Action-packed look at the beginnings of the fall of the Roman Empire. Here is the glory, the greed and grandeur that was Rome. Here is the story of personal lust for power, and the ... See full summary »
Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, ... See full summary »
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Russian exiles in Paris plot to collect ten million pounds from the Bank of England by grooming a destitute, suicidal girl to pose as heir to the Russian throne. While Bounin is coaching her he comes to believe she is really Anastasia. In the end the Empress must decide her claim. Written by
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Helen Haye was an actress who had impressed the film's producer in a previous production, for BBC Television, of the play He sent a memo to the casting agent saying "Hire Helen Haye". This was taken to be a misprint by the agent and the popular actress Helen Hayes was hired. See more »
Not the most accurate rumination on whether or not Anna was really Anastasia, perhaps, but creamy, expensive entertainment, expertly done. Many share in the credit. There's a witty, epigrammatic screenplay by the always reliable Arthur Laurents (love that closing line, and most of Helen Hayes' dialogue) that manages to speculate perceptively on the nature-of-performance theme without beating it into the ground; an evocative Alfred Newman score that surpasses virtually anything else he did at Fox; fine CinemaScope photography that really uses the outer reaches of the screen, though it does dabble in spectacle for spectacle's sake at times; a superb Hayes (she could be theatrically actressy or resort to little-old-lady tricks in other movies, but here she's the real deal); a delightful Martita Hunt; and chemistry between Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner that suggests all the underlying sexual tension without ever stating it explicitly. Also knock-your-eye-out costume design. In a time of rampant Hollywood bloat and slow-moving epics, this one moves along, without too much pretension. And Anatole Litvak's direction, while no great shakes, is nicely paced.
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