no, no.
There's only one way for a poor,
defenseless woman to treat her husband...
and that's to get the upper hand of him
in the first five minutes and to rule him.
I don't want to rule him.
And if he doesn't love me,
we can live together as friends.
Friends? Never.
Without love,
marriage is simply immoral.
The whole aim and sense of it
is to have a man here, under your thumb.
Oh, Lord!
If we could only live without men.
But we can't live without them,
the rascals...
and how difficult it is
to live with them.
Especially with yours.
He's unstable, moody, dangerous and bad.
Well, it's easy to love the good ones.
Everybody loves them.
But one must love the others
because they need our love.
Don't you see he needs it?
Oh! You love him.
Yes. I do.
That's entirely different.
It's a terribly difficult case.
Nobody can help you.
Nobody can advise you.
Then you'll have to help yourself,
my little Catherine.
Right turn!
Order arms!
Royal salute!
Present arms!
What's the show?
of the Battle of Poltava.
Full dress parade of the officers
for your wife's inspection.
Full dress parade of my wife's lovers...
for my inspection!
That's what it was done for.
Aren't you proud of them, Colonel?
Perhaps, on the whole.
Not quite the stuff we were made of
in my young day.
Oh, but you can't expect that.
Your record goes back
to the Battle of Poltava...
where you were the first man
through the Swedish line...
and got that...
and that...
and that.
- How do you know all this?
- This is my regiment, Colonel.
I invite you to come in and drink
the regimental toast with me.
Parade dismiss!
Thank you.
I'll put a stop
to that little mountebank!
Gentlemen, the toast is...
to the most glorious regiment
in the world.
Your regiment, my regiment...
the Ismailovsky regiment coupled
with the name of Colonel Karnilov.
- Colonel Karnilov!
- The regiment!
Now, gentlemen, whose turn is it
to be my aide-de-camp this month?
- My turn.
- Oh, now, no, no.
Not you, Narishkin. You are far too busy
with your military pursuits.
- Pursuits, Your Highness?
- Yes.
The pursuit of the girl
in the fiower shop, for instance.
Teaching her the use of arms,
I suppose...
and practicing falling in.
Oh, Peter!
What a charming surprise.
- Won't you join us?
- I want to talk to you.
Very well.
I shall be free about 4:00.
You're coming now.
When I've said good-bye
to my guests.
Good-bye, gentlemen.
I'm sorry to leave you.
Good-bye, Kossinsky.
Good-bye, gentlemen.
Good-bye, Narishkin.
Oh, Borodin! You are taking me to
the opera tonight. Please don't forget.
Good-bye, gentlemen.
- You are hurting me!
- Aren't you ashamed of yourself?
- Why?
- Your behavior. It's a scandal!
I don't know
what you are talking about.
- About your lovers.
- Oh, my lovers!
Yes, your lovers. You must have had
half a dozen in one regiment.
- Half a dozen?
- Well, I dare say a dozen.
Oh, to be exact, 17.
- Seventeen?
- Yes.
What's this?
You gave this woman a regiment.
Do you know what she does with it?
She's just fiung it in my face
that she's had 1 7 lovers in two years!
- Seventy?
- No, 17.
But I don't know what it's all about.
Haven't I complied with his wishes?
Haven't I lived for two years
apart from him...
quietly, discreetly?
I don't know why he makes
such a terrible fuss now.
There's a limit to shamelessness,
even at this court!
I demand that you send her back
where she came from.
- You demand?
- Well, if you don't, I'll take the law
into my own hands.
That will do, Peter.
Wait here for my decision.
How many did you say?
Are you sure? Not 18 or 19?
No. Seventeen.
Who was the first?
I can't remember now.
But you remember the last.
Yes. Narishkin.
No. I mean Alexei Borodin.
Come here.
Sit down.
Tell a man
as many lies as you like...
but never try to lie to a woman
in matters of love.
You haven't had one lover yet,
Miss Catherine.
But you've got nothing to be ashamed of.
The method was right.
