Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) Poster

Michael Jayston: Nicholas



  • Tsar Nicholas II : Oh, God, but it's good to be alive! The Earth is like a field in summer, just bursting with good things. Someday, when all the wars are over, someone young will lead us to the harvest. As long as there are children, anything is possible.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : What are our chances?

    Yakovlev : Of what?

    Tsar Nicholas II : Living 'till Christmas.

    Yakovlev : I haven't thought about it.

    Tsar Nicholas II : You puzzle me. You'd be happy to see us dead, and yet you help us get away.

    Yakovlev : I haven't your taste for murder, Bloody Nicholas. I've never had a chance to get used to it. How many men have you killed? Have you the least idea? God knows how many peasants died! Nobody counted children. You only know the number of soldiers because somebody counted them for you. Seven million! Six quarts a man times seven million! It's an ocean. Have you ever seen a battle? I'm wrong. You're not Bloody Nicholas! You're a man of no imagination.

  • [after learning of the "Bloody Sunday" massacre] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : Why wasn't I told they were marching?

    Count Witte : Would you have met them?

    Tsar Nicholas II : How could I?

    Count Witte : Would you have given them a Duma?

    Tsar Nicholas II : Of course not!

    Count Witte : Elections? Schools?

    Tsar Nicholas II : No...


  • [as the Queen Mother berates her son's failures in a late 1916 visit to his military base] 

    Queen Mother Maria Fedorova : I wish your father were alive.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Don't throw him at me.

    Queen Mother Maria Fedorova : He knew how to be a Tsar. He'd have burned Vienna down, stomped on the Germans, and shot the strikers, ANYTHING to give Russia peace. And HE'D certainly would've known how to deal with Rasputin.

  • Tsarevich Alexei : Why did you abdicate for me? You never asked!

    Tsar Nicholas II : I didn't want you to pay for my mistakes.

    Tsarevich Alexei : Am I not paying for them now? Aren't we all?

  • Tsar Nicholas II : A strong man has no need of power, and a weak man is destroyed by it.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : The Russia my father gave me never lost a war. What shall I say to my son when the time comes? That I had no pride? That I was weak? I've always thought God meant me to rule. He put me here. He chose me, and whatever happens is His will. We shall fight on until victory.

    Count Witte : There will be no victory. Only strikes and riots. You must give your people a little of what they want, sir. Not all. Just, a taste.

  • [as Nagorny is to be executed] 

    Tsarevich Alexei : I'd like to kill them.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Wait and see. They'll do what's right.

    Tsarevich Alexei : I know him. He's a murderer.

    Tsar Nicholas II : He's a thoughtful man. He'll send Nagorny back to us. He's not a monster. I've never known a heart without some murder in it. I made these men. They are our Russians. I am responsible for what they are. I let them starve. I put them in prisons. And I shot them. If there's hatred in them now, I put it there. But they ARE filled with love. And mercy, too. You must remember that.

    Tsarevich Alexei : They are all murderers.

    [the execution shot is heard outside] 

    Tsarevich Alexei : I'd like to kill them all.

  • Tsarina Alexandra : Nicky? Is it all right if I say something intimate?

    Tsar Nicholas II : In public?

    Tsarina Alexandra : I'll whisper it.

    Tsar Nicholas II : All right. What is it?

    Tsarina Alexandra : Nicky... I adore you.

  • [imprisoned in Ekaterinburg] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : I suddenly thought of the yacht this morning. Do you remember how the band used to play all the time?

    Tsarina Alexandra : And out of tune. Do you think they drank?

    Tsar Nicholas II : How did that waltz go? Hmm-Hmm-Hmmmm Hmm-*Hmm*-Hmm-Humm.

    Tsarina Alexandra : You're no better than the band.

    Tsar Nicholas II : [Nicholas gets off the bed and places a chair against the door and returns]  You're beautiful hands.

    Tsarina Alexandra : The girls?

    Tsar Nicholas II : They won't come in. We're alone.

    [he lies down with her] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : I still want you so much. Nothing can ever change that, Sunny. I do love you.


  • Tsar Nicholas II : The English have a parliament. Our British cousins gave their rights away. The Hapsburgs, and the Hoehenzollerns too. The Romanovs will not. What I was given, I will give my son.

