DirectorAnatole Litvak Duration CountryUnited States
WriterGuy Bolton, Arthur Laurents Release dateDecember 13, 1956 (1956-12-13) CastIngrid Bergman (Anna Koreff / Anastasia), Yul Brynner (General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine), Helen Hayes (Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna), Akim Tamiroff (Boris Adreivich Chernov), Martita Hunt (Baroness Elena von Livenbaum), Felix Aylmer (Chamberlain) Similar moviesInside Out, Cinderella, Knock Knock, Pitch Perfect 2, Aladdin, Jupiter Ascending
TaglineFrom the sensational Broadway stage success that had audiences crying its acclaim!
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Anastasia is a 1956 American 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. An animated version of Anastasia was released by Fox Animation Studios in 1997, keeping much of Maurette's original storyline.
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Ten years of turmoil have passed since the teenage Anastasia and her family (parents, sisters and brother) were presumed to have been killed by Bolshevik revolutionaries. Does the refugee Anna who has turned up in Paris have the bearing, speech and intimate knowledge of the imperial family that the real grand duchess would have? Or is she merely a recovering amnesiac with a striking resemblance who has been cleverly groomed by the émigré General Bounine (Brynner) to stake a claim to £10,000,000 left by the Tsar in an English bank? In a series of encounters with former familiars and members of the imperial court, Anna begins to display a confidence and style that astonish her skeptical interlocutors, yet retains our sympathy by seeming more interested in recovering her own identity than the imperial bank account. In a climactic meeting with the Empress in Copenhagen, Anna and the Empress take the measure of each other, alternately projecting imperial self-possession and the anguish of family longing. Meanwhile, Bounine has become increasingly jealous of the attentions the fortune-hunting Prince Paul pays to Anna. At a grand ball at which her engagement to Paul is to be announced, the Empress has a private word with Anna/Anastasia, who subsequently elopes with Bounine.
Ingrid Bergman as Anna Koreff
Yul Brynner as General Bounine
Helen Hayes as the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovona
Akim Tamiroff as Boris Chernov
Martita Hunt as Baroness Elena von Livenbaum
Felix Aylmer as Chamberlain
Sacha Pitoëff as Piotr Ivanovich Petrovin
Ivan Desny as Prince Paul von Haraldberg (an invented character)
Natalie Schafer as Irina Lissemskaia
Grégoire Gromoff as Stepan
Karel Stepanek as Mikhail Vlados
Ina De La Haye as Marusia
Katherine Kath as Maxime
The film was shot in Copenhagen, London and Paris. The Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral is featured in one of the earlier scenes.
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Ingrid Bergman
Best Music, Score of a Dramatic or Musical Picture – Alfred Newman