Every beast of a man
begins to want you...
when he thinks you belong to
some other beast of a man.
But you've overdone it. It isn't easy
for any man to overlook 1 7 lovers.
Well, my devourer oflovers.
And all that because you're still in love
with that crazy husband of yours.
But why?
- Maybe you'll succeed.
- I shall.
Didn't you see how furious he was?
He's jealous.
That's good.
But it's not enough.
You can't live with
17 imaginary lovers.
What you need is one real one.
We'll soon settle this. Come.
- You want to divorce your wife?
- I do.
Right. And you want to
divorce your husband?
- Yes, I do.
- Right.
We'll choose another wife for you...
the Mecklenburg girl or the Oldenburg woman.
- Right?
- Right.
- And you will go back to your mother, right?
- Right.
I'll settle the matter as soon as possible.
In the meantime, no scandal.
You will both behave
as if nothing had happened.
You'll hear my further decisions later.
Thank you.
- Shall we go?
- Right.
You know, I'm beginning to like you
now that I don't have to.
I always felt you could be very charming
if one weren't married to you.
- Good-bye.
- Good-bye.
Oh, um, your rooms...
Y-You find them nice and comfortable?
Yes, my rooms are charming.
Have a good time.
- Good time?
- Yes.
I saw your carriage waiting.
Who is the reason tonight?
Anna Talitzyn.
The most charming woman
in Petersburg.
And you?
Opera with Borodin.
The most disgusting fellow
in Petersburg.
Tastes differ. Good-bye.
Good-bye. Oh, wait!
Uh, little Catherine.
Why not...
Why not dine with me?
Oh, what a gorgeous idea.
Lecocq. Lecocq, s-send a message
to the Princess Talitzyn.
Tell her I can't come along tonight
because... because...
Well, you always know what to say.
Yes, and another message to Lieutenant Borodin
with my deepest regrets.
Very well, Your Highness.
Dinner tonight will be served
in the blue room.
- Blue room?
- Next to Her Highness's bedroom.
Maitre Duval!
The dinner tonight should be light.
Oh, bubbling,
not... not a family affair...
but sufficient
for the first stages of a...
You know what I mean.
And the wine, Tokay, of a vintage
to make up a woman's mind.
- Pom!
- Pom! Yes.
- Two footmen?
- No, myself alone.
There are circumstances
that call for a... Frenchman.
No, quite seriously. You ought
to marry that Mecklenburg girl.
She's really lovely!
Honey-colored hair
down to her knees...
and a skin like cream and roses.
I thought you told me
she had a cavalry mustache.
Oh, no. No!
Just a teeny, tiny little suspicion
of a mustache.
Oh, charming!
Men adore it, really!
Uh, by the way, who was the first?
- First what?
- First lover?
- Mine?
- Yes, yours.
- When was that?
- Let me see.
It was, um, 1 0th of March.
- Where?
- In Peterhof, in spring.
The trees were all in bud.
You were in Moscow...
with the Italian opera singer.
Narishkin taught me to ride.
That evening we sat for hours
in front of the fire...
reading Voltaire.
- And then?
- Well...
One gets tired of reading.
And how long did that last?
Until May,
when we went back to Moscow.
- And in Moscow you met the second.
- Mm-hmm.
- Who was it?
- Gagarin.
- And how long did that last?
- Hmm.
Until the court
came back to Petersburg.
Oh, that was the beginning ofJune.
- Hmm.
- Three weeks.
Oh, but in Petersburg
the funniest thing happened.
Do you remember
the French ambassador's masked ball?
- No.
- Oh, darling.
- When you were in Moscow with Natasha Ronsky.
- Yes, I remember!
Well, there was a harlequin...
who made passionate love to me
the whole evening...
and I was convinced
that it was Alexei Borodin.
Go on. Go on, go on!
Well, we escaped together
and slipped into the palace.
And the next morning
I discovered...
that it was Vladimir Pashkov.
And he was so terribly
in love with me...
that it took me a week
before I could get rid of him...
and invite Alexei Borodin.
You dare to tell me that!
Oh, you idiot!
