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The year after the all-star Grand Hotel, brothers John and Lionel Barrymore teamed again in Rasputin and the Empress. Joining them in a sumptuous and stirring tale about the often-called Mad Monk who held a powerful – perhaps hypnotic – sway over World War I-era Russian royalty was the third member of the American stage’s Royal Family: Ethel Barrymore, making this the lone feature with all three thespian siblings. Intercut with footage from the actual era, the film burns with intrigue, betrayal, rivalry and the renowned trio’s talents. Lionel has the plum role of Rasputin, seething with ambition and rage. “I will be Russia!” he proclaims. History shows he would not. But this movie shows he would not be forgotten.

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WAA79570 Rasputin and the Empress DVD (1932/John & Lionel Barrymore) $21.49