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HISTORY

This film was shot at the Herbert Brenon Film Corp. studios in Hudson Heights, NJ. The film had its premiere in New York on 23 Sep 1917, but did not go into general release until Jan 1918. First National Exhibitors' Circuit secured the distribution rights in late Feb or early Mar 1918. Between the film's first showing in New York and its release by First National in Mar 1918, Iliodor Pictures Corp. added new scenes to reflect the more recent developments in the Russian situation. One new scene included an appearance by Charles Edward Russell, a writer on political economic theory and a socialist member of the American (Root) Commission before the Russian Duma. Iliodor, known as the "Mad Monk," actually lived during the period of the Russian Revolution and served as confidant to the Czar and Czarina. According to a NYT news item, William A. Brady, whose production company, the World Film Corp. also made a film in 1917 about Rasputin called Rasputin, the Black Monk (see listing below), and Herbert Brenon got into a fist fight after a pre-release screening in New York on 6 Sep 1917. The fight was reportedly broken up by Adolph Zukor. A pre-release title of the film was The Downfall of the Romanoffs . In addition to Rasputin, the Black Monk , other films about Rasputin include Rasputin and the Empress (1933, M-G-M), starring John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, and Rasputin -- The Mad Monk (1966, 20th Century-Fox), starring Christopher ... More Less

This film was shot at the Herbert Brenon Film Corp. studios in Hudson Heights, NJ. The film had its premiere in New York on 23 Sep 1917, but did not go into general release until Jan 1918. First National Exhibitors' Circuit secured the distribution rights in late Feb or early Mar 1918. Between the film's first showing in New York and its release by First National in Mar 1918, Iliodor Pictures Corp. added new scenes to reflect the more recent developments in the Russian situation. One new scene included an appearance by Charles Edward Russell, a writer on political economic theory and a socialist member of the American (Root) Commission before the Russian Duma. Iliodor, known as the "Mad Monk," actually lived during the period of the Russian Revolution and served as confidant to the Czar and Czarina. According to a NYT news item, William A. Brady, whose production company, the World Film Corp. also made a film in 1917 about Rasputin called Rasputin, the Black Monk (see listing below), and Herbert Brenon got into a fist fight after a pre-release screening in New York on 6 Sep 1917. The fight was reportedly broken up by Adolph Zukor. A pre-release title of the film was The Downfall of the Romanoffs . In addition to Rasputin, the Black Monk , other films about Rasputin include Rasputin and the Empress (1933, M-G-M), starring John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, and Rasputin -- The Mad Monk (1966, 20th Century-Fox), starring Christopher Lee. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
ETR
24 Nov 17
p. 2022.
MPN
22 Sep 17
p. 2038.
MPW
9 Jun 17
p. 1629.
MPW
14 Apr 17
p. 26.
MPW
9 Mar 17
p. 1379.
New York Times
7 Sep 17
p. 9.
New York Times
24 Sep 17
p. 11.
NYDM
21 Jul 17
p. 23.
NYDM
28 Jul 17
p. 17.
NYDM
11 Aug 17
p. 13.
NYDM
15 Sep 17
p. 13.
Variety
14 Sep 17
p. 35.
Wid's
11 Oct 17
pp. 647-48.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Downfall of the Romanoffs
Release Date:
January 1918
Copyright Claimant:
Iliodor Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 August 1917
Copyright Number:
LU11325
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In a vodka shop in pre-revolutionary Siberia, Rasputin, a drunken, illiterate sled driver, learns of the death of the wife of Meliti, a local clergyman. The next day Meliti hires Rasputin as a driver, and Rasputin tells the clergyman his fortune, using his knowledge about Meliti's wife as proof of his soothsaying skills. When Meliti discovers that his wife has indeed died, he falls at Rasputin's feet and declares him a great seer. Soon Rasputin himself begins to believe in his powers and sets off to preach around the countryside where he meets Anna, a gypsy girl who falls under his provocative spell. Although the rough charlatan is arrested for stealing, Prince Felix, upon hearing of Rasputin's prophetic abilities, goes to the village to bring him back to St. Petersburg. After Rasputin correctly predicts the birth of a royal son, his influence in the court grows, and eventually he is installed in a special palace. Rasputin advocates the use of eloquent orators to quell the unhappy masses and tries to join forces with Iliodor, an idealistic Serbian monk. Once Iliodor witnesses the corrupt and manipulative practices of Rasputin, however, he switches his allegiance to the revolutionaries and denounces the Czar. Although Rasputin attempts to destroy Iliodor's power and credibility, Iliodor prevails, and with the help of Kerensky, the commander of the revolutionary forces, the Czar is ... +


In a vodka shop in pre-revolutionary Siberia, Rasputin, a drunken, illiterate sled driver, learns of the death of the wife of Meliti, a local clergyman. The next day Meliti hires Rasputin as a driver, and Rasputin tells the clergyman his fortune, using his knowledge about Meliti's wife as proof of his soothsaying skills. When Meliti discovers that his wife has indeed died, he falls at Rasputin's feet and declares him a great seer. Soon Rasputin himself begins to believe in his powers and sets off to preach around the countryside where he meets Anna, a gypsy girl who falls under his provocative spell. Although the rough charlatan is arrested for stealing, Prince Felix, upon hearing of Rasputin's prophetic abilities, goes to the village to bring him back to St. Petersburg. After Rasputin correctly predicts the birth of a royal son, his influence in the court grows, and eventually he is installed in a special palace. Rasputin advocates the use of eloquent orators to quell the unhappy masses and tries to join forces with Iliodor, an idealistic Serbian monk. Once Iliodor witnesses the corrupt and manipulative practices of Rasputin, however, he switches his allegiance to the revolutionaries and denounces the Czar. Although Rasputin attempts to destroy Iliodor's power and credibility, Iliodor prevails, and with the help of Kerensky, the commander of the revolutionary forces, the Czar is overthrown. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.