  • [as the Tsar considers abdication] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : Tell me, Doctor Fedorov. If my son, as the future Tsar, were left behind, to be educated, while I and my family went abroad, how long would he be likely to live, as a hemophiliac?

    Dr. Fedorov : Deprived of your love and care, and what I hear are his natural surroundings, it's hard to say, it's a matter of luck and chance, your Majesty. There are no real statistics. One would hope that he could live a normal life, but, well... twenty would be a good age.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : We're seeing Witte.

    Tsarina Alexandra : That man!

    Tsar Nicholas II : He's a brilliant Prime Minister.

    Tsarina Alexandra : I never liked him.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I'm the one he bellows at.

    Tsarina Alexandra : You shouldn't let him. He's your servant. Everyone's your servant.

  • Tsarina Alexandra : You enjoy yourself at parties. I get headaches. If you sat there, feeling everyone disliked you...

    Tsar Nicholas II : No one dislikes you.

    Tsarina Alexandra : Yes, they do. You never see unpleasant things. You drift away. Sometimes I wonder if you even hear me half the time.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Just now, I find you all too audible.

    Tsarina Alexandra : Nicky? Guess what.

    Tsar Nicholas II : You've got your headache.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : I know what will make them happy. They're children, and they need a Tsar! They need tradition. Not this! They're the victims of agitators. A Duma would make them bewildered and discontented. And don't tell me about London and Berlin. God save us from the mess they're in!

    Count Witte : I see. So they talk, pray, march, plead, petition and what do they get? Cossacks, prison, flogging, police, spies, and now, after today, they will be shot. Is this God's will? Are these His methods? Make war on your own people? How long do you think they're going to stand there and let you shoot them? YOU ask ME who's responsible? YOU ask?

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Alexei spends all day with you. You hardly ever come to meals. I hardly ever seem to see you anymore.

    Tsarina Alexandra : My place is where I am needed most.

    Tsar Nicholas II : It must be hard to have so many people need you. I'll be patient. If I wait, my turn will come.

  • Tsarina Alexandra : Sometimes I wonder how you live with me.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I wonder too. Only I know I could never live without you... Sunny.

  • [on the Three-Hundredth Anniversery of Romanov rule] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : [to Stolypin]  I didn't want to come on this Tercentenary tour, Peter Arkadiavitch. But, God help me, I do love it when they stand and wave!

  • [after the assassination attempt on Count Stolypin] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : He's a good man. They always kill good men. The ones who've helped them most. They killed my grandfather. He freed the serfs, you know. He helped them; so, they threw a bomb. Stolypin's a good man.

    [feels in his pocket] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : I can't find a match.

    Vice Premier Kokovstov : They've got the man who shot him.

    Tsar Nicholas II : The man?

    Vice Premier Kokovstov : Some kind of revolutionary.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Damn them all. You help them, and they kill you for it. Give them Dumas and they give you bombs. I want them paid in kind. Do you understand me? I want something done!

  • [near the start of World War I] 

    Nikolasha : Here's some wonderful news, a telegram from the Kaiser, just what we wanted, offering to mediate between us and Austria.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I knew I could count on Willie! You see? He signed it "Your very dear and devoted cousin, Willie."

    Count Witte : With all due respect to your cousin, Sire, the Kaiser is a deceitful megalomaniac. If he is offering to help, then it is time to pray.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Gentlemen, Germany has declared war on Russia. God save Russia!

    Nikolasha : God save the Tsar.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : All my life. My whole life I've done what you want. I gave mother up. You hated her, so we don't see her anymore. I gave my friends up. Do you know I haven't a single friend? I've got my family. Four girls, one sick boy... and you. I ask myself, before I eat, sleep, or change my clothes, is this what Sunny wants? And it never is. There's always more! Sweet Jesus how much do you want of me?

  • Tsar Nicholas II : A son! I have a son.

  • [the Queen Mother is visiting the Tsar at his military base] 

    Queen Mother Maria Fedorova : I came to congratulate you, Nicky.

    Tsar Nicholas II : What for?

    Queen Mother Maria Fedorova : For finding, out of all Russia's countless cretins, idiots and incompetents the men least qualified to run your government.

