The legit hit Anastasia has been made into a wonderfully moving and entertaining motion picture from start to finish, and the major credit inevitably must go to Ingrid Bergman who turns in a great performance.
Yet the picture is by no means all Bergman. Yul Brynner as General Bounine, the tough Russian exile, etches a strong and convincing portrait that stands up perfectly to Bergman’s Anastasia, and Helen Hayes has great dignity as the Empress.
Story basically is the one from the French play of Marcelle Maurette adapted by Guy Bolton. Brynner and a group of conspirators are working in Paris to produce an Anastasia who might help them collect the ú10 million deposited in England by the Czar’s family. Brynner keeps the destitute Bergman from suicide, then grooms her to play Anastasia’s part.
Bergman bears an amazing resemblance to the Czar’s youngest daughter who was supposed to have been killed by the Reds in 1918. Desperate to forget the past, Bergman first resists, then begins to recover her regal bearing – and her memories.
Director Anatole Litvak and producer Buddy Adler imbue the story with realistic settings.
1956: Best Actress (Ingrid Bergman).
Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture