The Assassin of the Tsar

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The Assassin of the Tsar
Directed byKaren Shakhnazarov
Written byAleksandr Borodyansky
Karen Shakhnazarov
StarringOleg Yankovsky
Malcolm McDowell
Armen Dzhigarkhanyan
Music byVladislav Shut
John Altman
Mosfilm (USSR)
Release date
1991 (1993 in UK)
Running time
98 minutes
CountrySoviet Union, United Kingdom
LanguageRussian (English)

The Assassin of the Tsar (Russian: Цареубийца, romanizedTsareubiytsa) is a 1991 Soviet drama film, starring Malcolm McDowell and Oleg Yankovsky. It was entered into the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.[1] There are two versions. One is filmed in English which later was dubbed over the Russian actors, and one in Russian. Malcolm McDowell pretended to speak Russian in the other version and was later dubbed.


Timofyev (Malcolm McDowell) is a patient in an asylum who claims to be the man who killed Tsar Alexander II in 1881, and his grandson Tsar Nicholas II in 1918. Doctor Smirnov (Oleg Yankovsky) decides to apply a peculiar therapeutic method on him, but things go in an unexpected way.

A good portion of the film depicts the last days of the Russian Imperial Family in Yekaterinburg, largely narrated by Timofyev's voice-over from the perspective of Yakov Yurovsky, the chief guard and ultimately executioner of the family. In the scenes, Yurovsky is impersonated by Timofyev (McDowell) and Tsar Nicholas II by Dr. Smirnov (Yankovsky). Other members of the family function merely as background, with few or no lines.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Assassin of the Tsar". Retrieved 2009-08-09.

External links[edit]