You idiot, idiot, idiot!
- Why?
- Because it's not true!
- Not true?
- Not a word.
Didn't you have 17 lovers?
- Not one, you idiot!
- Well, why did you tell me you had?
You idiot!
Why did you leave me
that first night?
Because I was an idiot.
Why don't you go to the ball?
- No, I'd rather stay here.
- I want to work.
I don't want you to work.
I want you to go to bed.
What about Russia, if I go to bed?
Oh, why not leave that
to your chancellors and ministers?
Oh, darling!
You should go to bed.
Dr. Marsden said so.
Oh, please.
How is Her Majesty tonight?
Worse than she has any idea of,
so Dr. Marsden says.
Don't take it away.
- Read it to me, Catherine.
- Yes. I will.
What is it?
It's a report
from the governor of Kiev.
The peasants are in revolt.
Bad crops.
The governor asks for military reinforcements
to suppress the rebellion.
What do you think?
Shall I send the military?
Famine cannot
be suppressed by bullets.
One should send fiour and corn from
other territories where the crops were good.
So that's what you think
about the peasants' revolt?
Yes. When my peasants revolt,
I should hang my governors.
Very good, little Catherine.
Will Your Majesty appear at the ball,
or shall we stop it?
Her Majesty must go to bed.
- Where is the grand duke?
- At the ball.
The ball must go on.
Stay here, Catherine.
Deal with these.
- You think I can?
- You can very well.
Your Highness
is looking very happy tonight.
So I ought to be,
with so many friends around me.
All perfectly charming...
and all perfectly new!
Your Highness can scarcely
call me a new friend.
I can scarcely call you a friend
of any kind, my dear prince.
Only last week you practically
ignored my existence.
Oh, no, Your Highness.
Oh, yes.
But last week...
Last week Her Imperial Majesty
had not yet been taken seriously ill.
Is the grand duke still in the ballroom?
I think His Highness has gone.
Don't try to lie to me, idiot.
Just when the weathercocks
are beginning to gather around him?
How many of them are licking his boots
at this moment? Ten, 20, 50?
There are a few gentlemen
around His Highness.
Hmm. He feels he's the czar already...
and he thinks
I'm already in the grave.
The, uh, funeral cortege
of my lamented aunt...
will pass through every
main street in Petersburg.
We'll invite, uh...
Oh, we'll invite everybody.
I'll go and spoil his love scene.
But Your Majesty
must give your heart a rest.
I've never in my life given my heart a rest.
And I'll wear the uniform of, um...
Let's see.
What uniform shall I wear?
Her Majesty!
No, no! Don't stop the dancing.
Why all this ceremony?
Go on. Go on. Play.
How radiant
Your Majesty is looking.
Thank you.
All right. Thank you.
Well, Peter, how are you?
- All right, thanks.
- You look splendid.
It's a wonderful thing
to belong to a healthy family.
My grandmother...
your great-grandmother...
lived to be 86.
And there's no reason
why we shouldn't do the same.
- I'm sure you will.
- It's a great blessing for Russia too.
Instead of waiting anxiously
for his predecessor's death...
the heir to the throne has time to
gather... experience... and to learn...
- To learn patience.
- Patience.
It's a wonderful virtue, Peter.
I feel marvelous.
I'm going to dance a minuet.
To take her throat
into my hand and close my fiirgers.
She's laughing at me.
Peter, she can hardly stand.
Ah, she only came here
to make me ridiculous.
- She's very, very ill.
- She'll outlive me... and you.
She'll live a hundred years.
What's that?
- Is it very bad, Grigory?
- Very bad.
Guard, open that window.
It's cold outside. Why?
To clear the way for death.
He needs an entrance here.
Hi. Black one.
Or white one. Whoever you are.
This way. In here. Welcome.
Your Highness. Peter!
That's all right, Grigory.
She'll die.
- Catherine.
- Yes.
Come here.
- Catherine.
- Yes, darling.
Where is that lunatic?
Peter has just been here.
He's very anxious for your recovery.
