Dialogues quotes

[Nicholas & Alexandra are going to a birthday ball in honor of his mother; the Empress Dowager]

Tsarista Alexandra: "Oh Nicky, do we have to go? Can't we just say I have a headache."

Tsar Nicholas II: "It is my mother's birthday. You are too old for that now."

Tsaritsa Alexandra: "You never see unpleasant things. You drift away. I even wonder if you hear me half the time."

Tsar Nicholas II: "Just now I find you all too audible."

Tsaritsa Alexandra: "Nicky, guess what?"

Tsar Nicholas II: "You have got your headache."

[Both chuckle]
[The Empress Dowager has a moment alone with her son, the Tsar, at her birthday party]]

Empress Dowager Marie: "Witte had tea with me today."

Tsar Nicholas II: "Oh, did he?"

Empress Dowager Marie: "He ate all my sturgeon but he never stopped talking. Clever man! He talked about the war like everyone else. He thinks..."

Tsar Nicholas II<cutting her off>: "I know what he thinks."
Empress Dowager Marie: "Nicky, will you please let me finish. I know I am not as clever as everybody makes me out to be but I do know this. Witte thinks we cannot afford wars. They are too ambitious. I very much agree with him. We are an 18th Century nation trying to make it in a 20th Century world. Get out of Korea and forget about Japan. We need all our strength, resources, and money to look after Russia. Do not waste it on those little yellow Buddhists, pagans, or whatever the heck they are called. You only encourage them by taking them seriously."

Tsar Nicholas II: "I am 36 years old, Mama. You must let me look after this war on my own."

Empress Dowager Marie: "It is as your father always said..."

Tsar Nicholas II<again cutting her off as she has hit a sore point>: "Thank you for your kind advice."

[At the Empress Dowager's birthday ball. The Tsar and Tsaritsa are performing a solo dance in front of all the guests]

Tsaritsa Alexandra: "May I say something intimate?"

Tsar Nicholas II: "In public?"

Tsaritsa Alexandra: "I will whisper it."

Tsar Nicholas II:"Well, if you must."

Tsaritsa Alexandra:"Nicky, I adore you."
[At a chapel in the Tsarskoe Selo palace. Tsaritsa Alexandra, dressed in black, is arranging wood carvings of saints on a table. Her baby boy has suffered a hemophilia attack and she is beggging for the recovery of her son. Rasputin enters.]
Tsaritsa Alexandra: "I know there is supposed to be a proper arrangement of the saints. Now I cannot even remember all their names."

Rasputin: "It does not matter Matushka (Mother of the Russian people), they know you."

Rasputin: "God works in mysterious ways, Matushka. There was a man in Prokovskoe. He did not work or wash himself. He drank, he stole, he lied, he chased after all the peasant girls. Why then, of all people, did the Virgin Mary come to him?

Tsaritsa Alexandra: "Maybe he lied. You said he was a liar."

Rasputin: "No, Matushka', she came. I saw her. God is here. Pray with me, Matushka.
[A large open area. Alexander Kerensky is with a group of men protesting the Russo-Japanese War]

Men (shouting in unison): "NO!"

Alexander Kerensky: "More men! Port Arthur falls and Nicholas is sending more men!"

Men (shouting in unison): "NO!"

Alexander Kerensky: "I say we students lead the way!"

Men (shouting in unison): "YEAH!"

Alexander Kerensky: "I say we give Nicholas a Port Arthur right here!"
Men (shouting in unison): "YEAH!"

[Russian soldiers march into the area to draft the men into military service]

Alexander Kerensky: "They are coming for us. Now, do we run or do we fight?"

Men (shouting in unison): "WE FIGHT!"

[Kerensky and the men rush the soldiers; who proceed to club the men for their resistance to conscription. Kerensky is knocked to the floor]
[A ghastly textile factory in Saint Petersburg. People are toiling, harvesting fiber. The factory also doubles as squalid living quarters for the peasants. An old lady is lying on a wooden slab which serves as her deathbed. Petya, a peasant man, is leading Father Georgi Gapon his dying mother, as Sonya, his wife, looks on]]

Petya: "This way Father, please hurry!"

Sonya: "It is too late Petya. She has died."

[Petya then appears clearly upset at the loss of his mother, Sonya places his arm around him while Father Gapon kneels to give his now-decased mother Extreme Unction and say a prayer of the dead for her]]

Petya: "My mother spent her whole life here. She was born in this factory, grew up here, took her classes here, played here, got married here. I was born, Father died, I got married here and had children. And now it is all over for her. The other people here just keep on working. Well, I cannot blame them, they have to work to feed their families. Father, I have a confession to make. I want to kill somebody. The other factory workers come visit me sometime, they tell me we ought to make bombs, blow things up. Well, I want to fight back for once!"

