The Scarlet Empress (1934) Movie Script

How often do I
have to tell you...
that Sophia Frederica
is no longer to play with toys.
She's almost seven now.
Don't smoke in here. The child is sick.
I work day and night to arrange an advantageous
marriage someday, and you undo everything.
How am I to make it clear to you that
Sophia might one day become a queen?
I don't want to be a queen, Mother.
I want to be a toe dancer.
Be quiet, Sophia. You're going to marry
a king if I have anything to do with it.
Stick out your tongue,
Your Highness, and say "ahh. "
Not as bad as I thought.
We'll build her a nice harness,
and she'll have to wear it
for about a year.
Put those toys away.
I don't want to see them again!
You'll grow up to be
a tall and beautiful woman.
I must be off
on one of my operations.
Don't let them frighten you, darling.
"A nice harness"!
What is he, a horse doctor?
You flatter him. Our learned medico is going
to perform one of his operations with an axe.
- He's the public hangman.
- Hangman?
What's a hangman?
Can I become a hangman someday?
A hangman is an executioner,
the man who takes heads off skillfully.
Sometimes that profession
becomes the sport of titles.
I was about to read to you...
of Peter the Great
and Ivan the Terrible,
and other Russian tsars
and tsarinas who were hangmen.
Stop walking, August.
You make me nervous.
Your Highness! Your Highness!
Your Highness!
Your Highness,
a letter from the king.
Your father wishes
to see you at once.
Sit down, my child.
We have been honored with
a communication from His Majesty...
which concerns you principally.
"We, by Divine Grace Frederick,
king of Prussia,
"have, after a series
of negotiations,
"decided to honor your family
by selecting your daughter,
"Sophia Frederica
to forthwith set out for Russia...
"and there to become the bride of
His Serene Highness, Peter Feodorovich,
"grandson of Peter the Great,
nephew of Her Imperial Majesty,
"and heir presumptive
to the throne.
"Within the week,
an emissary will arrive...
"to escort your daughter
and her mother,
"Princess Johanna Elizabeth,
to the court at Moscow.
" Please inform her
that she is to follow dutifully...
"the advice of
Her Majesty's ambassador...
"and extend to her,
as well as to your entire family,
my fond greetings and affections.
Fredericus Rex. "
Grand duchess of Russia!
Not bad for this family.
I wonder what he looks like.
That unimportant detail can be settled
when the ambassador gets here.
Come, August,
we shall reply to the king at once.
One must strike while the iron's hot.
Come with me.
This is the countess Cecilia,
a cousin on my mother's side.
and this is her sister, Maria,
and this-
Your Highness
may now come down.
This is Count Alexei,
field marshal of the Russian Army,
grand master of the hunt,
lord of the chamber
and ambassador extraordinary...
from Her Divine Majesty,
Elizabeth of Russia.
This is my daughter Sophia.
Although for a long time we've heard
about your beauty, Your Highness,
I must confess, I was not prepared
to see such a vision of loveliness.
Her Majesty instructed me to present a few
gifts as evidence of her graciousness.
Come here.
This pipe is for you,
Prince August.
These sables are to keep
your shoulders warm.
These gloves are
to keep your hands warm.
This robe is to keep
your feet warm.
These hot-water bottles,
to keep Mother warm.
Is it then still so cold
in Russia, Your Excellency?
Indeed, Your Highness,
the rivers are still frozen,
and will be until some time
after we've arrived.
Her Majesty also asked me to give you
this token of her esteem.
Convey to her
my profoundest thanks.
Isn't Her Majesty beautiful!
How long will the journey take?
If weather permits,
we should reach Moscow in seven weeks,
where Her Majesty
is impatiently awaiting us.
And when does Your Excellency
require the journey be begun?
The day after tomorrow,
unless it is the desire
of this charming young lady...
to leave at once to meet
her anxious bridegroom.
- Did you bring me a portrait of the grand duke?
- I'm sorry, I did not.
- Would you like him to be handsome?
