|ANASTASIA (director: Anatole Litvak; screenwriters: from the play by Marcelle Maurette/Arthur Laurents/Guy Bolton; cinematographer: Jack Hildyard; editor: Bert Bates; music: Alfred Newman ; cast: Ingrid Bergman (Anastasia, also known as Anna Korov and Anna Anderson), Yul Brynner (Gen. Bounine), Helen Hayes (Dowager empress), Felix Aylmer (Russian Chamberlain), Akim Tamiroff (Chernov), Natalie Schafer (Lissenskaia), Ivan Desny (Prince Paul), Martita Hunt (Baroness von Livenbaum); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Buddy Adler; 20th Century Fox; 1956)|
returning from her Hollywood
banishment after the
is at her best ... ."
by Dennis Schwartz
returning from her Hollywood banishment after the Rosellini
scandal, is at her best in this entertaining
fictionalized version of the story of Anna
Anderson. She claimed that she was the
daughter of the last Russian czar. The
pic tells the mystery story of Anastasia
(Ingrid Bergman), one of Czar
It suggests she could have been spared
execution in 1918 even if her family was not.
That she mysteriously ends up a lost amnesiac
refugee on the streets of Paris and is
discovered by con artists, becomes the focus
of the film. It's based on the French
play by Marcelle
Maurette that Guy Bolton adapted.
It's written by the playwright Arthur
The exile Anatole Litvak ("The
Decision Before Dawn"/"The Snake Pit"/"Sorry,
Wrong Number") helms this gripping
film telling about another exile.
set in 1928. The cunning businessman,
the ex- Gen. Bounine (Yul Brynner), the leader of an
unholy group of exiled White Russians in Paris, is
trying to present a
vulnerable amnesiac Anastasia as the Romanov
offspring who might help them collect the 10
million deposited in England by the Czar’s family
and is now frozen. They must
argue that Anastasia was not executed in 1918 by
and that the girl they produce is the real McCoy.
theatrical con game over finding the real Grand
alive makes for a compelling story.
Helen Hayes is very good playing Anastasia's grandmother, who must confirm if Ingrid is her esteemed relative. In fact, all the performances are excellent. Bergman won the Oscar for Best Actress.
REVIEWED ON 10/5/2015 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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