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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    THE Anastasia

    Well, we are dealing with a conspiracy theory here and certainly everyone who knows this story will have their own notions about its veracity. To my mind, this is the version I prefer. The performances by Helen Hayes and Yul Brynner are spectacular and I don't have the words to describe Ingrid Bergman. She IS Anastasia. The moment that is etched into my memory is when she finally confesses her identity and bursts into laughter which morphs into weeping. Chilling.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Compelling fairytale a poignant tear jerking classic!

    The 1956 version of ¿Anastasia¿ is the rapturous fairytale that attempts to answer the question surrounding the mystery of what became of the youngest daughter belonging to Tsar Nicholas II, the last Imperial ruler of Russia. Arthur Lawrence happily distances his screenplay from anything even remotely associated with the tragic historical record to focus instead on a troupe of militant loyalist exiles wallowing in their pasts in Paris. Ingrid Bergman stars as the mysterious woman with no past who is plucked from obscurity by con man, General Bounine (Yul Brynner). Bounine wants to get his hands on Anastasia¿s ten million dollar inheritance. Engaging two former masters from Russia¿s imperial court, the conniving Chernov (Akim Tamaroff) and the nervous Petrovan (Sasha Pitoeff) Bounine begins to educate his find in a crash course of social graces and royal protocol. However, somewhere between the lesson and the past, the protégé begins to recall places and people that she hasn¿t been taught about, leaving Bounine with more curiosity and questions than ever before. Can it be that the woman with no past is in fact the actual heir to the Russian throne? Helen Hayes costars as the impeccable Dowager Empress. Her initial reaction to Bounine is one of bitter disdain. But when the woman being groomed as Anastasia suddenly recalls for the Empress a memory that no one but she could have known, the Dowager¿s heart melts and she accepts the woman as her grand daughter. As a mere supporting player, Martita Hunt, as the Baroness Von Livenbaum, is a genuine scene stealer. This is a film of immense emotional undercurrents made all the more poignant by a stellar cast of performers. Fox DVD has done a very nice job remastering this film for DVD. Previous editions on laserdisc and VHS had been plagued by orangy flesh tones and excessive amounts of film grain. This DVD corrects and properly balances the colors. Though at times flesh tones can appear a little on the pasty side, over all the color, black levels and fine detail are impeccably rendered. A slight amount of edge enhancement and some very minute aliasing crops up in a few scenes but nothing that will distract. The audio is a 4.0 remastering effort that brings back the early grandeur of Cinemascope stereophonic recording to its original glory. Extras include a Biography Special on the real Anastasia, a Movie-tones trailer, a restoration comparison and the film's original theatrical trailer - plus an insightful audio commentary running throughout the film's presentation. This is a handsomely mounted production that really lives up to its subject matter. What became of the real Anastasia remains secret to this day. The film, rather than offer closure, presents more questions than answers - a fitting end to one of the 20th century's most tragic and compelling vanishing acts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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