I recorded this film on Spike's birthday (11-5) but Jeff wasn't up to a 3.25 hour film. I watched it this weekend when Jeff was away. I've seen it probably twice before. I like well-made historical films--this is one of them. The acting is stellar. One of the things I like about this film is that it portrays a history of the Russian Revolution from a personal perspective.
A few facts I learned from the TCM introduction:
Nicholas was Michael Jayston's third film role
Alexandra was Janet Suzman's first film role
Lawrence Olivier recommended Tom Baker for the role of Rasputin.
In his introduction, Ben Mankiewicz said that this was a prestige film that has been forgotten. That's too bad, because it holds up: it is a good film.
I like to think about how small differences could have made major changes in history. For example, what if Fidel Castro had made it a major league pitcher? Would the Cuban revolution have occurred? If so, how would it be different?
In this film, in this part of history, what would have been different if Alexis, the Tsarevich, had not been ill with hemophilia? Surely, Rasputin would not have gained his influence over the royal family. I don't think Nicholas would have been a good ruler, but things might not have turned out so badly.
I hope that this film will be re-discovered.