Born on October 28th, 1929
From Brigg, North Lincolnshire, England
Before Joseph Stalin (Robert Duvall) became dictator of Russia, he was an unknown revolutionary, according to his daughter, Svetlana (Joanna Roth), who narrates this biopic. Over the course of three decades, Stalin ruthlessly takes the seat of power from his comrade, a dying Vladimir Lenin (Maximilian Schell). He treats his wife (Julia Ormond) horribly and orders acts of aggression against his own citizens. Through it all, Stalin trusts no one, leading to his own eventual downfall and death.
When married British women Rose Arbuthnot (Miranda Richardson) and Lottie Wilkins (Josie Lawrence) decide to take a break from their respective spouses, they stay at a castle in Italy for a quiet holiday. Joining the ladies is Caroline Dester (Polly Walker), a young socialite, and Mrs. Fisher (Joan Plowright), an older aristocrat. Liberated from their daily routines, the four women ease into life in rural Italy, and each finds herself transformed by the experience.
Dr. Martin Dysart (Richard Burton), a psychiatrist who has grown unhappy with his life, takes on the peculiar case of Alan Strang (Peter Firth), a reserved teenager who has been accused of brutally blinding six horses. Dysart slowly unravels Alan's background, learning that he grew up in a strained household with a devoutly religious mother (Joan Plowright) and an atheist father (Colin Blakely). But as Dysart begins to trace the roots of Alan's problems, his own also begin to surface.