Watched The Scarlet Empress last night. 1934, directed by Josef Von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich as the woman who would become Catherine the Great. A visual treat - to my eye (untrained in film history) there were similarities with Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, but Sternberg's visuals were more claustrophobic/grotesque/Expressionist. Dietrich wears fabulous costumes that become more floaty and feathery as the movie goes on. She also gets to cross-dress in a military uniform. (Yum!)
For some twisted reason, however, I kept imagining a remake starring Madonna, Tom Hulce (as the crazy Peter) and Judi Dench (as Empress Elizabeth).