CINEMASCOPE CLASSICS – ANASTASIA

Rating: G
Length: 105 mins
Cast:
Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, Helen Hayes

ANASTASIA is a 1956 American CinemaScope historical drama film directed by Anatole Litvak. Set in interwar France, the film follows the story of a suicidal amnesiac (Ingrid Bergman), whose remarkable resemblance to the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia — the youngest daughter of the late Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, who is rumored to have survived the execution of her family — draws her into a plot devised by the former Russian White General Bounine (Yul Brynner) and his associates to swindle from the Grand Duchess an inheritance of £10 million. However, the ultimate hurdle to their plan is the exiled Russian aristocracy — in particular the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Helen Hayes) — whom their handpicked claimant must convince of her legitimacy if they wish for their scheme to succeed.

The origins of Anastasia lie in a play written by Marcelle Maurette, which was in turn inspired by Anna Anderson, the most famous of the many Anastasia impostors who appeared after the death of the Imperial family in July 1918.

The film marked Ingrid Bergman’s return to working for a Hollywood studio after several years working in Italy with her then-husband, Roberto Rossellini. However, Anastasia was entirely made in Europe, with studio interiors at MGM British Studios England. Anastasia won her an Academy Award for Best Actress, the second of three Oscars she would receive.

The film was also a comeback for Helen Hayes, as she had suspended her career for several years due to the death of her daughter Mary, and her husband’s failing health.

“Miss Bergman’s performance as the heroine is nothing short of superb as she traces the progress of a woman from the depths of derangement and despair through a struggle with doubt and delusion to the accomplishment of courage, pride and love. It is a beautifully molded performance, worthy of the Academy Award.” NEW YORK TIMES.

“Inspired casting make this film exceptional” LEONARD MALTIN.

Official Trailer