- Isn't he?
Would you like him to be better looking
than all men, tall and gracious?
- Yes, I think I would.
- Well, he is all that and more.
He's the handsomest man in the Russian
court, tall and formed like a Greek god,
a model in fashion and deportment
which all of us strive to follow.
- Are you eager to see him?
- Yes.
His eyes are like the blue sky,
his hair the color of ebony.
He is stronger
than a team of oxen,
and sleepless because of his desire
to receive you in his arms.
And he can also read and write.
So can my daughter. She can cook and
sew and make her own bed if she has to.
- Can't you, Sophia?
- But I don't like to make my own bed, Mother.
- Don't speak unless you're questioned.
- You did question me, Mother.
Say good night, and go back
to your room and go to sleep.
Good night, Father.
Good night, Sophia.
Good night, Your Excellency.
Good night,
my little princess.
- Good night, Mother.
- Good night.
- Good night, Auntie.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Good night.
This is unexpected.
Your daughter is extremely charming...
and will be by far the most beautiful
woman at Her Majesty's court.
I'd be grateful if you
were not to turn her head.
She's been brought up
carefully, is unspoilt,
and I've taught her
not to flirt.
You're going on a far journey,
and I may never see you again.
Remember what I've taught you.
Always to be honest and truthful;
to be a faithful wife and a loyal
subject of your new country.
Be kind to those who
are in your service...
and obedient to your
husband and superiors,
and strive at all times
to be worthy of your glorious destiny.
Another day like this,
and I'll fall apart.
When I return, I'll complain to the king
about the state of his roads.
The roads are bad, aren't they?
When we reach the border, there will
be snow and we shall change to sleds.
Your rooms are ready, Your Royal
Highness. Can I show them to you?
Yes, you may.
I'm prepared for the worst.
Is the journey proving
too much for you too?
Oh, no.
It could go on forever...
if Mother didn't mind.
Be careful with that knife.
You'll cut your beautiful hand.
Your hand is beautiful,
isn't it?
- Why did you do that?
- Because I've fallen in love with you.
Now you may punish me
for my effrontery.
I deserve punishment
far more than you do.
We must never do this again.
It's disloyal to my future husband.
Disloyal? It's treason,
and I must be careful in the future,
but you must help me by not exciting me
with your beautiful eyes.
I told you not to look at me.
What are you two doing?
Don't answer me. I don't want to know.
Sophia,you ought to be
ashamed of yourself.
You will instantly
follow me to our rooms.
Incidentally, our rooms are beneath
all contempt, Your Excellency.
The stables are probably better
than the quarters assigned to us.
I'm sorry, Your Highness.
If you prefer the stables,
I can arrange to have the horses
quartered in your bedroom.
You're going to sleep
in my room tonight.
It is cold. At least you have something
to warm you when you get to Moscow;
That is, if your husband
isn't completely made of ice.
A basket of fruit
with Her Majesty's compliments,
and these flowers
from the grand duke,
who instructed me to ride day and night
for a week to be here in time.
Welcome home, Your Excellency.
We've missed you.
So, this is Little Sophie,
Sophia Frederica.
Hardly a name for a future empress.
- You don't like your name, do you?
- I do, Your Majesty.
You will be called Catherine Alexina,
a good Russian name.
We've arranged a special ceremony
to receive you into our church.
- Haven't we, Simeon?
- Yes, little mother, we've arranged a ceremony.
Come here.
So, this is the mother.
You've raised a pretty child.
Your Majesty, I've come to lay at your
feet feelings of the deepest gratitude...
for the benefactions which your bounty
has heaped upon my house,
and of which many instances are given me
at every step I take into your realms.
Tush, tush! Apretty speech.
What I have done is nothing
in comparison with what I shall do.
- My own blood is no more dear to me than yours.
- Is that the grand duke?
This is the order of St. Catherine.
May you both wear it in good health.
Be careful it doesn't scratch you.
Pin this on Catherine.
What do you think of Catherine?