  • General Alexeiev : Your majesty, I'm afraid it's too late. The Duma has appointed a provisional government, and all your ministers have been arrested.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Order... your troops... to march...

    General Alexeiev : At this moment, sire, if my troops knew the Tsar was here, there's every chance they would turn on you. And, sire, the Duma also insists on your abdication.

  • [as the Tsar signs his abdication papers] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : It will be spring soon, at Livadia. That's where you'll send us I imagine. I've often thought I should like to be a country gentleman. I've always liked to watch things grow. It's lovely there. And warm. And they say the soil is very good. Much of the happiness I've known, I've had there.

  • [signing his abdication] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : "March 15, 1917." The ides of March.

  • [as the recently abdicated Tsar arrives at his palace] 

    Russian Guard : Who's there?

    Tsar Nicholas II : Citizen Nicholas Romanov.

  • [the former Tsar and his family plant in the palace gardens] 

    Tsar Nicholas II : There. In just a few months, these will be turnips.

    Anastasia : Carrots.

    Tsarevich Alexei : And when they grow, will we still be here to eat them?

  • Tsar Nicholas II : [in Kerensky's office in summer, 1917, just after he was overthrown and forced to abdicate]  All we do is dream of England. We'd be very happy there.

    Alexander Kerensky : England... won't accept you.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Won't accept... King George is my cousin.

    Alexander Kerensky : He

    [George V] 

    Alexander Kerensky : doesn't seem to want you either. He has to think of his own position. Nor will the French. None of our allies want to risk it. They are at war to save democracy and you were a tyrant.

  • Alexander Kerensky : No munitions, no supplies, I don't know where the army stands. The treasury is bankrupt, the students riot, the workers carry arms. The socialists want this, the Mensheviks want that, the radicals, the centrists, the cadets... the Bolsheviks. I can't arrest them even if I wanted to. We have rights and laws now. You had power and no laws. I have laws and no power.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I wish I could help you.

    Alexander Kerensky : You had your chances. I wish I had mine.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Things. Things one can do without. They break. They get lost. One buys and sells them. The main thing is that we are together.

  • Tsarevich Alexei : Father? There's no hope, is there, father?

    Tsar Nicholas II : Nonsense.

    Tsarevich Alexei : None at all.

  • Colonel Kobylinsky : Goodbye.

    Tsar Nicholas II : What will you do now?

    Colonel Kobylinsky : What can I do? Whatever side I join, I kill Russians. I don't know what to do anymore.

  • Colonel Kobylinsky : God bless you.

    Tsar Nicholas II : It's too late for that. But thank you.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Nagorny is innocent. He's like a child. You don't shoot children, do you? In your new world, are there penalties for innocence?

    Yurovsky : Sometimes.

  • Tsarina Alexandra : [about Alexandra spending all day with Alexei]  My place is where I'm needed most.

    Tsar Nicholas II : It must be hard to have so many people need you. I'll be patient. If I wait my turn will come.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : The boy will bring us luck! We'll smash the Japanese and drive them from Korea and I don't care what it costs. I have a son to fight for now.

    Tsarina Alexandra : We have a son.

  • Count Witte : Imagine, sire, imagine - that you are a factory worker. You're really poor. Your belly is never full. You freeze eight months of the year. Your children have no school. No doctor! Your country taxes you! And sends your sons a continent away to die, on a piece of land, on the Pacific. Now, sir, Japan is a third rate power. If she defeats us, if, Port Arthur falls, we shall be disgraced in the eyes of the world and here at home we shall have an insurrection on our hands.

    Tsar Nicholas II : But, people love me Sergei Yulyevich.

    Count Witte : They want a constitution and the right to vote for an elected Duma. They're angry and they're serious.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Are you advising me to give my rights away?

    Count Witte : Advising you to stop - a hopeless war.

  • Queen Mother Maria Fedorova : I know I'm not as clever as I pretend to be; but, I'm sure of this. Get out of Korea and forget about Japan.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I'm 36. You must let me look after this war.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : He's always happy here at Livadia. The Crimea's good for him.

    Tsarina Alexandra : Good for all of us. Some tea?

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Pyotr Arkadyevich, only you could wear a briefcase with a bathing suit.

