Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Mae West was never permitted to make a film version of her bawdy historical romp Catherine Was Great, yet this British adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Great Catherine made it to the screen. Where is the justice in this? Anyway, Jeanne Moreau braves it through the nearly unplayable role of Catherine, mother of All the Russias, while Peter O'Toole and Zero Mostel struggle manfully to breathe life into the proceedings. The plot has something to do with Prince Patiomkin's efforts to splice Catherine with Captain Edstaston, thus assuring that the queen's reign will be a happy one. The Captain would rather dally with Claire (Angela Scoular) and spends the rest of the running time escaping the queen's wrath. Throughout Great Catherine, Shavian wit is given short shrift in favor of 2-reeler slapstick.
aristocracy, arrest, ball [dance], battle [war], captive, captor, escape, hideout, history, imprisonment, love, love-triangle, prince, prison, revenge, Russia, spurned, torment, audience, Britain, palace, play [recreation], queen [royalty]