Anastasia (movie, 1956)

Anastasia is an American film directed by Anatole Litvak and released in 1956 .


Paris , 1928 . White Russians exiled, General Bunin and his accomplices Chernov and Petrovin plan to recover by all means the fortunes of Tsar Nicholas II , blocked out of Russia after the execution of the sovereign and his family by the Bolsheviks , ten years earlier . As rumors circulated that the youngest of his daughters, Grand Duchess Anastasia , would have been spared and would live under an assumed identity, they decided to find a girl like him to pass for her. It is then that on the day of the Russian Passover, they prevent an unknown from committing suicide by jumping from a quay of the Seine. Amnesiac and vaguely resembling the descriptions made of Anastasia, the young woman named Anna Koreff hesitates, then is persuaded by Bunin. She learns her role of heiress with zeal, then is presented to members of the Russian imperial family , also exiled to Paris.


The film, adapted from Marcelle Maurette’s play , is freely inspired by real events. It traces in part the story of Anna Anderson , a young woman discovered in Berlin when she was about to commit suicide, and interned in an asylum. It was there that she pretended to be Grand Duchess Anastasia . There followed a very long controversy: is she or is not she the Grand Duchess?

In 1990, the bodies of the imperial family were found and exhumed, then identified by DNA analysis. Two bodies are missing, that of the Tsarevich Alexis and that of one of his sisters, Maria or Anastasia. According to the report of Yourovsky, who directed the execution, these two bodies were burned in the neighboring woods.

During excavations carried out in July 2007, at the probable place where the bodies of the tsarevitch and one of his sisters were buried, were found bones of two bodies. According to the first conclusions, it would be a young boy aged between 13 and 14 years old and a young woman between the ages of nineteen and twenty. Such were the ages of the Tsarevich Alexis and the Grand Duchess Maria at the moment of their death.

On January 22, 2008, Nikolaï Nevoline, head of Sverdlovsk’s regional office of forensic expertise, was briefed by RIA Novosti on the occasion of the filing of preliminary findings of genetic expertise : “Bones found on 29 July 2007 near Ekaterinburg belong to children of the last Russian emperor. DNA analyzes conducted in Yekaterinburg and Moscow confirmed our hypothesis. Once these expertises are completed, their results will be compared to those of our foreign colleagues. ”

On April 30, 2008, genetic tests carried out by an American laboratory would have confirmed that the remains came from the Tsarevich Alexis and his sister, the Grand Duchess Maria.

But “the contender” Anna Anderson was buried and cremated in February 1984 in the United States under the title “Her Imperial Highness (Anastasia) of Russia 5/18 June 1901-12 February 1984”. She still has her followers. A gravestone also exists in Bavaria since 1985 with the inscription Anastasia Manhanan (1901-1984). She married an American academic, John Manahan, in 1968, and was recognized and still supported by most of the German parents of the Romanov family. necessary].

Technical sheet

  • Title: Anastasia
  • Directed by: Anatole Litvak
  • Production: Buddy Adler
  • Scenario: Guy Bolton and Arthur Laurents , adaptation of Marcelle Maurette’s Anastasia
  • Photography: Jack Hildyard Cinemascope technicolor
  • Manager: Jack Hildyard
  • Music: Alfred Newman
  • Costumes: René Hubert
  • Editing: Bert Bates
  • Distribution: Twentieth Century Fox
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English / French
  • Genre: history, drama
  • Duration: 105 minutes
  • Release dates:
    •  United States :
    •  France : 1957


  • Ingrid Bergman (VF: Claire Guibert ) : Anna Koreff / Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
  • Yul Brynner ( VF Claude Péran ) : General Sergei Pavlovich Bunin
  • Helen Hayes ( VF Germaine Kerjean ) : Empress Dowager Maria Fedorovna
  • Akim Tamiroff ( VF : Serge Nadaud ) : Boris Adreivich Chernov, the “banker”
  • Martita Hunt ( VF Helene Tossy ) : Baroness Elena von Livenbaum]
  • Felix Aylmer : Chamberlain
  • Sacha Pitoeff : Piotr Ivanovich Petrovin
  • Ivan Desny : Prince Paul von Haraldberg
  • Natalie Schafer ( VF : Lita Recio ) : Irina ‘Nini’ Lissemskaia
  • Gregory Gromoff : Stepan
  • Karel Stepanek : Mikhail Vlados
  • Ina of the Hague : Marusia
  • Katherine Kath : Maxime

Uncredited Actors:

  • Tutte Lemkow : a dancer
  • Tamara Shayne : Zenia

Awards and Distinctions

  • Ingrid Bergman won the Oscar for Best Actress 1957 . Alfred Newman was nominated in the Best Movie Music category , but the award went to Victor Young for Around the World in eighty days .

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