The Fall of the Romanoffs

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The Fall of the Romanoffs
The Fall of the Romanoffs.jpg
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Directed by Herbert Brenon
Produced by Herbert Brenon
Written by Van Wyck Brooks
George Edwardes-Hall
Austin Strong
Iliodor (book)
Starring Alfred Hickman
Nance O'Neil
Edward Connelly
Iliodor
Music by James C. Bradford
Distributed by First National Pictures
Release date
  • September 6, 1917 (1917-09-06) (New York City)
Running time
8 reels
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
Budget $250,000[1]

The Fall of the Romanoffs is a 1917 silent American historical drama film directed by Herbert Brenon. It was released only seven months after the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917. This film is notable for starring Rasputin's rival, the monk Iliodor, as himself. Costars Nance O'Neil and Alfred Hickman were married from 1916 to Hickman's death in 1931. The film was shot in North Bergen, New Jersey, nearby Fort Lee, New Jersey, where many early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based at the beginning of the 20th century.[2][3][4] It is not known whether the film currently survives,[5] and it may be a lost film.[6]

Plot[edit]

The film takes place during the final days of Rasputin's influence on the Imperial Family shortly before the Russian Revolution.

Cast[edit]

Alfred Hickman and Nance O'Neil as Nicholas and Alexandra

Production[edit]

Defrocked monk Iliodor (Trufanov), who left Russia in 1914, played himself in the film, while Nance O'Neil was cast as the czarina due to her resemblance of Empress Alexandra.[1] Director Brenon edited the film during production, allowing it to premiere at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City on September 6, 1917, which was just days after filming ended.[1] To keep the film current with events in Russia, Brenon continued to edit and add footage through October 1918 to include scenes of the czar's execution and the death of the czarina.[1]

Reception[edit]

Like many American films of the time, The Fall of the Romanoffs was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors cut, in Reel 4, the two intertitles "Come, let us sin together so that we may pray together" and "Be comforted, my child" etc., two struggle scenes between Rasputin and Sonia, Rasputin carrying unconscious young woman into other room, Rasputin drawing Sonia towards him, Sonia coming out of room into which Rasputin carried her, closeups of Sonia at couch registering emotion and shame, near view of Sonia kneeling before Iliodor, Reel 5, the two intertitles "A fearful thought" and "Who is the woman?", Reel 6, the two intertitles "Anna weary of her inconstant paramour" etc. and "Bring her to my level", and all scenes of Rasputin in sleeping young woman's room except where he enters and scene showing young woman climbing out window.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Mallory, Mary (2013-11-13). "The Fall of the Romanoffs Documents Russian Revolution". Los Angeles: The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2014-12-02. 
  2. ^ Koszarski, Richard (2004), Fort Lee: The Film Town, Rome, Italy: John Libbey Publishing, ISBN 0-86196-653-8 
  3. ^ "Studios and Films". Fort Lee Film Commission. Retrieved 2011-05-30. 
  4. ^ Fort Lee Film Commission (2006), Fort Lee Birthplace of the Motion Picture Industry, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 0-7385-4501-5 
  5. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The Fall of the Romanoffs at silentera.com
  6. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:The Fall of the Romanoffs
  7. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 6 (14): 29. March 30, 1918. 

External links[edit]