He's very anxious that I should die.
I am dying, Catherine...
and I leave Russia,
and I leave you...
in the care of a madman.
Oh, no, no. He's not a madman.
You should rule Russia.
Women can rule and men can't.
Is it a sin
that I didn't have him killed?
- No. No, no, no. Please don't.
- He will ruin Russia.
- No.
- He will break you.
No. Please don't.
Please. I beg of you.
You still love him?
How can a woman fight
as long as she's in love?
And you must fight.
You or he.
Kill or be killed.
No, no, no.
He'll be good and wise.
Lecocq! Lecocq!
Monsieur Lecocq.
The inscrutable will of providence
is about to deprive us of the empress of Russia...
my beloved aunt.
My most urgent need,
therefore, Monsieur Lecocq...
is a man whose character
is a little below...
and whose intelligence
is far below the average.
A chancellor for the empire?
A bull's-eye, Monsieur Lecocq.
He's a madman.
I wish you didn't love him.
Is it a sin to wish
you didn't love him?
Or is it a sin I haven't blotted him out...
and left you...
to care for Russia?
What is a sin?
Will God forgive my sins?
Will God forgive my sins,
little Catherine?
Yes, he will, darling.
That is why he's God.
He created us
and gave us our frailties...
and our sinful thoughts...
but he is our Father in heaven...
and we are his children.
And like a good father,
he forgives us everything...
our sins and our happiness.
As my chancellor, Vorontzov...
you will immediately prepare several decrees
for the day of... of my coronation.
- What is it?
- Her Majesty may recover.
That's right.
She may.
The ship is sinking all right.
Trust the rats.
She'll die.
New coins, Vorontzov.
I don't like my face very much,
but I don't want to look at hers anymore.
New uniforms for the army.
Everyone back from Siberia whom she expelled,
and everyone to go who had her favor.
Your Majesty.
Waiting for me?
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
But I don't need anything...
and I want to be alone.
I know. Still I beg to ask of Your Majesty
to go and see the emperor.
Oh, no.
I can't see anybody now.
I just want to be alone.
His Majesty has just ordered the preparation
of several new decrees.
Yes, I know.
He'll shock public opinion...
but I don't want to interfere.
Not now, Orlov.
He's so suspicious. Not yet.
Entirely innocent people
are to be exiled to Siberia...
only because they were
in favor with the empress.
Shuvalov, Folkonski, the whole family Bestujhev...
Lonisky, father and son,
Kurakin, wife and daughters and grandsons -
Oh, stop, stop!
Let's go.
And we've had quite enough of women.
There'll be no more petticoats
to rule Russia.
And there'll be a law... a law excluding
all women from succession to the throne.
Well, what do you want?
Go on. Get out ofhere!
We're busy doing men's work.
And we don't want any more interference
from women. Go on back to the empress.
She can have another day or two
to put ideas into your head.
And then I shall come...
and you'll go to the kitchen
where you belong.
Now go on. Get out!
I came to tell you
that the empress is dead.
She's dead?
Finished? Finished?
Finished, finished, finished, finished!
Long live the emperor.
Look, little Catherine. Look.
See what I've done.
Look. New coins.
New uniforms for the army.
All these people to come back from Siberia.
All these people to go to Siberia.
And then look here. Five new regiments
to be formed on the western frontier.
You are sending these people to Siberia?
- All of them.
- Why not have them executed?
Why? They-They-They've committed no crime.
Then why send them to Siberia?
Well, because...
because I'm the czar.
Oh. I see.
That's a very good reason.
And of course you want to please
the crowd in your anteroom.
- You think that'll please them?
- Oh, they'll be delighted.
We won't please the rabble.
There was something.
Something I-I-I wanted to...
Of course. The war.
Grigory, army council
for next Wednesday.
Here's the fiirst army
with the Austrians under General Daun.
It's really a demonstration of force to pin down
the main Prussian forces at this spot.
Meanwhile General Rumiantzov
strikes for Berlin.
Is that your plan, Rumiantzov?
Does it meet
with your approval, Your Majesty?