    Stolypin : I think I'd feel naked without it. Besides, I must have somewhere to put my - lifeboat.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : What's wrong with the Okhrana? Can't 10,000 secret agents find a printing press?

    Stolypin : They can't find all of them.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I want it stopped!

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Damn the Duma! Witte's work. He made me give it to the people. Close it. Shut it down!

  • Stolypin : You've got to send him off, away from Petersburg.

    Tsar Nicholas II : How can I?

    Stolypin : People think he violates your daughters and your wife! Get him out of Petersburg.

  • Tsarina Alexandra : I still say Alexei needs a nurse.

    Tsar Nicholas II : He needs the company of men.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : I never seem to see you anymore.

    Tsarina Alexandra : My place is where I'm needed most.

    Tsar Nicholas II : It must be hard to have so many people need you. I'll be patient. If I wait, my turn will come.

    Tsarina Alexandra : Oh, Nicky. What a mess I made of things.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Rasputin drinks, takes bribes, he is an adulterer.

    Tsarina Alexandra : He's a saint! Little men always abuse them.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I'll show you the police reports.

    Tsarina Alexandra : More little men!

    Tsar Nicholas II : People say he sleeps with you.

    Tsarina Alexandra : What do I care what people think?

    Tsar Nicholas II : I have to care!

    Tsarina Alexandra : I want him. Bring him back!

  • Count Witte : If Russia mobilizes, there will be a war.

    Tsar Nicholas II : The Austrians are shelling Belgrade. We must be ready to defend ourselves. I'm ordering prayers for peace to be said in all the churches. But, now if you'll excuse me, I must see my ministers for armaments and recruitment.

    Count Witte : It is in our hands, not God's. He gave us minds to reason. We can talk sanity to lunatics. We can calm mad dogs. God help us if we have to start praying! We can pray when we bury the dead!

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Order the mobilization.

    Count Witte : Madness. Madness.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : Please! I didn't mean to! Please! I'm so ashamed! I didn't mean to do it! Please! Don't! Please! Don't! Please!

  • Tsarina Alexandra : I want my things. I want my pictures and my scrapbooks. I want...

    Alexander Kerensky : Frau Romanov, you have kept your hat. You should be grateful.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Come along. It doesn't matter.

  • Colonel Kobylinsky : Do you got any money?

    Tsar Nicholas II : Not much. Why?

    Colonel Kobylinsky : Has it crossed your mind that I represent a non-existent government? Who put me in this post? Who gave me the authority? Whose money pays for troops? Kerensky's gone. The money's gone. I haven't paid them in a month.

    Tsar Nicholas II : You think I should pay for them? Prisoners keep the guard. I wish I'd had you for my Finance Minister. You would have revolutionized the penal system.

  • Marie : [looking at photographs]  Look at me. It's just awful!

    Anastasia : You look like a thief.

    Marie : You look like a trollop!

    Anastasia : I don't! What's a trollop?

    Tsar Nicholas II : Dear Lord, so she does.

    Tsarina Alexandra : I don't find that amusing.

    Tsar Nicholas II : Just look.

    Tsarina Alexandra : It's not amusing at all.


  • Tsar Nicholas II : Thinking back. When I think back, I can see them all so clearly now. The corners that I didn't turn.

  • Tsar Nicholas II : It all went - wrong. I hardly know why or how.

  • Tsarina Alexandra : Nicky, is today your birthday?

    Tsar Nicholas II : No. That was weeks ago.

    Tsarina Alexandra : Yes, it was. And mine too. I was 46. Imagine that?

  • Tsarina Alexandra : What's the day like?

    Tsar Nicholas II : I don't know now.

    Tsarina Alexandra : It doesn't matter. It goes on and on. I don't know anymore. What can God have in mind for us?

  • Tsar Nicholas II : You don't shoot children, do you? In your new world, are their penalties for innocents?

    Yurovsky : Sometimes.

  • Tsarina Alexandra : I couldn't play the piano now.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I used to hear you practicing when I was working in my office.

    Tsarina Alexandra : Did you? Schuman and Schubert.

    Tsar Nicholas II : I never thought much of your voice.

    Tsarina Alexandra : Didn't you? You never told me that before.

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