Tsareubitsy is a feature film directed by Karen Shakhnazarov , shot in 1991 . Psychological drama with elements of mysticism . The main roles are played by Oleg Yankovsky , who was awarded the national prize “ Nika ” for this acting, and Briton Malcolm McDowell .
|Genre||Historical drama |
|Producer||Benjamin Brahms |
|Alexander Borodyansky |
|In the main|
|Oleg Yankovsky |
|Film company||Mosfilm Film Studio, Courier Film Studio, Spectator Entertainment (United Kingdom)|
|A country||USSR , Great Britain|
Psychiatrist Smirnov came from Moscow to a provincial city to replace the retiring chief physician of the local psychiatric clinic, Alexander Egorovich. One of the clinic’s long-standing patients, the former criminal Timofeev, suffers from a split personality and identifies himself with the murderers of the Russian emperors Alexander II and Nicholas II during periods of exacerbation. The new head physician is amazed that the patient gives such details from the life of regicide that he simply cannot be known to him. Moreover, on strictly defined days, Timofeev showed the same bodily injuries that the regicide had - bruised scars on the neck, like the murderer of Alexander II, who had his head cut off, and signs of a perforated stomach ulcer, like that of Yurovsky, the killer of Nicholas II .
Smirnov begins to actively engage in an unusual patient. In the process of conversations, he plans to conduct something like shock therapy with Timofeev: start talking to him on behalf of Nicholas II, and then show him that he is just his doctor, and thus convince Timofeev that he is not who imagines himself. Smirnov’s predecessor tries to dissuade him, noting that “in the mind of a person there are things that it’s better never to touch anyone , ” but the new doctor is starting to carry out his plan.
At first, everything goes as Smirnov planned: Timofeev unconditionally believes that he is talking with Nicholas II. However, soon the situation gets out of the control of the doctor: he involuntarily begins to identify himself with the last Russian emperor and once even finds a bleeding wound on his head that disappears without a trace in a day; he does not know that Nicholas II in the same place had a saber strike scar that he received while traveling in Japan . Alexander Egorovich, realizing that something was wrong with his colleague, is again trying to dissuade Smirnov from further work with Timofeev, but he unexpectedly says: "I want to understand why this particular person killed me . " Timofeev-Yurovsky is also trying to understand why this murder fell to him.
In subsequent conversations, Smirnov and Timofeev tell each other about the circumstances of those days, share their thoughts and experiences. Smirnov-Nikolai begins to understand that the junker's son Yakov Yurovsky was neither a cold-blooded executioner, nor "chosen" - he was just a cog in the machine of the Russian revolution. Lenin at a meeting with him, knowing full well what Yurovsky did ( “we both did it, I and he” ), to the latter’s surprise, did not say a word about the circumstances of the execution committed by his direct order ( “I waited ... but not a word, not even a hint, nothing ” ). Gradually, Yurovsky also realizes that in reality he is just a kind of spring in a gun, which worked when he pulled the trigger, aiming the barrel at the heart of the Russian emperor. Dying 20 years later in the elite ward of the Granovsky Clinic, Yurovsky realized that, despite the historical crime committed by him, he was "no one and nothing", so he remained.
After another conversation with Timofeev, in which he finally describes the details of the day of the execution, Smirnov goes to Yekaterinburg , visits the place where the house of engineer Ipatiev stood - the place of the last imprisonment and murder of the imperial family - and dies in a hotel room at night.
The film shows for its time curious details to the viewer, shows those moments that previously fell under censorship, for example, the occult hobbies of Empress Alexandra Fedorovna , who, before being shot, drew a swastika amulet on the walls of the room .
