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Plot: An opportunistic Russian businessman tries to pass a mysterious impostor as the Grand Duchess Anastasia. But she is so convincing in her performance that even the biggest skeptics believe her. Runtime: 105 mins Release Date: 13 Dec 1956
I did not expect to enjoy this film, and only watched it when my wife expressed an interest in doing so. To my surprise--as particular as I am about movies--as Anastasia unfolded I kept thinking, "What a great movie!" The story itself is very interesting, the acting quite believable, and the sets: perfect. Furthermore and surprisingly , as great as the movie is to watch for adults, it is also fully appropriate for children. We did not notice any cursing of any kind, and there was no gratuitous violence or immoral sensuality.For women according to my wife Yul Brynner is <more>
"startlingly handsome." For my part, I confess that Ingrid Bergman is absolutely gorgeous; so men can enjoy the movie from that angle too.We will be buying this movie today; at the very least I recommend that you rent it.
Principal players: Ingrid Bergman Anastasia , Yul Brynner the prince , Helen Hayes the dowager empress .Interesting players in supporting roles: Akim Tamiroff Chernov , Martita Hunt the baroness , Ivan Desny Prince Paul . Principal production personnel: Director: Anatole Litvak. Screenplay: Arthur Laurents, based on a stage play by Guy Bolton which was in turn based on a TV play by Marcelle Maurette . Photography: Jack Hildyard. Color: DeLuxe. Art directors: Andrei Andrejew, Bill Andrews. Music: Alfred Newman. Producer: Buddy Adler. 20th Century-Fox. 105 minutes. Official release date: <more>
13 December 1956. New York opening at the Roxy. COMMENT: Deservedly a great commercial and critical success, "Anastasia" won numerous awards, including America's two top Best Actress citations for Ingrid Bergman and a National Board of Review "Best Actor" for Yul Brynner. The story, of course, has been heavily romanticized, but Litvak's aim was to deliver spellbinding entertainment, and this, with the support of an engrossing script, a charismatic cast and well over $3.5 million in production values, the director has admirably achieved. Rarely has the super-wide CinemaScope screen been so consistently utilized with such power and dramatic impact. In color, only "Broken Lance", "The River of No Return" and "The Virgin Queen" run "Anastasia" close. The DVD can be obtained on the 20th Century-Fox label. Quality rating: ten out of ten.
Great performances from the three leads (by eddax)
I'm right now reading a biography of Ingrid Bergman so I took it upon myself to watch this movie to remind me of her charms. And a better movie I couldn't have chosen. Bergman embodies the well-known role of Anastasia wonderfully, from rags to riches, from a vagabond half-mad to a princess in love. But it's a movie in which all the stars shine, and Yul Brynner blends dignity and resentment well as the fallen Russian general, and Helen Hayes is utterly believable as the exiled Dowager Empress who has lost her daughter and grandchildren to the Russian Revolution. Watching the trio <more>
interact is watching art in motion, which may sound melodramatic, but it's how I feel when I'm watching brilliant actors play off each other. When Anastasia and the Dowager Empress come to the realization that she is indeed the lost princess, I was brought to the brink of tears. It came as a surprise to me; I generally don't watch movies that would make me cry and I certainly didn't expect it from this one. Finding an unexpected gem is what makes slogging through piles of crap worthwhile.
A compelling drama with a fascinating music score... (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
In 1917, the Romanoff dynasty - rulers of Imperial Russia - were overthrown by revolution... Some of the nobility and their followers fled to safety but the Czar, his wife Alexandra and his five children were imprisoned and then slaughtered in a cellar in 1918 by the Bolsheviks...Shortly after, rumors started that the youngest daughter of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolayevna had not been murdered with the rest of her family but had escaped and was still alive...In the years that followed, the whisper grew louder and louder... Several women outside Russia <more>
claimed her identity... All were aware that l0 millions pounds were at stake left by the Czar in the Bank of England...The film opens in Paris 1928 - Russian Easter...An amnesic woman, using the name of Anna Corev Ingrid Bergman , is about to commit suicide on the bank of the Seine... She is saved by a White Russian General, called Bounine Yul Brynner .With a face hint by fatigue and stress, lost and broken, frustrated and unhappy, and tired to argue, she accepts modestly to be taken under care and to be trained by the General and his business associates Boris Chernov Akim Tamiroff and Petrovin Sasha Pitoeff in order to be passed off as Princess Anastasia, the daughter of the Czar of Russia...Bearing a strong resemblance to the Grand Duchess, the plan of the Russian group can succeed... There is an opportunity for them to share the inheritance, the fortune left by the Emperor...After days of training, the unknown lady becomes another woman... Elegant, radiant and healthy, arousing profound solemnity, dignity and even royalty...The Grand Duchess wins her first victory when 18 of the 25 individuals recognized her as 'Anastasia,' but the most significant victory is yet to come... She must be recognized by her grand mother, the Dowager Empress of Russia, who lives in Copenhagen, Denmark...Helen Hayes is simply superb as the melancholic old Empress with a wistful desire to accept the vague truth...Yul Brynner plays his role with enormous task...The motion picture marks Ingrid Bergman's comeback to the Hollywood cinema after the European exile... She gives a gracious, confused, eloquent, moving performance, following back the progress of a woman, from the deepness of hopelessness and confusion, through strenuous efforts with uncertainty and disillusion, to a successful display of bravery, self-respect and love...Directed with elegance by Anatole Litvak, and with a fascinating music score by Alfred Newman, "Anastasia" is a combination of mystery and romance, a compelling drama with quite considerable charm which persuade without projecting any flame on history...
