CastleDrama: Catherine the Great (1995)

"Catherine the Great" is a 1995 U.S.-German television movie on the life of, you guessed it, Empress Catherine II of Russia starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. I remember seeing it years ago and then rewatched it a while ago. While I have read a lot of praise about Zeta-Jones' portrayal, I don't quite agree. You need to have a certain charisma to portray a person like Catherine the Great. Few do and Zeta-Jones isn't one of them. This wasn't helped by the fact that the script seemed lacking in many areas.

The film is quite lengthy, about three hours, yet (naturally) shows Catherine's life in quick motion. From what I recall, the historical details seem pretty accurate though some battle scenes are even a bit confusing to somone who has a little historical background knowledge. Of course events are omitted due to the fact that you can hardly squeeze a whole lifetime into a three hour movie. One thing I really liked about "Catherine the Great" were the costumes and the sets though. All in all a decent film but not "the Great" its main character is.

While I looked for a clip of the 1995 movie, I came across two Russian movies on Catherine II that seem pretty epic! I'll need to see if they are available in English as well.

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