After the ignominious loss by the Russian armies to Sweden, Czar Peter I (Nikolai Simonov) seeks to modernize his nation. Peter first turns to reforming the military, brutally wiping out old officers and building up a solid navy. Influenced by Western European society, Peter also implements widespread social change. When protests arise over the transformation, Peter does not hesitate to brutally suppress all opposition -- including that of his own son, Prince Alexei (Nikolai Cherkasov).
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