I can only admire
your judgment, Your Majesty.
That's the chancellor. Steals more money
in a week than I collect in taxes in a year.
Doctor, come here.
What do you think of my taste in women?
Looks healthy, doesn't she?
Just what we need
to breed sons for Russia.
With your permission,
Your Highness.
- How was the journey? Comfortable?
- Yes, Your Majesty.
Are you happy to be here?
Yes, Your Majesty.
- Are you going to love your new country?
- Yes, Your Majesty.
- Do you promise to be a loyal subject?
- Yes, Your Majesty.
Don't make too many new friends, and no intrigue
and gossip. I have my hands full now.
Perfect, Your Majesty.
She will give us no trouble.
Your Highness.
Someday I'll have every doctor
thrown out of the country.
Catherine, before you go to your rooms,
is there any wish I can grant you?
I would like to see
the grand duke.
His Imperial Highness,
Grand Duke Peter.
That's a fine way to receive your bride!
I suppose you had more important things to do.
I told you to be on time.
Go on, kiss each other.
Remember, Catherine,
the first child must be a boy.
A fine, bouncing, healthy heir.
You understand me, Catherine?
These are your ladies-in-waiting.
They represent illustrious houses
of our most important domains.
Step forward, Natacha.
She is the daughter
of Prince Dolgoruki.
Natacha, come here.
This is your mistress of the wardrobe.
She has charge of the beds and laces.
I must show her
my new invention.
I'm in a hurry.
I must witness an execution.
I suggest that you
wait in the next room.
Perhaps I shouldn't
have lied to you.
Forgive me, won't you?
His Imperial Highness
sent me for his soldiers.
I hope I haven't
disturbed you.
That's Countess Varonsoff. She's always
picking up the grand duke's soldiers,
which I'm beginning to suspect
he leaves intentionally.
Don't bother. Don't bother.
Go on with your work.
Doesn't Sophia, I mean, Catherine, look
beautiful? I always forget the new name.
Just see what's
being done to her hair!
That's exactly what
I'm looking at.
How's she going to wear the headdress?
Where is the headdress?
- Where is the headdress?
- Where's the headdress?
We must make you very beautiful,
Catherine, very, very beautiful...
so that my nephew
will fall in love with you.
I expect you two to behave like love birds
so Russia will have an heir to the throne.
Remember, I want a boy, not a girl.
Nothing less than a boy will do.
We don't want any more women
on the throne.
But Your Majesty, what would we
have done if you had been born a boy?
I would have had less trouble in Russia
if I'd been born a man instead of woman.
We women are too much creatures
of the heart, aren't we, Catherine?
Yes, Your Majesty.
"Grant them of the fruit
of their bodies fair children,
"concord of soul and body.
"exalt them like
the cedars of Lebanon.
"like a luxuriant vine, give them seed
in number like full ears of grain...
"that they may abound in every work that
is good and acceptable unto Thee;
"and let them behold their children's children
like a newly planted olive orchard,
"round about their table that
obtaining favor in Thy sight,
they may shine
like the stars of heaven. "
Blessed be this bed.
Your Imperial Majesty,
before the bridal pair retire,
I wish to propose a toast...
to Her Imperial Highness,
the grand duchess Catherine.
May our new bride from far away
be forever happy...
and learn to know the love we have
in our Russian hearts for her...
and the hope this vast,
imperishable empire has...
for an heir to the throne.
You have made me
very happy today, Catherine,
and i hope you will continue
to make me happy.
Now, I'm going to bed.
I'm very tired.
And I know that most of you...
are also very tired.
May I inquire how Her Imperial Highness
deigns to feel this morning?
Her Highness feels as
well as can be expected...
after her romantic marriage.
And how is His Excellency?
His Excellency is distressed because you've
been avoiding him for an eternity.
- I haven't been avoiding you.
- You have.
I've tried again and again
to see you alone...
- and you've made it impossible.
- If you must know,
I haven't had enough time
to recover from the shock...
of finding my husband a trifle different
than you described him.