- Oleg Yankovsky - psychiatrist Alexei Mikhailovich Smirnov / Nikolay II
- Malcolm McDowell - patient Timofeev / Yakov Mikhailovich Yurovsky (voiced by Yuri Belyaev )
- Armen Dzhigarkhanyan - Alexander Egorovich
- Angelica Ptashuk - Marina (Smirnov's girlfriend)
- Andrey Krivitsky - Nicholas II in childhood
- Olga Antonova - Empress Alexandra Fedorovna
- Daria Mayorova - Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna
- Evgenia Kryukova - Grand Duchess Tatyana Nikolaevna
- Alena Teremizova - Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna
- Olga Borisova - Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
- Alexey Logunov - Tsarevich Alexey Nikolaevich
- Yuri Sherstnev - Peter Sergeevich Kozlov, orderly
- Yuri Belyaev - Alexander II
- Victor Seferov - Pyotr Lazarevich Voikov
- Givi Tohadze - General
- Anastasia Nemolyaeva - nurse of Yurovsky
- Anton Tabakov - a psychiatrist singing a song (not in the credits)
- Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
- Script writer: Alexander Borodyansky , Karen Shakhnazarov
- Operator: Nikolay Nemolyaev
- Composer: Vladislav Shut
- Artist: Lyudmila Kusakova
- Producers: Ernst (Eric) Weisberg, Vladimir Dostal
- Prize for the best work of a costume designer - Vera Romanova; Nika -1991
- Award for Best Actor - Oleg Yankovsky; Nika -1991;
- The main prize of the International Film Festival in Belgrade-1991 (Yugoslavia).
About a year before the shooting of the movie “The Killer”, Karen Shakhnazarov and Alexander Borodyansky wrote the script for the film “ Ward No. 6 ” based on the novel by A.P. Chekhov for a joint project with Italian producers. Shakhnazarov wanted to make this film, and Marcello Mastroianni had to play the main role - Dr. Ragin. However, even in the process of writing the script, Italian producers refused to finance this project, and Shakhnazarov had a wealth of material about the patients of mental hospitals, which was very useful in working on Tsareubitsya.
Once Shakhnazarov read a large article about the execution of the royal family. The idea was born to recreate these events in the movie “The Killer”, but it was decided to write the script for the future film in two time dimensions - 1918 and the present, so that there was an opportunity for improvisation. Thus, Borodyansky and Shakhnazarov “untied their hands”, not wanting to shut themselves down on the execution. So the image of the doctor-psychiatrist Smirnov appeared, which first plays out Nicholas II, and then “gets accustomed” to the fruit of his fantasies and ceases to understand who he is: a psychiatrist or an emperor killed by Yurovsky.
According to the memoirs of Shakhnazarov, it was originally thought that the main roles would be played by Yankovsky and MacDowell. There was a preliminary agreement with Yankovsky, but Shakhnazarov did not even dream of McDowell  . The actor agreed to act after reading the script and met with Shakhnazarov at the Cannes Film Festival  . Working on the film, MacDowell lived in a modest rented apartment for several months in Moscow.  His fee was two million dollars. 
The shooting took place in a psychiatric hospital No. 16, located in the Berlukovskaya desert .
During the filming, there was a catastrophic shortage of money, and due to the busyness of the actors (especially McDowell) on other film projects, the control and production plan was rewritten several times. Shakhnazarov made all his previous films in 20-30 days, and in “Tsareubitsa” it was necessary to shoot all four seasons of the year on a full-scale shoot, and he had to stop for a long time, dissolve the film group, then reassemble it and try “on the same note” to shoot a new material.
The artist of the picture, Lyudmila Kusakova, said that for the shooting in Yekaterinburg , the completely destroyed house of engineer Ipatiev had to be restored. She tried to find at least some information about the house in the city museum, talked with old-timers. It was accidentally discovered that copies of floor plans of the house were preserved in the local housing office , and interiors in pavilions were built on them. One staircase had to be turned 90 degrees, because it did not fit in the pavilion  .
At the time of filming, the artistic councils "self-destructed", and no one crossed out the script, did not correct the footage, did not force the scene to be thrown into the basket during editing.
The whole film was shot in two versions - in Russian and English (for European screening).
- List of films about the Romanov dynasty
- “Film about the film” in the DVD edition.
- Melcolm McDowell - Regicide for two million dollars . Kommersant (September 3, 1990). Date of appeal September 30, 2012.
- Soviet Screen Journal No. 16., p 14. - M., 1990.
- Alexander Dobrovolsky. “Making a movie is a drawn matter” // Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 15, 2009