A candy box of a movie--filled with treats (by Poseidon-3)
America gave a belated welcome home to Ingrid Bergman in this film her first studio-produced movie after being practically banished from the US for having an illicit affair and an illegitimate pregnancy! It was thanks to her rather regal nature and the persistence of Darryl F. Zanuck that she even got the chance. The story is a fictionalized account of what became of a Russian princess believed assassinated with the rest of her family during the Russian revolution. Like several others before her, Bergman's character turns up believing that she could be a surviving royal---in her case <more>
Anastasia. Brynner is a con man who doesn't particularly care if she is or is not the princess, so long as the Dowager Empress Anastasia's grandmother believes that she is. In order to fully enjoy the film, one must say goodbye to a lot of the cold, hard historical facts and just accept the film as a dramatic fantasy. Bergman shines in the title role though at 41, was a touch too old to be playing this character! She has the right European strength and dignity, beaten down by time and turmoil. She's a heroine to root for much more so than the actual woman she is based on. Brynner completes a stunning threesome for 1956 with this film and his work in "The Ten Commandments" and "The King and I". He and Bergman make a compelling pair. An added bonus is the rather surprising casting of Helen Hayes as the Grand Duchess. She was choen in order to win the approval of Americans who had reviled Bergman previously...if a monument to American values like Hayes approved enough to appear in the film, then the rest of the country had permission to enjoy it. Though some reviewers didn't approve of her at the time, her scenes are filled with great professionalism and, finally, stirring emotion. Her stoic countenance is quite a contrast to her impish work with Disney and other projects later. The supporting cast is colorful and interesting as well keep an eye peeled for "Mrs. Howell" of "Gilligan's Island"! Special mention goes to the effervescent Hunt who steals every frame of film she appears in. The icing on the cake is Alfred Newman's magnificent score. The music is grand and appropriately Russian and royal in flavor. Some of it was derived from original Russian works. It adds the perfect feel to this gloriously beautiful film.
Excellent film about a group of Imperial Russian expatriates who try to pass off a nobody as the Grand Duchess Anastasia, who was supposedly executed along with the rest of her family a decade ago. No one knows, not even the woman herself, whether she is or is not Anastasia. Ingrid Bergman plays this woman in her glorious return to Hollywood after several years of exile on account of the affair she had with Italian director Roberto Rossellini. History, or at least some of us film buffs, see her exile as something other than shameful, but you can't really judge Anastasia without seeing it <more>
as a homecoming. The story echoes Bergman's life, as I'm sure it was meant to. Can this Anastasia convince those who once knew her that she really is the long lost Grand Duchess? Can Ingrid Bergman convince the American public that she is worthy to be taken back into their confidence? To answer the first, you'll have to see the film. The answer to the second question is a definite yes, as the film was quite successful and earned Bergman her second Academy Award, which she much deserved her first was for 1944's Gaslight . She was not present at the ceremony in 1957 to accept that award, but I'm unsure of whether she was still in exile at that point. The film was made outside of the U.S. After Bergman, there is still a whole lot to love. As for the other actors, Yul Brynner, playing the man who enlists Bergman in his plot to win Anastasia's inheritance, gives a fine performance, easily the best of the three films he made in 1956, even though he won an Oscar for his ridiculously over-the-top performance in The King and I. Akim Tamiroff, always reliable, gives one of his very best performances as Brynner's assistant. Helen Hayes is great as the dowager empress whose opinion is absolutely necessary to accept Bergman as the real Anastasia, and Martita Hunt gives a delightful comic performance as her attendant she was the best thing in the film, in my opinion . The musical score, by Alfred Newman, won the only other Oscar nomination for the film, and it is excellent. The dialogue is wonderful. There are only a couple of things I didn't like, and they are relatively minor. Nearer the beginning, for instance, the screenwriter or the original playwright has a problem keeping the ambiguity of whether Bergman is actually Anastasia or not. The hints the woman gives off are instantly convincing that she is the lost woman. Fortunately, this improves over the course of the film and the ambiguity becomes somewhat more pronounced. I'm not sure whether I liked the ending, either, although it has a great last line which I expect was even greater when it was a play .