I had a duty to my country
and a loyalty to my sovereign.
Had I described
the grand duke correctly,
you might not have come here.
I would have obeyed my mother
even if you had told the truth.
How could I have known of such
a degree of filial respect?
Anyway, I would have taken no chances,
because from the moment I saw you,
- I wanted you to come to Russia.
- Please, be careful.
- My husband will be told.
- Your husband doesn't mean a thing to you.
He does. I'll always
be faithful to him.
Those ideas are old-fashioned.
This is the eighteenth century.
But I'm not a Russian.
I'm going now.
I told you I wanted to see you alone.
I won't wait any longer.
I'll be at the stables tomorrow
when you go for your ride.
Maybe I won't care to ride anymore.
- I'll be there, and you'd better be there too.
- I will not!
Furthermore, I'm going
to tell my mother all about you.
One moment more,
Your Imperial Highness.
On the reverse side of this miniature
is a diamond. Don't lose the diamond.
What are you doing here
sneaking around like a ghost?
- I hate my wife.
- You hate your wife?
You've only been married
for a week. Why?
You'll make a fine emperor
someday, you idiot!
You can't force a woman to be sweet
to you. She's only a child!
Be patient with her. You know our people
are waiting for you to raise a family.
- They don't care whether you like her.
- I don't want her.
I picked her for your wife, and your
wife she will remain as long as I live.
Get that into your skull.
I don't want to hear any more about it.
Do you understand me?
Her Majesty is waiting for you
in the council chamber.
- War with Finland?
- Yes, Your Excellency.
- How is Her Majesty?
- The last few days she's turned sour,
like milk that's been
standing too long.
Your Highness is
so happy this morning.
- You can't be going to see your husband.
- Dear me, my husband!
I'd forgotten I have a husband.
No, I'm not going to see my husband.
If Your Highness were not so new to our court,
I'd suspect you were going to see your lover.
And what may a lover be?
A lover's a man, not a husband, who loves you
with all his heart and whom you love in return.
But, Marie, that's wicked.
Don't tell me that you have a lover!
I wish I had. Here, everyone
has a lover, everyone but me.
Oh, Marie, not everyone. Her Exalted
Majesty can't possibly have a lover.
What about the young man
who's always with her?
Why do you suppose she leans on him
so heavily? Because she's weak in the knees?
Oh, how shocking! If anyone
should hear us! Go on, get my dress.
Your highness won't tell anyone.
The empress is a devil when she's angry.
Of course I won't tell anyone,
nor do I believe such nonsense.
Neither have I a lover. I'm happy
because I'm going to see my mother.
- Your mother? I thought you knew.
- Knew what?
Your mother left for Germany.
Her carriage set out at midnight.
- You must be joking.
- I'm not joking.
Her Majesty ordered her
to return immediately.
But she didn't say good-bye.
That's not possible.
Her Majesty's in council.
No one's allowed to enter.
No order in this palace
is intended for me.
Why did you send my mother away?
What wrong had she done?
I don't remember sending for you.
I want to know why
you sent my mother away.
You presume to question me?
Who do you think you are,
bursting into a conference as
though the palace were on fire?
You want to know why
I sent your mother away.
Well, I'll tell you why.
I sent your mother away because
she didn't bring you up properly.
I was told you were an obedient,
respectful child.
You're nothing of the sort!
Why do you think I had you brought from
Germany? To give you these pearls?
Or to make you a grand duchess
of the Holy Russian Empire?
I had you brought here
to be an obedient wife...
and to supply my country with
a much-needed heir to the throne.
Take Her Imperial Highness,
the grand duchess,
and turn her over
to my mistress of the robes...
with instructions that from this minute on she's
to be attached to my personal staff...
where I can keep her under my eye,
where I can educate her and teach her...
what it means to be a Russian wife and how
to accept the embraces of a husband...
like a Russian wife!
Now, get out, both of you.
I have a war on my hands.