Father Gapon: "The only thing violence produces is more violence. They will beat you and throw you in jail. There is a better way. We will go to see the Tsar with our grievances."

Sonya: "You know the saying Father. God is too high and the Tsar is too far away."

[The "Bloody Sunday" massacre has just occurred. Tsar Nicholas II furiously storms into his office to see Prime Minister Witte]

Tsar Nicholas II: "How many dead?"

Prime Minister Witte: "Sir, we are still counting, but it is estimated to be in the hundreds."

Tsar Nicholas II: "Who gave the order to fire upon them?"

Prime Minister Witte: "Your Majesty, nobody ordered it."

Tsar Nicholas II: "You run this government. Somebody had to have ordered something!"

Prime Minister Witte: "Would you have gone out to meet them?"

Tsar Nicholas II: "Of course not."

Prime Minister Witte: "Would you have given them a Duma? Allowed them to have elections? Had schools and hospitals built for them?"

Tsar Nicholas II: "How could I?"

Prime Minister Witte: "THEN WHY BOTHER TO INFORM YOU ABOUT THIS?! You would not have done anything!"

[The Tsar is meeting with Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin (Witte's successor) at the Livadia Palace by the Crimean Sea]

Prime Minister Stolypin: "One finds these in Saint Petersburg everywhere. The drawings are crude, but you get the idea of what they mean."

[Stolypin shows the Tsar vulgar cartoons of himself and the Tsaritsa sitting in Rasputin's lap. Another cartoon shows the Tsaritsa topless with Rasputin]

Tsar Nicholas II: "Damn it! What is wrong with the Ohkrana? Cannot 10,000 secret agents find a printing press? I want it stopped!"

[The Tsar angrily crumples up the cartoons and throws them over the rocks into the Crimean Sea]

Prime Minister Stolypin: "It is not just one printing press. The agents cannot find them all. Nobody knows why you have allowed Rasputin into the palace."

Tsar Nicholas II: "You know why."

Prime Minister Stolypin: "Yes, but the people do not."

Tsar Nicholas II: "I suppose I should tell them, shall I. Very well, I shall make the annoucement. <Somewhat stately voice> "Citizens, your Tsarevitch could have a nosebleed and die from it."

Prime Minister Stolypin: I have these as well." [Stolypin hands the Tsar a dossier] "Police reports on Grigori Efifmovitch Rasputin. Drunk half the time. Chases after all the women of Saint Petersburg. Oh, he is generous with himself, I will give him that, it is his only Christian virtue. Whores, officer's wives, the list goes on. You have to banish him from the palace; away from Saint Petersburg. I cannot control the situation if you do not. People are spreading rumors that he goes to bed with your wife and daughters!"

[Following the murder of Prime Minister Stolypin, the Tsar orders a string of crackdowns. The conspirators behind Stolypin's assassinations are convicted and executed; but various crackdowns on civil liberties occur and police brutality is left unchecked. The Tsar also orders the dissolving of the Duma. Russian police are standing by to escort the Duma members out. Alexander Kerensky, now a member of Duma, is protesting this]

Alexander Kerensky: "Tell the Tsar that he can close this building, but he cannot close the Duma or the concept of the Russian people being represented in government!"

Members of the Duma<in unison>: "HEAR, HEAR!"

Duma President: "Mr. Kerensky, I have the floor. You will not speak out of turn!"

Alexander Kerensky: "The Duma is not a street corner. We are not rebels and bombmakers. Most of us want a system like the English do. Let there be a Tsar. But let there be representative government and the rule of law as well. Bring the Tsar here and let him be told that."

Members of the Duma: "HEAR, HEAR!"

Duma President: "The Tsar is not here right now. He is at his hunting lodge in Poland."

Alexander Kerenksy: "I do not care if he is in Scotland shooting wild grouse! Go tell the Tsar that by dissolving the Duma he is bring ruin upon his head and that he cannot silence the voice of the Russian people. Tell him now! Tell him, while there is still a Tsar left to tell!"

[Rasputin is in his home village in Siberia. He is riding on a horse and drinking liquor straight from the bottle. He sees three beautiful peasant girls shoveling hay into a horse drawn cart and approaches the ladies. The cart is then seen moving as a nun is walking by]

Nun: "Good day, and the Lord be with you."

[The nun is then shocked to see the three peasant women emerge from the hay cart in the nude and giggling. Rasputin then also emerges shirtless, still seen drunk and guzzling from his liquor bottle]

Grigori Rasputin: "And the Lord be with you!"