It might.
It might meet with my approval,
but what about Ivan Ivanovitch?
- Who?
- Ivan Ivanovitch.
Who is Ivan Ivanovitch,
Your Majesty?
There you are, gentlemen.
Who is Ivan Ivanovitch?
How can we expect to know
what Ivan Ivanovitch thinks...
if we don't even know who he is?
You, Rumiantzov,
will be a field marshal.
So will you, Tchernikoff.
And Buterlin a count.
And Panin a governor.
But... But what will happen
to Ivan Ivanovitch?
And since we don't know
what Ivan Ivanovitch thinks...
I suppose I shall have to...
find Ivan Ivanovitch.
- Who is Ivan Ivanovitch?
- What does he mean by Ivan Ivanovitch?
Sorry, gentlemen. I thought...
- Where is the emperor?
- His Majesty left a moment ago.
Has something happened?
- Anything wrong?
- Nothing in particular.
What was it?
His Majesty began to talk about
the opinions of a certain Ivan Ivanovitch.
And when I asked who the man was,
he answered that that was the question...
who was Ivan Ivanovitch?
But don't you understand?
That is Ivan Ivanovitch.
That is Ivan Ivanovitch.
Ivan Ivanovitch is Russia.
The common soldier.
Millions and millions of Russian peasants.
Ivan Ivanovitch...
wants to till his soil...
fill his stomach...
embrace his wife...
and Johann Muller in Pomerania
wants exactly the same.
But they'll kill each other... and rot...
In the brown Pomeranian soil...
while we play at politics
and statesmanship and glory.
Oh, it's easy to understand,
if one loves Russia.
We all love Russia,
and we understand you.
why can't you understand him?
Ah, here you are, Ivan Ivanovitch.
Tell me, what do you think
of their ingenious plan for the war?
Imperial Majesty,
my name is not Ivan Ivanovitch.
You're cattle for slaughter,
Ivan Ivanovitch.
Imperial Majesty,
my name is not Ivan Ivanovitch.
My dog has more of a brain and more of
an immortal soul than you, Ivan Ivanovitch.
Imperial Majesty,
my name is Ivan Nikolaievitch.
No, gentlemen.
Under the rule of the late empress,
Russia gained strength.
After her, Russia needs a ruler... a man.
And the emperor will be a great ruler...
if you all serve him loyally.
Russia gives him love and confidence.
It is you whom Russia loves.
You understand Russia,
and Russia understands you.
Every soldier in the army
is ready to die if you call on him.
Everyone thinks you could
lead Russia wherever you like.
Oh, Peter.
Forgive my intruding. I just came...
To talk over your future
with these loyal gentlemen.
Oh, no. I came because I wanted...
Get out of here.
Get to the kitchen,
to the nursery.
- Get out! No. Stay here...
- Peter!
- With these loyal leaders of the army...
- Peter.
And give your orders.
Get into my chair.
You're already in my shoes.
Captain Orlov...
carry on with the council.
And let me know
what the lady has decided.
Oh, Your Majesty.
I was waiting for dear Catherine.
Every soul in Russia pleads with you,
begs you, urges you.
- And one day your soul will respond to it.
- Never, never, never.
Waiting for that day, hundreds of us
stake our heads day after day...
to win over officer after officer, man after man,
with the words "Catherine and Russia."
What do you want to make me?
A traitor to my husband?
The empress of Russia.
The empress of Russia?
The empress of Russia.
No. No, Orlov.
I love the emperor...
and I don't want to be
anything but his wife.
Your Majesty, I deeply regret that...
What is it, Goudovitch?
His Majesty's order is -is -
What is His Majesty's order?
That for the future
Your Majesty will occupy...
the French apartment
in the right wing.
Do you mean...
I am not to live here any longer?
His Majesty's orders.
- I want to see His Majesty.
- Oh, His Majesty's orders...
But all my things are in there.
Mayn't I fetch a few books
and little things for myself?
His Majesty has commanded...
that nothing shall be touched
until further orders.
I see.