Looking for someone?
Oh, you frightened me.
I've only a minute. I ran away.
I came down to tell you
not to wait. I must go now.
Is that all you came to tell me?
What else is there to tell?
If you come closer,
I'll scream.
It will be easier for you to scream
without a straw in your mouth.
Get up! Get up!
Why are there six places?
What's the occasion?
You asked me to arrange a dinner for the French
and Austrian ambassadors and their wives.
Tell them to come for breakfast.
I never did like these diplomatic functions.
- They lead to nothing.
- I quite agree, Your Majesty.
Don't any of you think I'm going to eat
with a lot of dried-up mummies every night.
Boris, sit down there.
Alexander, sit over there.
You, sit there.
- Your Majesty.
- Catherine.
Take his toys.
Michael, sit there.
- Your Majesty.
- Oh, go on. Sit down.
Now, the rest of you get out.
Get out! Get out!
The pig, Your Majesty.
Put it down and don't make
so much fuss about it.
The way you handle that pig, you'd think
it was the only one in Russia.
- The wine, Your Majesty.
- Fill the glasses and get out.
What are you pouting for?
You're not jealous of Paul, are you?
He isn't jealous of you. You look
exhausted, Paul. What's the matter?
I'm tired. My wife gave birth
to a child yesterday.
- Boy or girl?
- A boy, beloved empress.
What the wife of a guard can do should
certainly be easy for a grand duchess.
Remind me to give you a purse of gold
tomorrow. Those of you who have boys,
raise your hands.
Exactly what I thought!
A few more like you, and Russia
need never worry about her enemies.
What's this, Alexei?
Sending notes to the grand duchess?
Do you want me
to send you into exile?
Or shall I tell the grand duchess
that you're a notorious heartbreaker...
and have broken every woman's heart
in this court, including mine?
You're very flattering, Imperial Majesty,
but the note contains nothing of importance.
Then suppose you read it.
"We are all very much disturbed
over your conduct...
and wish you would change your behavior
so that Her Majesty might forgive you. "
Who else can read here?
You read it, Catherine.
I know you can read...
because my reports say you foolishly
spend your time in bed reading books!
"We are all very much upset at,
uh, uh -
"at- and hope...
you will behave better...
so that you may be
forgiven by the empress. "
Send for the chancellor!
- Your Imperial Majesty?
- Read this for me.
"You must help me
to see you alone again.
"You are being watched so closely
that all my efforts to meet you...
for a few precious seconds
are in vain. "
So, you're up to
your old tricks again!
Right under my nose too.
Well, forget about her.
she's reserved for my nephew and being
taught how to earn his love first...
before wasting her favors on others.
Go back to your dinner. It's the first
time you've been of use to me in a year.
As for you, look after my friends
and see that they're fed well.
Did you hear what I said?
Sit down,you fools,
or I'll send you to Siberia.
She may be a grand duchess
to the rest of the world,
but in here she's being taught
how to be a Russian wife!
Catherine, where are you?
Take off my boots!
Go outside and send the others away.
I want to be alone tonight.
Her Majesty wishes
to be alone tonight.
You wouldn't think that once
I had skin like velvet.
Empress, bah! I haven't even the power
to iron out a single wrinkle.
What are you looking at?
That must be Peter.
Go see if it is, and tell him
to come here at once.
Your Imperial Highness,
Her Majesty wishes to see you at once.
What the devil do you mean
poking holes in my bedroom?
I wanted to watch my wife.
Watching your wife won't give you
an heir to the throne.
The next time I catch you providing
my rooms with needless ventilation,
I'll have you flogged.
I'll catch my death of a draft someday!
Go back to your rooms and wait for your wife.
This is your fault. I had hoped by bringing
you to Russia to make a man of that half-wit!
Sorry to intrude, Your Majesty.
I think the grand duke dropped
one of his soldiers in here.
Thank you.
Good night.
Wait a minute.
Come here.
How long have you been at this court
picking up soldiers?
