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  • National Geographic: Icons of Power - Empress of Ambition, Catherine the Great
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National Geographic: Icons of Power - Empress of Ambition, Catherine the Great

6 customer reviews

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National Geographic: Icons of Power - Empress of Ambition, Catherine the Great + Catherine the Great + Young Catherine
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Editorial Reviews

Join Icons of Power as we venture into the court of the Empress Catherine the Great and bear witness to epic history and scandals of truly royal proportions. With sweeping cinematography and rich, dramatic reenactments soaked in 18th Century detail, we'll trace Catherine's journey from a humble, impoverished home in Germany to the throne of an empire that spanned two- thirds of the globe. We'll follow the empress to war, to court, and even to bed. From the scorched battlefields of the Crimea to the gilded palaces of St. Petersburg, we'll venture deep into the world of the Empress Catherine - a world of secret trysts and cunning deception, of conquest and glory - and bring to life the characters and events that shaped her reign.


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Nat'l Geographic Vid
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MQ58Y0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,505 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne West on January 28, 2013
Verified Purchase
Like most of the National Geographic films I've seen, there are lots of nice stills, some good facts, but not much depth. PBS and Biography should be bought along with this film. They all focus on different things. If I had to choose one film though, it would be PBS. You get more info for your money, plus their dramatizations are entertaining.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul F. on October 22, 2011
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Very interesting history about court intrigue surrounding problematic succession to the throne in eighteenth-century Russia and interesting coverage of the 1743-44 revolution led by the Cossack, Emilyan Pugachev. Alas the production was marred by the irritating repetitive use (sometimes as often as four or five times) of brief video clips, sudden unexpected rapidly telescoping shots, and distractingly angled still shots.

It felt as if seven or eight brief film clips were playing in continuous loops, and every now and then the movie would momentarily jump to one of those loops. My wife was so irritated by these recurring clips that she gave up on the film about half way through.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on June 24, 2007
National Geographic uses a lot of filming techniques that Vince McMahon planned to employ in his XFL. I think this is meant to get fickle viewers into caring about history. The company's historical reenactments aren't as cheesy as History Channel's. Perhaps this is caused by NG using film while HC uses video. The actress playing young Catherine looks like Ashley Judd. Sometimes I stop watching fictional films about 2/3 into them because I get the gist of what's being portrayed. Here, I had to watch the whole thing because I was genuinely curious why Catherine is remembered in history as "Great." The drama surrounding her rise to power was very similar to Cleopatra's. The documentary sometimes uses the term "class warfare." Though Lenin's success 150 years after Catherine is not mentioned, one could see how the class schisms in Russia, even then, would fuel the Communist rise in the 1910s. This program is too long to be seen in an American public school's history class. Besides, little focus is given to Russia in American schools until discussions of the Cold War. Still, if you have an interest in historical women of power, then you should see this.
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