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::1934 - The Scarlet Empress / Die große Zarin (Die scharlachrote Kaiserin)



USA 1934
Paramount
black & white

Synopsis:
The young German princess Sophia Frederica is chosen by Queen Elizabeth of Russia to marry her nephew, the "royal halfwit" Peter, in order to provide a sane male heir to the throne. Elizabeth changes Sophia's name to Catherine and, following the wedding, Peter tells the queen he hates his wife. When the marriage remains unconsummated, Catherine is blamed. Meanwhile, the debonair Count Alexei pursues Catherine and gives her a locket that contains his picture. The queen discovers their rendezvous, however, and demands that Catherine not leave her sight. That night, Catherine discovers Alexei is the queen's lover and throws his locket out her window, but in remorse goes out into the snowy night to find it. There she meets Lieutenant Dmitri, a guard, who does not recognize her. In an act of vengeance, Catherine makes love with him and becomes pregnant. When she gives birth to a boy, Catherine satisfies the queen, but Peter knows the child is not his and his hatred for Catherine grows. When the queen dies, Peter becomes czar and begins a reign of terror, torturing and murdering thousands of Russians. By befriending much of the royal army through her feminine wiles, Catherine builds her defense against the increasingly insane Peter. When Peter has Catherine arrested in order to bring his mistress to the throne, Catherine escapes and, with the help of General Orloff, storms the palace, after which Orloff murders Peter.

Cast:
Marlene Dietrich (Princess Sophia Frederica / Catherine II)
John Lodge (Count Alexei)
Sam Jaffe (Grand Duke Peter)
Louise Dresser (Empress Elizabeth Petrovna)
C. Aubrey Smith (Prince August)
Gavin Gordon (Capt. Gregori Orloff)
Olive Tell (Princess Johanna Elizabeth)
Ruthelma Stevens (Countess Elizabeth 'Lizzie')
Davison Clark (Archimandrite Simeon Todorsky / Arch-Episcope)
Erville Alderson (Chancelor Alexei Bestuchef)
Philip Sleeman (Count Lestoq)
Marie Wells (Marie Tshoglokof)
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski (Ivan Shuvolov)
Gerald Fielding (Lt. Dmitri)
Maria Riva (Sieber) (Sophia as a Child)
Eric Alden (Lackey #5)
Richard Alexander (Count von Breummer)
Nadine Beresford (Sophia's Aunt)
Thomas C. Blythe (Narcissus)
Hal Boyer (Paul - Lackey #1)
James Burke (Guard)
Jane Darwell (Miss Cardell, Sophia's Nurse)
Clyde David (Narcissus)
John Davidson (Marquis de la Chetardie)
George Davis (Jester)
Anna Duncan (Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting)
Elinor Fair (Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting)
May Foster (Elizabeth's Lady-in-Waiting)
Julanne Johnston (Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting)
James A. Marcus (Innkeeper)
Petra McAllister (Sophia's Aunt)
Eunice Murdock Moore (Sophia's Aunt)
Patricia Patrick (Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting)
Warner Richmond (Castle Guard)
Blanche Rose (Sophia's Aunt)
Barbara Sabichi (Elizabeth's Lady-in-Waiting)
Katherine Sabichi (Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting)
Dina Smirnova (Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting)
Elaine St. Maur (Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting)
Agnes Steele (Elizabeth's Lady-in-Waiting)
Minnie Steele (Elizabeth's Lady-in-Waiting)
Belle Stoddard (Sophia's Aunt)
Akim Tamiroff (Bit Part)
Kent Taylor (Paul)
Jameson Thomas (Lt. Ovitsyn)
Edward Van Sloan (Herr Wagner)
Bruce Warren (Lackey)
Leo White (Beautician Curling Catherine's Hair)
Harry Woods (Doctor #1)

Crew:
Josef von Sternberg (director)
Eleanor McGeary (contributor to screenplay construction)
Emanuel Cohen (executive producer)
Josef von Sternberg (producer)
Bert Glennon (cinematography)
Sam Winston (film editor)
Hans Dreier (art direction)
Travis Banton (costume design)
Peter Ballbusch (sculptor: gargoyles and figures)
Hans Dreier (set designer)
Richard Kollorsz (paintings)
Richard Kollorsz (set designer: icons)
Harry D. Mills (sound recording engineer)
Gordon Jennings (special photographic effects)
Audrey Scott (riding double: Marlene Dietrich)
Josef von Sternberg (lighting technician)
William Walling (still photographer)
Eugene Joseff (costume jeweller)
W. Franke Harling (music adaptor)
W. Franke Harling (music arranger)
Bernhard Kaun (music adaptor)
John Leipold (music adaptor)
John Leipold (music arranger)
Oscar Potoker (music adaptor)
Milan Roder (music arranger)
Adolph Zukor (presenter)
based on the Diary of Catherine II, diary arranged by Manuel Komroff

Length:
2.797 Meter

Production:
Spring 1934

Premiere:
19 May 1934, Carlton, London