A Royal Scandal (film)

A Royal Scandal, also known as Czarina, is a 1945 film about the love life of Russian Empress (Czarina) Catherine the Great. It stars Tallulah Bankhead, Charles Coburn, Anne Baxter, and William Eythe. The film was based on the play Die Zarin (The Czarina) by Lajos Bíró and Melchior Lengyel.

A Royal Scandal
theatrical poster
Directed byOtto Preminger
Ernst Lubitsch
Produced byErnst Lubitsch
Screenplay byEdwin Justus Mayer
Story byBruno Frank
Based onDie Zarin
by Lajos Bíró
Melchior Lengyel
StarringTallulah Bankhead
Charles Coburn
Anne Baxter
William Eythe
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyArthur Miller
Edited byDorothy Spencer
Distributed byTwentieth Century Fox
Release date
  • April 11, 1945 (1945-04-11)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,500,000[1]


Catherine (Tallulah Bankhead) discards her latest lover, Variatinsky (Donald Douglas), the commander of the palace guard. General Ronsky (Sig Ruman) schemes to have his oafish nephew Boris (Grady Sutton) be his replacement, so he and his cabal can stage an uprising and dethrone the Czarina. Catherine's chancellor, Nicolai Ilyitch (Charles Coburn), is determined to see to it that nothing disturbs his delicate negotiations for a treaty with France, so he tells his underling Malakoff (Vladimir Sokoloff) he does not want anybody new to see her majesty. However, a determined young officer, Alexei Chernoff (William Eythe), insists on an audience with her for the sake of Russia.



Ernst Lubitsch was the initial director, but fell ill and had to be replaced by Otto Preminger.[2] However, Lubitsch directed the rehearsals, and he worked with Edwin Justus Mayer in the scripting process. A Royal Scandal is a remake of Lubitsch's silent film Forbidden Paradise. All of the scenes were developed under Lubitsch. So, it is considered a "Lubitsch film".


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