It was, um...
the French apartment, wasn't it?
Thank you, Goudovitch.
Her Majesty deeply regrets
she cannot come tonight.
How very unfortunate.
You will please go and tell Her Majesty...
that her presence here
is indispensable to my happiness.
And if you come back without her,
I'll send you on another errand.
You quite understand?
To you, Sir Charles,
as ambassador of England...
and to you, Vicomte,
as ambassador of France...
I tender my sincere apologies for Her Majesty
not being here to receive you.
- Some slight indisposition perhaps.
- Or a refractory frock.
After all, Her Majesty is a woman.
You're quite right, Vicomte.
That's a woman all over...
too ill to come, but not too ill
to dress if she has to come.
- Your Majesty.
- Well?
Forgive me,
but I'm afraid you must come.
I won't.
But you... you should have seen him.
I've told you I'm not
going to be humiliated.
Is that clear enough?
I understand, Your Majesty.
And I know you're right. Only...
Only what?
It means...
Siberia for me.
Did he say so?
Yes, Your Majesty,
if I go back without you.
I'm coming.
Don't get up, gentlemen.
Please, keep your seats.
Don't look so unhappy, Goudovitch.
A woman can sit
at the end of the table...
and still be the head of it.
And another can
sit at the head of a table...
and be the last of all women.
Did you hear what she said?
Why hasn't Countess Vorontzova
got the Order of St. Catherine?
The Order of St. Catherine
is given only to...
members of the imperial family,
Your Majesty.
She'll be a member
of the imperial family very soon.
Won't you, my darling?
Get the order and the star
for Countess Vorontzova.
I will convey Your Majesty's command...
tomorrow to the Office of the Order.
You see, Sir Charles?
Would such sluggishness
be possible in England?
Am I wrong...
or is that the order
of St. Catherine?
Her Majesty's order?
Her Majesty's order.
Bring it to me.
I'm waiting, Goudovitch.
Quick, Orlov.
Say something
to make me laugh.
I'll tell you the funniest story
you've ever heard.
Captain Prassek has been arrested.
If we lose one more day,
we lose our heads.
There we are.
Hmm. Now, gentlemen.
Let us drink to the first lady
of the empire.
I ask Your Majesty's permission to retire.
I don't feel very well.
You're not feeling well either, Vicomte?
I do not feel very well either,
Your Majesty.
Anyone else not feeling well?
If you happen to have been
plotting against the czar...
perhaps you have had
an uneasy feeling around the neck...
that stops you
from enjoying your food.
Perhaps you'd like to retire too.
Borodin! A lump in the throat...
a pressure around the neck.
You may go!
And every traitor and conspirator
at this table can go!
All of you clear out!
Only the two of us, little Catherine.
Just an intimate little dinner.
Just like old times, huh?
Was it six months ago?
Or was it 600 years ago?
Don't be afraid, little Catherine.
You love me...
don't you?
You haven't plotted against me...
have you?
You wouldn't betray me...
would you?
Poor little Catherine...
should be sent to a nunnery...
and her pretty little head
will be all shaved.
And they'll put her in a small, stony cell.
No laughter...
no sunshine...
no kisses.
Just bread...
and water...
and prayers...
or curses...
for as long as she lives.
The time has come
for you to give the word.
We can't wait another minute.
Can a man...
Iove a woman like me, Orlov?
We can't wait another minute.
We have to fight or die.
Can a man love
a woman like me, Orlov?
From the first moment I saw you,
I loved you.
Didn't you know that?
Thank you, Orlov.
Now we have no time to lose.
Tell me your plans.
Here are the barracks
of the Ismailovsky regiment... ours.
There's the Holstein regiment.
It has not yet been won over.
Our first aim, therefore,
should be to talk to them.
We talk to nobody.
If the Ismailovsky regiment is ours,
we have a weapon in our hand.
If the Holstein regiment refuses
to come with us, we'll fight them.
- Yes, Your Majesty.
I'll go at once and report as soon as I can.
- I'm coming with you.
Yes, Your Majesty.
