Thursday, August 9, 2007

Is She Or Isn't She?

The Great Romantic Enigma of The Twentieth Century.

In July of 1918, the Bolsheviks shot Russian Czar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children during the Russian Revolution. So begins the epic saga of Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed until the day she died in 1984 that she was truly Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest child of Czar Nicholas II and sole survivor of the family's execution. Her story became one of the greatest romantic mysteries of the twentieth century. This breathtaking adaptation of Anna's journey is also a depiction of a lost era, from her days of Russian royalty, her flight from execution and her years of struggle to reclaim her royal heritage. Amy Irving leads a luminary cast in this spectacular drama filled with triumph, tragedy, mystery and hope.

Title: Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna
Release: December 7-8, 1986
Genre: Drama, History
MPAA Rating: PG
Based On: The Riddle of Anna Anderson by Peter Kurth
Writer: James Goldman
Director: Marvin J. Chomsky
Music By: Laurence Rosenthal
Produced By: Marvin J. Chomsky
Distributed By: NBC (TV movie)
Run Time: 200 minutes

I know very little about the story of Anastasia and what I do know I learned from Don Bluth’s classic animated masterpiece so Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna came as a bit of a surprise to me. The story is fabulous and although the movie is quite long (it was a originally a telefilm) I never was bored. The costumes are very nice and although the story adaptation isn’t quite true to the actual events of Anna Anderson and her plight I didn’t know at the time of watching so I really enjoyed it. I think if I hadn’t have read what was a major spoiler for me (not going to say what but if you are familiar with what happened after the death of the person who the film is based on you already know) I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It’s very little wonder the film was nominated for four Emmy Awards altogether and won two.

My favorite thing about the movie actually involves two actors in it. This was Christian Bale’s (Batman Begins) very first film and Rex Harrison’s (My Fair Lady, Doctor Dolittle) very last although he did go on to star in a few plays before he died. The whole cast is amazing with Amy Irving in the title role but those are the two were my favorite actors in the film. Harrison is actually the reason I discovered the movie in the first place. I had never even heard of it before but it was interesting to watch a movie made the year I was born.

~ I borrowed the VHS from the library to watch the film. It came out on DVD in 2006 but from what I’ve read online there aren’t any bonus features.

Find Anastasia Online

If you would like to watch the Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna you can watch it online because Tbozfan has uploaded the entire four hours onto YouTube.

Related Reviews
Rex Harrison- Grand Duke Cyril Romanov
A Damned Serious Business: My Life in Comedy by Rex Harrison
Night Train to Munich (1940)- Dickie Randall/ Gus Bennett
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)- Capt. Daniel Gregg
Cleopatra (1963)- Julius Caesar
My Fair Lady (1964)- Professor Henry Higgins
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)- Pope Julius II
Doctor Dolittle (1967)- Dr. John Dolittle
Amy Irving- Anna Anderson
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)- Jessica Rabbit (singing)
Claire Bloom- Czarina Alexandra
The Haunting (1963)- Theodora 'Theo'

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely going to check this movie out. I love historical movies (one of my absolute favorites is Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett).

    Have you ever read the Kitchen Boy? It is a fiction book about the Romanov's and Anastasia. I keep meaning to rent it at the library.

    The animated movie Anastasia was cute too.



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