[Rasputin laughs in a drunken manner; the nun crosses herself at seeing such a spectacle]
[Sarejevo, Serbia. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Crown Prince of Austria, and his wife are riding in a motorcade waving to spectators. A man comes out of the crowd and guns them both down. Scene changes to Tsarskoe Selo. The Tsarevitch Alexei awakens screaming as it was a nightmare of his. The Tsar, Tsaritsa, and their four daughters are awakened by the screaming and run to Alexei's room to see what is the matter.]

Grand Duchess Olga: "What is it Alexei, what is wrong?"

Tsaritsa Alexandra: "It is all right darling, we are here"

Tsarevitch Alexei: "There were royals in a car; a man shot them..."

Tsar Nicholas II: "You were dreaming about Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This is what happened..."

Tsaritsa Alexandra<interrupting him>: "Nicky, please do not tell them those horrible things."

Tsar Nicholas II: "Sunny, they are not children anymore. They have to know these things. Franz Ferdinand's assassination is bad for the royal family of Austria. It is also an unbelievable burden and sadness for the family of the assassin. You see, sometimes governments do things their people do not like. So the people react in different ways. The British vote. The Americans frequently remind their leaders they must be loyal to the U.S. Constitution. And the Serbs throw bombs. You see, Serbia wants its independence. But Austria will not grant it to them. So the Serbs resort to violence. It has happened in this country too sometimes. Your great-grandfather was killed by a bomb, so was Uncle Sergei. But Serbia is a long way away. Our foreign ministry will write some angry letters to the Serbian leaders, our generals will go on exercise and everything will be right again. And we do not need have bad dreams about archdukes. All over Europe kings and queens are sleeping safely in their beds, and that is what we are going to do too."
[The Tsar is meeting with his flag officers to discuss troop movements as the Austrians have engaged in a military exercise near the Russian border. It looks imminent that Russia will be hurtled into the First World War. Retired Prime Minister Witte is trying to convince the Tsar not to agitiate any other nation. He is sending a recieving telegrams to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, the so called "Willy & Nicky" correspondences]

Military Aide: "Your Majesty, good news. I have a personal telegram from the Kaiser offering to mediate between us and Austria!"

Tsar Nicholas II: "I knew I could count on Willy! You see?"

Prime Minister Witte: "With all due respect to your cousin sire, the Kaiser is a deceitful megalomaniac. If he is offering to help, then it is really time for us to start praying."

[The overconfident flag officers have concluded their operations plans and have started drinking champagne. Suddenly the Tsar enters with his ministers and Grand Duke Nicholas. All the soldiers immediately stand at attention as the Tsar enters. A somber looking Tsar orders the men at ease and prepares to deliver shocking news]

Tsar Nicholas II: "Gentlemen, Germany has declared war on Russia.

Grand Duke Nicholas: "God save Russia."

Flag officers (in unison): "God save the Tsar."
[In an unnamed nation, presumably Poland, Belarus, or Austria. Ragged Russian soldiers are lined up in formation. Colonel Volkov, his mood now much more depressed and realistic from his prewar overconfidence a couple of years ago, is inspecting soldiers, who are poorly equipped. The Imperial Russian Army, unable to afford being selective, has drafted many types of men to become soldiers, from teenage boys just barely finishing puberty to old men with white beards. Volkov confers with an inferior officer.]

Colonel Volkov: "The men have orders to be on the front line tonight. Do we have any horses or motor transport?"

Russian Major: "No sir, there is none available for our unit."

Colonel Volkov: "Very well, then they have to walk."

Russian Major: "Right face!" <Soldiers face right> "Forward, march!" <Major leads the soldiers marching down the road>

[Colonel Volkov walks off in the opposite direction and reclines under a tree. He takes one last look at the clouds, sky, and falling leaves from the trees as he unholsters his pistol and places it in his mouth. Camera zooms off screen as the sound of a gunshot is heard, indicating Colonel Volkov has taken his own life]

[Another unnamed combat zone. Two ragged enlisted men have just killed a rabbit for their meal and are skinning it and cooking it over a fire; their only source of food as they are not regularly fed. A Russian captain orders them to stop what they are doing and get themselves in gear]

Russian Captain: "We have orders to deploy. Pick up your rifles and get going!"

Russian Private: "Bug off! We're eating!"

Russian Captain: "I said move! NOW!"

[One of the enlisted men picks up his rifle, loads it and without the faintest fear of a court-martial, aims it at the superior officer and opens fire. This scene is indicative of the rampant mutiny and lack of discipline in the Russian military during World War One]

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