- What's this cross?
- There will be a group of absolutely faithful officers.
They will cover your escape if we fail.
Better not think of that.
Better send these officers at once
to reinforce the palace guard.
Yes, Your Majesty.
And it will be their duty
to arrest the czar at dawn.
To arrest the czar.
What will happen to him?
What will happen to him?
Not a hair of his head
must be touched.
He must be rendered harmless,
Your Majesty.
I know.
He must be arrested...
and taken to a safe place
where he can be watched.
Later we can send him to Sweden...
wherever he wants to go.
That is Your Majesty's wish?
It is my command, Orlov.
Perhaps I was wrong
to give her one night more.
I'll go and take the little neck...
and then the lady
won't be dangerous anymore.
Peter, you're always thinking of her.
What... What was it I... I wanted?
To kill her.
Captain Talitzyn, your orders
are to arrest the empress at dawn...
and send her under strong escort
to the nunnery of St. Elisabeth.
You're under arrest.
Take him away.
Are you tired, madam?
I used to march like this
with my father...
beneath the stars.
He told me each one of us
has a planet of his own.
I wonder which is mine.
Five! Six!
I am a woman
like your mothers...
and your sisters.
And I know it is a bad wife...
who leaves her husband
because he has been cruel.
But it is a good mother...
who will fight everyone...
to save her children.
You are my children.
I come to you
as the mother of all Russia...
and I'll fight for you...
as you'll fight for me.
And I'll lead you...
to victory and peace.
Long live the empress!
Long live the empress!
Long live the empress!
You are my prisoner, sir.
Whose service are you in?
In the service of Her Majesty...
Catherine Il, empress of Russia.
Oh, what will become of me?
Have you never wished
to have wings?
Death must be something like this:
Suddenly you have wings.
Her Majesty's order is you leave
the palace under escort...
for the manor house of Ropsha.
Her Imperial Majesty,
Catherine, Empress of all the Russias.
Good morning, gentlemen.
Well, here we are, my friends.
Oh, Fyodor.
Have the goodness
to get into the carriage, sir.
And if I don't want to
get into the carriage? What then?
Don't compel us to use force, sir.
But I do compel you to use force.
Go on.
Oh, don't be afraid, gentlemen.
The emperor is lenient.
And he's very tired...
and very glad
to go on this journey.
The carriage, sir.
Oh, yes. The carriage.
You'll come with me, won't you, Fyodor?
You'll make sure that I reach the...
the end of the journey...
as quickly as possible...
because I am rather tired.
What's that noise?
There's a rumor spreading
Your Majesty has been killed.
Open the windows.
Catherine! Catherine! Catherine!
I'll show myself to them.
Well done, little Catherine.
He's dead.
Fyodor has killed him.
Somebody must tell the empress.
But who?
Grigory, you must tell her.
This is the happiest day of my life.
And I always believed
nobody cared for me.
And suddenly I am loved.
I am loved by so many!
I must try hard not to cry.
We will work tomorrow, gentlemen.
Happiness has made me tired.
I need a little rest.
Good-bye, good-bye, Talitzyn.
I know what I owe you.
I'll show you how grateful I can be.
Good-bye, dear.
Karnilov, dear.
One part of my life belongs to you.
I won't forget it.
Kiss me.
Oh, Grigory.
Oh, Grigory.
What has happened?
Jealous? So soon?
What is it?
Your Majesty, the czar...
That isn't true.
That isn't true.
Who was it?
I swear to you
I knew nothing about it.
Who killed him?
Who was it?
Who killed him?
Who spoiled my victory?
Who made me a murderess?
I told you not to touch
a hair of his head.
I ordered it!
I commanded it!
- Your Majesty...
- I want to know who it was!
I'll punish all of you...
if you don't show me the one!
Get out!
Get out of here!
I don't want to see any of you again!
Oh, that poor...
unhappy, miserable child.
Everything has its price, Your Majesty.
And the crown has
the highest price of all.
I didn't want it at that price.
Russia wanted you at any price.
He always called me...
little Catherine.