Two years and a half,
Your Majesty.
I fail to recall your exact duties here,
Countess Elizabeth.
I'm in charge of entertainment for
His Imperial Highness, the grand duke.
Exactly how far is it
to your home, Lizzie?
My ancestral home is in
the province of Astrakhan,
about two weeks journey from Moscow.
Not as far as I had hoped. His Imperial Highness
has been entertained long enough.
Do you understand me? I don't want
to see you around again. Get out.
She won't snoop
around here anymore.
I should have thrown her out
before I had you brought here.
Come here, Catherine.
Sit down.
Haven't you given me
trouble enough?
Are you going to behave
like an obedient wife...
or must I continue to treat you
like a stubborn child?
I don't care
what you do with me.
You might change
your mind about that.
You're in love with His Excellency,
Count Alexei, aren't you?
No, Your Majesty, I'm not.
I'm not.
It's a good thing you're not.
I wouldn't advise you
to become my rival.
Rival? What does
Your Majesty mean?
You will find out soon. In the
meantime, you can blow out the candles.
Before you retire...
you can be of one more service.
Behind my mirror, a concealed passage
will lead you down...
a flight of stairs
to another door.
behind that door you will find
someone waiting to come up.
I don't want him
to see you, so be careful.
- Good night, Your Majesty.
- Good night, Catherine.
And you don't need to report
for duty until late tomorrow.
Who goes there?
- Nobody.
- Just a minute, my little hen.
That's not the password.
You'd better think up another one.
Come to the guardhouse,
and we'll find out who you are.
You're entirely too good-looking
to be running around like this.
What are you hiding back there?
Take your hands off me,
you insolent fool!
I'm Catherine,
grand duchess of Russia.
Don't take advantage of me.
This is my first night on duty.
The grand duchess isn't permitted
out at night. Tell me who you are.
I told you who I am.
Oh, come now.
Stop joking.
If you're the grand duchess,
then I'm the grand duke.
I wish you were!
if i were the grand duke and
you were the grand duchess,
I wouldn't let you prowl
through the night like this,
like a pretty little kitten.
Suppose I didn't want to tell you
who I really am. What would happen?
On a night like this,
anything might happen...
if I'm fortunate.
Well, Lieutenant,
you are fortunate,
very... fortunate.
It's ringing!
Three volleys.
It's a boy!
Have you noticed, Your Majesty,
how the imperial duckling
resembles his father?
Hush, hush, enough of this.
Now,you keep an eye on him.
I don't want anyone near him unless
I know about it, not even his mother.
I had enough trouble getting him.
If he catches cold
or sniffles just once,
I'll have you
hung by the ears!
If he coughs,
I'll have you cut in half!
And if anyone touches him,
I'll have you shot!
Your Majesty, I beg of you
not to become excited.
You've been ill for weeks.
This turmoil will weaken you.
Don't any of you think I'll give you
the pleasure of seeing me die!
I'll outlive all of you,
you sinister buzzards. All of you!
- We've been glad with rejoicing.
- Your Imperial Highness!
I suppose you, too,
want to congratulate me...
as the father of the heir
to the throne of Russia.
That was my intention,
Your Imperial Highness.
And I bring you
the felicitations of my nation...
and my own personal congratulations
on so glorious an event.
Yes, I know.
Tell me about it some other time.
I want to be alone, do you hear?
Get out, all of you!
I'm crammed up to my neck
with congratulations!
Get out! And if you must congratulate
someone, congratulate my wife!
May I speak with Her Highness?
The empress joins her people
in congratulating Your Highness...
on the birth of a male heir
to the throne of Russia.
We all hope you will
recover quickly...
so you may wear this jewel,
which Her Majesty is pleased
to present to you as a sign...
of her most extraordinary joy
and satisfaction.
Sit down, ladies.
Sit down.
Your Excellency,
what can I do for you?
Will you please ask
Her Highness once more...
- if she will grant me an audience?
