Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)

Country: UK
Year: 1966
Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Barbara Shelley, Christopher Lee (Grigori Rasputin), Barbara Shelley (Sonia), Richard Pasco (Dr. Zargo), Francis Matthews (Ivan), Suzan Farmer (Vanessa), Dinsdale Landen (Peter), Renée Asherson (Tsarina), Derek Francis (Innkeeper), Joss Ackland (The Bishop), Michael Ripper (Waggoner (voice))

Hammer tackles the life of the infamous Grigori Rasputin, pre-revolutionary Russian mystic and all round enigma. Using his strange powers to heal the sick and placate the disturbed, he pursues prestige and wealth through his influence over the Russian Royal Family. But there are those opposed to his immoral ways and wish to bring about his downfall. This is complete madness! I couldn’t equate Christopher Lee’s portrayal as the, roguish ambiguous Rasputin, with the gentleman actor we more commonly associate with him. The man is quite an actor! This film isn’t really concerned with historical accuracy, but as with any other Christopher Lee movie, it’s totally worth watching. To be honest there’s nothing or nobody who really lets the side down. It’s a beautifully shot film (more so with blu-ray transfer) with a decent cast and an interesting premise. A brilliant example of Lee’s acting prowess.