Rasputin

  • 1981
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

One of the most talked-about Russian films in years and one that manages to avoid most of the crushing stodginess that afflicts Soviet cinema, RASPUTIN is a lavish look at the roots of the October Revolution. Petrenko is the mad monk of the title, drowning himself in alcohol and possessing every woman who catches his eye. He works his way into the confidence...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

One of the most talked-about Russian films in years and one that manages to avoid most of the crushing stodginess that afflicts Soviet cinema, RASPUTIN is a lavish look at the roots of the October Revolution. Petrenko is the mad monk of the title, drowning himself in alcohol and possessing

every woman who catches his eye. He works his way into the confidence of the czar's family by proving to be the only person who can help the hemophilia of the young czarevitch. Other advisors to the czar resent the growing influence of this obscure mystic, and they conspire to kill him in one of

the messiest assassinations in history--poisoning, shooting, stabbing, and finally drowning Petrenko, who just keeps getting up, almost like Michael in HALLOWEEN. Petrenko is a trifle overbearing in his insanity, but, after all, they don't call Rasputin "the perfectly sane monk," do they? The film

has an interesting history. Supposedly begun in 1975 and intended as part of Mosfilm's tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Revolution, the film was promptly banned by Soviet censorship and never saw the light of a projector until 1981, when it showed up by surprise at the Moscow Film Festival.

It then vanished again until 1985, when the Russians finally allowed a truncated version (40 minutes were cut) to be sold for foreign distribution, allegedly on direct orders from Mikhail Gorbachev. Rasputin has turned up in dozens of movies. In his study of Soviet cinema, Kino, Jay Leyda mentions

how the monk was the most hissable villain in film during the Revolution but has long since been abandoned to the West and actors from Lionel Barrymore to Tom Baker. While this picture is certainly no masterpiece, it is never less than entertainingly trashy, exemplifying what Russian cinema could

be without the official strictures that keep it on a steady diet of horrendously dull boy-loves-tractor stories. (In Russian; English subtitles.)

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1981
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: One of the most talked-about Russian films in years and one that manages to avoid most of the crushing stodginess that afflicts Soviet cinema, RASPUTIN is a lavish look at the roots of the October Revolution. Petrenko is the mad monk of the title, drowning… (more)

Show More »