A trio of unscrupulous Russian exiles Yul Brynner, Sacha Pitoeff, and Akim Tamiroff locate an amnesia victim among the flotsam and jetsam of refugees in post World War I Europe and attempt to pass her off as one of Czar Nicholas II,'s daughters, Grand Duchess Anastasia, who survived the massacre of the royal family in 1918. The role of "Anastasia" marked Ingrid Bergman's return to an American film production after her exile from America after 1949 and she won her second Oscar with it. She runs a whole gamut of emotions from absolute despair to an assumed air of royalty. <more>
After a while Brynner and his confederates think that just maybe Ingrid's the real deal.Of course the ultimate test is whether the Dowager Empress of Russia, Helen Hayes, accepts Ingrid as the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Although Ingrid got her Oscar, I've always felt that Hayes gives the best performance in the film.At the age Dowager Empress Marie was in the Twenties all she had left was memories. She's from the Danish Royal House and was the widow of Alexander III and the mother of Nicholas II of Russia. Her world was turned upside down in 1917 with the Russian Revolution, not just toppled from the privileged position she had, she lost her entire family of the next generation of Romanovs to political upheaval. Hayes is back in her native Denmark, a lonely proud, but regal woman with nothing but memories. She truly becomes the Empress Marie.Yul Brynner as General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine is one of that crowd of Russian refugees who apparently got out of Russia with more than just a skin. He's the owner of a Russian café in Paris and should be doing OK, but he's got a streak of larceny in him and a taste for high living. He's involved in bilking a whole lot of Russian exiles in a search for a Romanov heir to claim millions deposited by the late Czar for his children in the Bank of England. He's got to come up with an heir of some kind and fast. But he's a charming fellow and gives one charming performance.Both Brynner and Director Anatole Litvak with their own Slavic backgrounds give Anastasia a real flavor of authenticity for the main characters and the Russian exile background of the film. It was shot on location in both Paris and Copenhagen and the camera work is first rate.Anastasia became a milestone film for Ingrid Bergman and while Anna Koreff may have been a bogus Russian princess, as an actress Ingrid Bergman was always the real deal.
Ingrid Bergman is as luminous as ever in her Oscar-winning performance in this gorgeous-looking costume drama. Baldhead Yul Brynner is ideally cast beside her and there are some delightful characters in the supporting cast, namely Akim Tamiroff and Martita Hunt, but Helen Hayes steals the show with her touching portrayal as the old empress. The film feels somewhat theatrical with its abundance of dialogue, but it's definitely a fine piece of work.
Beautiful (by n-mo)
"Anastasia" is not a film for everyone. Those who insist on historical accuracy in films depicting real people and events would do best to stay away from the movie house altogether. "Anastasia," however, is not exactly about real people, although it does incorporate the lives of real humans and parallels with their true stories to depict a compelling "what-if" scenario and this is incredibly effective, even after DNA tests have revealed that "Anna Anderson" was definitely not Anastasia Nikolavena Romanov but instead, in all likelihood a Kashubian <more>
factory worker. I am unaware whether she ever used the name "Anna Koreff." As a matter of fact, those who are familiar with the real story are in for an even grander treat. We are thrown into 1928 Paris with a brief shot of this wretched madwoman at Russian Easter, lonely and rejected outside the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and on the brink of suicide, and we are definitely prepared to think of see as the impostor that "Anna Anderson" was. Yet as the film progresses, we are shown a woman quite literally without any past. Michael Thornton opined of the real "Anna Anderson," "Somewhere along the way she lost and rejected Kashubian factory worker Franziska Schanzkowska. She lost that person totally and accepted completely she was this new person."Ingrid Bergman's Anna Koreff, however, is not simply mentally lost: the world has lost her as well. It helps, perhaps, that Bergman is infinitely more convincing as a princess than as a vagabond, and the retrospective certitude of the falsity of "Anna Anderson"'s claim helps to disguise her limits at the beginning of the film when, like Yul Brynner's General Bounine, we are meant to doubt her identity. Bounine creates Koreff's new identity as the Grand Duchess Anastasia, and so effectively that he begins to believe in it himself. But the entirely unsolvable questions remain:Is Anna Koreff Anastasia? Does she actually believe she is Anastasia? More ominously, whoever she is, does she even truly and consciously remember?This piece carefully avoids resolving these questions. On the one hand, the speed and thoroughness with which she slides into her new role is difficult to explain and impossible to deny. On the other hand, the ending among other things is cleverly constructed so as to expose her assumed royal identity as a construction. This is not, of course, the real story, and in the post-1900 world, such a thorough and complete break with any sort of past anchor is next to impossible. But if it happened... this may be just how it happened."Anastasia" is above all a beautifully designed film, full of elegance and taste. Ingrid Bergman is as beautiful as the interior architecture against which she assumes her royal identity. Again, it is not a film for everyone: many will have great difficulty connecting and sympathizing with the royal circles and personalities in this tome, but those who are able to understand pre-modern, pre-liberal c.f. human sensibilities will love it. Helen Hayes is absolutely perfect and inspiring as the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna it is plain to see how the real Empress was so beloved in her adopted Russia , and her chemistry with Bergman is incredible to behold. The only thing I can find to critique is that the script--and to some extent a steely wall between Bergman and Brynner--does not fully back up the eventual culmination of the relationship between Koreff and Bounine; the conclusion fits quite well thematically but is mildly illogical with regard to the plot. Still, this is a minor complaint, as "Anastasia" is first and foremost a film about identity, and one that will jar and confound its viewers time and again.