Watch Night They Killed Rasputin
- 1 hr 25 min
Night They Killed Rasputin is a 1960 historical drama that details the events leading up to Grigori Rasputin's assassination and the political turmoil that was occurring in Russia. The movie is directed by Vasili Pichul and stars Edmund Purdom, Gianna Maria Canale, and John Drew Barrymore in the lead roles. The story is set in 1916, during the height of World War I. Russia is struggling to stay afloat amidst the war and Tsar Nicholas II's rule has become increasingly unstable. In the midst of all of this, Rasputin, the mysterious spiritual advisor to the Tsarina Alexandra, has become a highly contentious figure in Russian society. The film follows the aftermath of Rasputin's increasing influence on the royal family and his eventual assassination by a group of conspirators.
The movie begins with Rasputin's introduction into the royal family, as Alexandra seeks his advice on her son's haemophilia. Rasputin seems to have a miraculous healing touch and as a result, he gains immense influence over the royal family, much to the chagrin of the nobility who view him as a charlatan. Purdom plays Grand Duke Igor, who is highly skeptical of Rasputin's powers and seeks to rid the royal family of his influence.
As the war rages on, the political situation becomes dire and the nobility becomes increasingly desperate to remove Rasputin. Barrymore plays the role of a young nobleman named Felix Yusupov who hatches a plan to assassinate Rasputin. The plan involves luring Rasputin to Yusupov's palace and poisoning him. However, things don't go as planned and a prolonged struggle ensues between Yusupov and Rasputin.
Alongside the assassination plot, the movie also depicts the broader political context in Russia at the time. The public is increasingly disenchanted with the royal family and this sentiment is reflected in the growing revolt and unrest throughout the country. Canale plays a revolutionary sympathizer who becomes involved in a plot to overthrow the monarchy.
The film does an excellent job of portraying Rasputin as a complex and enigmatic character. While he is initially portrayed as a spiritual advisor with a genuine desire to heal the Tsar's son, as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that he is also a political player who manipulates the royal family to further his own agenda. Similarly, the conspirators who plot his assassination are equally multi-dimensional, with varying motivations for wanting to rid Russia of Rasputin's influence.
The performances in the film are generally strong, with Purdom doing an excellent job of playing the skeptical Grand Duke Igor. Canale also delivers a convincing performance as a revolutionary sympathizer who is grappling with her loyalty to her cause and her love for her country. Barrymore's portrayal of the young and impulsive Yusupov is also noteworthy, although at times his performance can feel a bit over-the-top.
Overall, Night They Killed Rasputin is a well-crafted historical drama that provides a fascinating glimpse into one of the most controversial and enigmatic figures in Russian history. The film's exploration of the political turmoil in Russia during the early 20th century, as well as its portrayal of the various factions vying for control, makes for a compelling and thought-provoking story.
Night They Killed Rasputin is a 2008 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.