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Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986)

Story of Anna Anderson, who claimed to be Anastasia Romanov, the only "surviving" child of the last Czar and Czarina of Russia.

Director:

Marvin J. Chomsky

Writers:

James Goldman, Peter Kurth (book)
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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Irving ... Anna Anderson
Olivia de Havilland ... Dowager Empress Maria
Jan Niklas ... Prince Erich
Nicolas Surovy ... Serge Markov
Susan Lucci ... Darya Romanoff
Elke Sommer ... Isabel Von Hohenstauffen
Edward Fox ... Dr. Hauser
Claire Bloom ... Czarina Alexandra
Omar Sharif ... Czar Nicholas II
Rex Harrison ... Grand Duke Cyril Romanov
Jennifer Dundas ... Anastasia
Christian Bale ... Alexei
Andrea Bretterbauer Andrea Bretterbauer ... Sonya Markov
Sydney Bromley ... Herbert
Arnold Diamond ... Dr. Markov
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Storyline

In 1920s Berlin, suicidal asylum patient Anna Anderson claims to be Anastasia Romanov, the supposedly dead daughter of the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, who was dethroned and murdered by the communists along with his entire immediate family during the Russian Revolution. She is so convincing in her descriptions of her life on the court and how she escaped the communist purge that, after leaving the asylum, she slowly gains followers willing to believe her story. However, the surviving members of the Romanov family who now live in exile are not among them. This skepticism soon turns into mutual animosity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Great Romantic Enigma of the Twentieth Century


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Austria | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anastasia See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Amy Irving was so impressed with Christian Bale that she recommended him to her then-husband Steven Spielberg, who was casting the lead for his next project, Empire of the Sun (1987). Spielberg gave Bale the lead role. The film received mixed reviews, but Bale was universally praised. See more »

Goofs

The caption that says "Berlin, 1923" should say "Berlin, 1920". See more »

Quotes

Clara (madwoman): My name is Clara. There are a lot of crazy people around here. But I'm not one of them. I'm exactly like you.
See more »

Connections

Version of Anastasia (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Mystery Solved,Yet Legend Still Remains.
23 November 2008 | by SevenPrcntKokaineSee all my reviews

It's out of question that the real Anna Anderson was NOT Princess Anastasia. Apart from very distinctive differences in physical appearance(Anderson's eyes are perceivably larger, lips thicker, nose larger and turned up at the end....etc), Anderson's unable to speak Russian was a ridiculous tell......That's why I detest Anna Anderson and her confederates so much. Not a lot of swindlers have the audacity and endurance to scam for 60+ years with such a blatantly untenable scheme.

Yet to some extent I have sympathy for Anna Anderson. Life must have been hard for a young Polish peasant worker in those days. And to impersonate another woman for 60+ years is an arduous task for anybody.She had to hold back her fleshy lips all the time to mimic the thin lips of Anastasia's, and had to occasionally go lunatic to make people believe all her chaotic memory was just a result of mental problem.

Anna Anderson was an awesome woman on a wrong track. Had she put her good-looks, learned elegance, endurance, acting skills into proper use, she could of made a first-class actress.

On a side note: Some main characters of this two-parter seem to be loosely based on real figures. Prince Erich could be a mixture of Gleb Botkin(believed by many the most possible brain behind the whole scheme), Duke George and Dmitri of Leuchtenberg, and several other figures. And Darya Romanoff seem to be based on the gorgeous Princess Xenia Georgievna Romanova. But unlike the real confederates, Prince Erich was motiveless in this show and supported Anna out of love for and sincere belief in her, which is touching.

On the whole this is a great show. Fictionalised a bit but still remains faithful to the reality. The power of Amy Irving's acting lies in that she successfully represented Anderson's self-assuredness, the mixture of impersonating others and being herself is intriguing. Just as Princess Xenia said about Anderson:"She was herself at all times and never gave the slightest impression of acting a part." Highly recommended.


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