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Anna (1987)

PG-13 | | Drama | 28 November 1987 (USA)
Anna is a middle-aged actress looking for work in New York City, with the help of her sometime lover, Daniel. She used to be a Czech film star married to the director Tonda, who is now ... See full summary »


Yurek Bogayevicz


Yurek Bogayevicz (story), Agnieszka Holland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Kirkland ... Anna
Robert Fields Robert Fields ... Daniel
Paulina Porizkova ... Krystyna
Gibby Brand ... Director #1
John Robert Tillotson John Robert Tillotson ... Director #2
Julianne Gilliam Julianne Gilliam ... Woman Author
Joe Aufiery Joe Aufiery ... Stage Manager
Lance Davis Lance Davis ... Assistant #1
Deirdre O'Connell ... Assistant #2
Ruth Maleczech ... Woman #1 / Woman Named Gloria
Holly Villaire Holly Villaire ... Woman #2 / Woman with Bird
Shirl Bernheim Shirl Bernheim ... Woman #3 / Woman in White Veil
Renée Coleman ... Woman #4 / Woman in Bonnet
Gabrielle Made ... Woman #5 / Woman in Black (as Gabriela Farrar)
Jordana Levine Jordana Levine ... Woman #6 / Woman in Turban


Anna is a middle-aged actress looking for work in New York City, with the help of her sometime lover, Daniel. She used to be a Czech film star married to the director Tonda, who is now successfully making commercials in New York. After the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, Anna was imprisoned and eventually exiled. Anna takes in the young girl Krystyna, who has just arrived from Czechoslovakia, and speaks no English. Anna and Daniel help Krystyna learn English and start a promising acting career. However, the only job Anna can find is as an understudy. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lately, she's been contemplating love, exile, murder, and acting.




PG-13 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anna - Exil in New York See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (TVC)
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Did You Know?


The film is loosely based on the life of Polish actress Elzbieta Czyzewska, who had trouble establishing herself as an actress in New York after fleeing her homeland. She made a comeback after the film's release, winning an Obie Award for her performance in the play "Crowbar," and appearing in movies like Running on Empty (1988) and Music Box (1989). See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Fatal Games (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Former foreign film star finds no luck seeking parts in America.
23 September 2007 | by jcrawford-15See all my reviews

As an actor who works in film and television, I think Kirkland's performance in "Anna" is one of the greatest ever given by an American actress on screen. Every actor should see it, as well as Kim Stanley's in "The Goddess" and Geraldine Page's in "The Trip to Bountiful".

I also think this film is important in its message to Hollywood - stop putting looks above talent!

This film is a fascinating story, all too true for actresses in the US, especially today. Anna, an enormously talented middle-aged woman, is overlooked, while exceptional opportunities come along for a pretty young girl with little to offer but looks and a perky personality, who just happens to use Anna to get to the top.

The story is supposed to be based on a real person and her experience trying to find work in New York after having been a star in Europe. Kirkland brings this character to life with amazing depth and courage. Although she lost the Oscar that year to the well - deserving Cher for "Moonstruck", I think if more people had seen this film, Kirkland would have walked away with the little gold man that night. I am still inspired by what the film has to say about women in this business who lose opportunities because of ageism. What is it with American producers? I love Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave, but if they were American women, they would never find work! The Hollywood film industry should take a lesson from their European counterparts and use the talented older ladies we have right here!!! Every time Dench or Redgrave make a film, they are nominated or win for it. There are thousands of equally gifted ladies right under our noses in Hollywood who never get a shot at greatness. Sadly, Sally Kirkland just had the one...

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