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 <email@example.com>
Written by Johannes Frederik Frøhlich See more »
An enjoyable movie about 'acting'
As the woman who may or may not have been the Grand Duchess Anastastia, Ingrid Bergman was welcomed back with open arms by the Hollywood fraternity that had spurned her after her affair with Roberto Rossellini and she won her second Oscar for her performance. It is a fine piece of acting in a film that is all about acting; (Bergman plays a woman called Anna Koreff who is being groomed to pass as the Grand Duchess, though it is no "Pygmalion" as she may well indeed have been the person she is being hired 'to play', though DNA tests later proved the woman in question was not Anastasia).
Yul Brynner is the Russian general who acts as her Professor Higgins and he's excellent. The same year he won an Oscar for "The King and I" but his performance here is just as good. Helen Hayes is superb as the Dowager Empress and there is a terrific turn from the great Martita Hunt as the Empress' lady-in-waiting. Anatole Litvak's direction isn't exciting in 'cinematic' terms but he knows he has a good yarn and he moves it along at a cracking pace. Between them, Bergman, Brynner and Litvak hold you in thrall.
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