Magnificent Sinner

Magnificent Sinner (original French title: Katia) is a 1959 French film by director Robert Siodmak about the romance between Tsar Alexander II of Russia and the then-schoolgirl Catherine Dolgorukov, who later became his mistress and finally his morganatic wife. It stars Romy Schneider as Katia, a schoolgirl who becomes the Tsar's mistress and Curd Jürgens as Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The film, originally released as Katia, was a remake of a 1938 French film of the same name, which starred Danielle Darrieux.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Siodmak
Produced byMichel Safra
Screenplay byGeorges Neveux
Charles Spaak
StarringCurd Jürgens
Romy Schneider
Music byJoseph Kosma
CinematographyMichel Kelber
Edited byLouisette Hautecoeur
Henri Taverna
Release date
20 January 1960
Running time
91 minutes


Produced in France, Magnificent Sinner stars Curd Jürgens as Tsar Alexander II, with Romy Schneider as the schoolgirl Katia who first becomes his mistress, before being elevated to the rank of princess. The romance between emperor and commoner leads to court intrigue and a weakening of the ties of loyalty between the Tsar's ministers and their ruler, and is instrumental in Alexander's ultimate assassination.[1]



Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film two out of four stars, describing it as "lackluster."[2] Bosley Crowther of The New York Times equally panned it as "an overstuffed costume picture" and "a hackneyed and ponderous bore." "It would be just as good, if not better," he continued, "if it had been a tractor with which the Tsar fell in love."[3]


  1. Material in this section was obtained from the four film listings given in "external links."
  2. Magnificent Sinner, TCM
  3. Magnificent Sinner, The New York Times

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