Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane.
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Francis L. Sullivan
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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
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In reality, Anna Anderson never met the Dowager Empress, Czarina Maria Fyodorovna. The Empress believed that her son and his family had survived and were still in Russia. Grand Duchess Olga, the younger daughter of Maria Fyodorovna, did meet Anna Anderson while the latter was convalescing in a sanitarium and visited her a few more times before making the determination that something was not right with the ailing woman's claims. The Grand Duchesses Olga and Xenia did not wish to upset the aged Empress and it is not known if they mentioned Anderson to her at all. The Dowager Empress remained in Denmark until her death in 1928. In 2006 her remains were transferred to St. Petersburg, where she was laid to rest beside her husband, Czar Aleksandr III. 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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