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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT203-BR

ANASTASIA (1956) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Yul Brynner, Helen Hayes, Akim Tamiroff, Martita Hunt, Ingred Bergman, Felix Aylmer, Natlalie Schafer
Directed By:  Anatole Litvak
Composed By:  Alfred Newman

“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.” – Variety

“Mr. Laurents has wisely given it geographical range, added strong scenes that the play barely suggested and expanded the conflicts within the heroine. Anatole Litvak has smartly staged it for a fine projection of its human ironies. And it is played with keen sensitivity by Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner and Helen Hayes…one strong complex of melodrama, mystery and romance.”
– Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

The historical drama Anastasia (1956) tells the tale of a damaged amnesiac (Ingrid Bergman, an Oscar®-winner for her performance) who may or may not be the lost Romanoff princess, Anastasia. She becomes the accomplice (willing or not?) of a charming White Russian general (Yul Brynner) in a plot to swindle a boatload of money out of the grieving Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Helen Hayes). At stake: not just money, but the putative Anastasia’s emotional sanity. Directed by Anatole Litvak, produced by Buddy Adler, and featuring a stunning score by Alfred Newman, available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track.

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1956 / Color
105 MINUTES
NOT RATED

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Audio Commentary with Film Historians Julie Kirgo and David Del Valle / Audio Commentary with Screenwriter Arthur Laurents, Actor James MacArthur, and Film Historians Jon Burlingame and Sylvia Stoddard / Fox Movietone Newsreels / Song Demo / Original Theatrical Trailer with Isolated Score Track

  
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Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on July 28, 2017 1:01 PM
TOP PERFORMERS AT THEIR PEAK

Most of us know little about Russian history with much of it happening prior to the Communist takeover given little attention. We hear about Rasputin and Nicholas and Alexandria but not much, at least not as much as with other royal families. The only other story to receive much attention was that of Anastasia, the supposed lost daughter of the royal family who escaped execution and survived. Or did she?

Many came forward to claim they were Anastasia but none as famous as Anna Anderson. Here story was the basis for this film and several others. Her claim to be the long lost daughter lasted for decades and it wasn’t until DNA results confirmed or denied her claim that the results were determined. But what we have here is a story that revolves around that possibility.

Yul Brynner, fresh from his successes with THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and THE KING AND I, stars as General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine, a Russian exile in Paris of nefarious character who will do anything to possess power and money. Displaced as he is we get the impression he is not above criminal activity and has been searching for just the right person to pass off as the long lost Anastasia.

It seems he has found the perfect foil for his plan, a woman who had a past involving a stay in an asylum, Anna Koureff (Ingrid Bergman). Something in her background makes it seem that she could potentially actually be the woman sought, but the odds are against it. With a bit of training and assistance Bounine intends to pass Anna off as the real thing and as a result lay partial claim to £10 million laying in an English bank, leftover funds from the royal family.

The only way to accomplish this is to pass Anna off as Anastasia to the Dowager Empress Marie Fedorovona (Helen Hayes) in Copenhagen. Hers is the determining factor that will decide if Anna is in fact Anastasia or not. With so many having tried to lay claim to the title it will not be an easy task.

But we have more going on here underneath the surface as Hollywood is want to do. As Bounine trains Anna the pair become close to one another. Beneath his brusque manner and treatment of Anna and her confusion as to whether or not she is who he has told her, an affection begins to grow. It’s subtle, nearly not on display, but there all the more time they spend together. Whether or not the end result will involve them as a couple is in doubt but the chance is there.

The movie is not quite a romance but evolves into one coupled equally with the historical retelling of the search for Anastasia. This blending of fact and fiction makes for a slow moving film but an entertaining one at the same time. The film marked a comeback of sorts for actress Bergman who had fallen out of favor due to the strict moral at the time. Having had an open affair with director Roberto Rossellini in 1950 she had been denounced and looked down upon in American society. But her talent shown through and she worked her way back into the public eye with films like this one.

Once more Twilight Time has done an excellent job with the transfer on display here. I’ve yet to see anything delivered from them that has fallen short. And like all of their titles this one is limited to so many copies so if you’re interested get one before they’re gone.

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