- I'm sorry, Your Excellency,
we have orders from Her Highness
not even to mention your name to her.
Then perhaps you will
convey to Her Highness...
that I've been waiting
for some time now to congratulate her...
on the great historic event of providing our
country with a much-needed heir to the throne.
I'm certain that history was far from
her mind at the time, Your Excellency.
Her Majesty is very ill,
and her days are numbered.
Soon she will be no more,
poor soul,
and another maniac
will become our emperor.
It will be a bad day for Russia,
and for me if I live that long.
Why are you telling this to me?
You know that the grand duke isn't exactly
pleased with the present state of affairs.
State of affairs?
What affairs? I haven't
had an affair for some time.
I know that the grand duke plans
to remove you from court...
or worse,
as soon as he is in power.
You need have no fear for me.
Now that I've learned how
Russia expects me to behave,
I like it here.
And I intend to stay...
grand duke or no grand duke!
We all hope you will stay,
and I for one, at the risk
of my neck, would like to help you.
How could you be of help?
I control enough of the political machine
to carry some weight in a crisis.
I have no wish to share
in any petty conspiracy.
Should it become unavoidable,
I think I have weapons...
that are far more powerful
than any political machine.
I'm afraid you don't
know Russians, my child.
That's possible, father,
But i'm taking lessons as fast as I can.
Right here, gentlemen.
What a lovely target.
You're looking quite well,
since you provided me with
an unexpected addition to the family.
Thank you, Peter.
It's nice to see you again.
Come to think of it,
I'd like you to meet someone...
who's come for an extended visit.
What are you doing here?
Back to the barracks!
Get out!
Come along, Catherine.
What do you think
of this decapitation?
It would be more amusing
if it were real.
Where's your visitor?
Oh, it's Lizzie.
Is she in charge of your entertainment
again? What will Her Majesty say?
Her Majesty doesn't
know anything about it,
and I wouldn't advise
you to tell her.
I wouldn't dream
of telling the empress.
She has her own
system of spies.
Not for the world would I interfere
with your pleasures,
as long as you don't
interfere with mine.
How is Astrakhan, Lizzie?
Or was it Afghanistan?
If you're wise, you'll find out
for yourself before it's too late!
There are comfortable convents along the way.
All you have to do to gain admission...
is shave your head.
It's good for the scalp, anyway!
Entirely too many men
love my hair,
and I have no intention
of changing my residence.
Anyway, this country will
soon need a new empress.
You may as well know...
Peter's going to marry me
when the old bat dies...
and as soon as he gets rid
of his present wife!
There you are, you old crow.
Dead as a doornail at last.
What have you
got to say about it?
Open your mouth if you can.
In another week,
it'll be full of ice.
In another month,
not a soul will mourn for you.
In another year, you'll be forgotten.
Where is all your power?
It's mine now!
Do you hear me?
Take it away from me if you can!
It's my turn now!
- Who is this officer?
- Orloff, Your Majesty,
Captain in charge
of the barracks.
Your Majesty, your visit here
is the greatest honor in my life.
I've heard a good deal
about you, Captain,
from the ladies.
I didn't expect to see you here,
Your Excellency.
Why not, Your Majesty?
This is my pet regiment.
You look ravishing.
Now, there's another
good-looking soldier.
Come here, Lieutenant.
What's your name?
Dmitri, Your Majesty.
And your duties, Dmitri?
In charge of the night watch,
Your Majesty.
It must be cold at night...
Sometimes, Your Majesty.
Anyway, I'm certain you're
very efficient, Lieutenant.
Is he, Captain?
Tell me something about him.
He's very efficient,
Your Majesty.
He joined our regiment
from the Swedish front,
where he fought bravely
for about two years.
He's also distinguished himself by
exemplary bravery on the Turkish border.
This should have been
brought to our attention.
I can't understand why such a brave man
hasn't been decorated.
His Excellency doesn't mind.
Not if Her Majesty will tell me
why she continues to avoid me.
Her Majesty will tell you tonight...
if you will call on her.
With pleasure, Your Majesty.
For bravery in action.
See that you do justice
to it in future emergencies.
And now, Captain,
tell me something about yourself.
Your Majesty, I'm distressed at my neglect
at not having rewarded Lt. Dmitri before.
With your permission,
Your Majesty.
Rich too, huh?
Her Majesty will see you now,
Your Excellency.
At last, Your Majesty,
I've achieved...
the enviable privilege
of entering these rooms.
I seem to have a faint recollection
that you had that privilege before.
Not since the days
of Her Late Majesty,
whom I often visited
in the capacity of a trusted advisor.
Tell the others I've retired.
Send them away,
and come back in here.
Her Majesty wishes
to be alone tonight.
You may retire.
Tell me, Alexei,
are you still fond of me?
Yes, Your Majesty,
I love you.
But I'm completely bewildered
by your attitude towards me.
However, I've become accustomed
to regard you...
as one of those
extraordinary women...
who create their
own laws and logic.
and now I'm concerned
only with your safety.
Is it my safety
that concerns you...
or the safety of an empress?
I would give my life if the woman I adore
were not so far removed from me in station.
The woman you adore is quite
close to you, isn't she?
I love you, worship you.
I asked you here tonight because
I want you to do something for me.
I can trust you, can't I?
We'll always be friends, won't we?
Yes, Your Majesty.
What is it you require?
Blow out the candles.
Behind the mirror, as you know,
there's a flight of stairs.
Down below, someone
is waiting to come up.
Will His Excellency be kind enough
to open the door for him carefully...
so that he can sneak in?
Her Majesty is waiting
for you, Captain.
Yes, sir.
Thank you, sir.
Will you deliver
a message for me, Captain?
I would be very glad to, sir.
Tell Her Majesty that
I quite understand now.
No, never mind.
Don't tell her anything.
- She'll know.
- Yes, sir.
Something for the poor,
Your Majesty?
For the poor, Captain?
Quite a haul tonight, father.
Your Imperial Majesty,
something for the poor?
That was for me.
Now what have you got for the poor?
There are no poor in Russia!
Get out!
I've had enough of this
sanctimonious talk.
Let us drink.
Why doesn't he take up
his collections in church?
To the most charming
woman in my empire,
my friend,
the countess Elizabeth.
Go ask Her Majesty, my wife,
why she doesn't join our toast.
His Majesty, the emperor of Russia,
wishes me to ask...
why Her Majesty refuses
to join the toast.
Tell His Majesty that my thirst
is not as great as his tonight.
Her Majesty wishes me to convey that her
thirst is not as great as his tonight.
Go tell my wife she's a fool.
His Majesty wishes me
to inform Her Majesty...
that she is a fool.
What is your rank, Orloff?
Captain, Your Majesty.
Well, you're nothing now.
Now get out, both of you,
and stay out!
Sit down!
My wife is not
to leave the palace.
She's under arrest
until further orders.
Am I the emperor of Russia,
or am I not?
We'll issue a proclamation
that she died...
and ask the people
to pray for her.
Hurry, Your Majesty.
Everything is ready.
What are you doing here?
Exit Peter III.
Enter Catherine II.
We, soldiers in the service
of the Holy Russian Empire,
do hereby solemnly swear
to acknowledge...
and to defend with our lives,
the authority of Catherine our empress,
and to destroy her enemies!
Your Majesty, we're
sorry to trouble you,
But Her Majesty isn't in here, is she?
She's no longer in her rooms.
You infernal blockhead! This is the last
place in the world she would come to.
Double the guard!
Surround the palace!
Find her
and bring her here to me!
God grant you victory,
All Russia is waiting
for the sound of our bell.
Why are those bells ringing?
Why are those bells ringing?
I don't know, Peter.
How dare you address me like that!
Who are you?
My name is Orloff,
and I'm on duty as guard.
I'll have your head
for this insolence!
You're addressing the emperor!
There is no emperor.
there is only an empress.