Last splendour

 

Felix and Irina, the way they were

Felix Yusupov, you may recall, was the fabulously wealthy cross-dressing Russian prince involved in the plot to kill Rasputin. His life thereafter became the exemplar of the émigré experience, and while he recorded that life in the form of memoirs, the fascinating footage below represents – to the best of my knowledge – the only time he ever spoke on film.

It was recorded shortly before Yusupov’s death in 1967, and the occasion was the release of the film which was known in Britain as I Killed Rasputin and simply as Rasputin in the US. It starred Gert “Goldfinger” Fröbe as the titular mad monk and was based on Yusupov’s book Lost Splendour. Previous attempts to film Rasputin’s famously protracted death brought legal action from Yusupov.

Yusupov’s devoted wife Irina, niece of Tsar Nicholas II, also avails herself of the opportuntiy to correct history, denying that she was used as “bait” to lure Rasputin to his doom. The pair are interviewed by historian Alain Decaux, who worked on the film’s screenplay.

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3 comments

  1. This is really quite extraordinary, Yusupov has long held my attention, to actually see him, marvelous. Thank you for remembering him and sharing the treasures.
    Take care,
    LG

    • It’s quite something, isn’t it? I had no idea there was any footage of him but he turned up in one of my Internet trawls. It must have been just before his death as well, so it’s really a rare and precious glimpse. Thanks for checking in!

  2. Pingback: Dress-down Friday: Felix Yusupov (repost) « Strange Flowers

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