Anastasia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Anastasia Reviews

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August 29, 2012
A great performance can always be expected from Bergman. Brynner's a presence.
½ July 10, 2012
While this version is nice, I still prefer the animated remake. I've just known the latter longer and hold it closer to my heart.
June 28, 2012
There are a few obstacles to the 1956 version of Anastasia. The first is the opening 20 minutes of the film, which meanders and provides far too much exposition in the most boring means possible. And then there are the heavy accents by every character in the picture. But if you get past those two items-and understand this is heavily speculative historical fiction-Anastasia can be a gripping film. The story itself is solid, moving swiftly and seemingly culminating before it really should. Bergman is mesmerizing, especially in her scenes with Helen Hayes. Yul Brynner takes a back seat for most of the film, though he is a pivitol character throughout. Wheat we don't necessarily get is a well rounded look at Prince Paul, to see what he's about, since he is bad mouthed in the lead up to the finale. But, really, Anastasia makes a perfect double bill with 1971's Nicholas and Alexandra, an episode from history no one should ever forget.
June 22, 2012
Bergman, Brynner, and Hayes. Oh yeah, fun plot too.
½ June 9, 2012
It's pretty bad. The story is interesting, but in the hands of actors who actually know what they're doing, it could've been really engaging. The only actor who is really good is Helen Hayes as the Dowager Empress of Russia. Yul Brynner and Ingrid Bergman are really bad in this. Bergman overdoes the hysterics that I can hardly believe the same woman in this was the one who was so brilliant in Casablanca and Gaslight. The ending needs work, too. It's essentially " We've been had. Go home." At least the music is nice.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2012
A beautiful period piece with its own eccentricities, Anastasia is fun and even frivolous at times. It holds a quiet dramatic regard at the travesty of the protagonist's fate and her past without reference, but the only moments of clarity come from actress Ingrid Bergman, who steals the show. She portrays a lonely beggar on the streets of a Russian metropolis, and is found by a disgraced general looking for an imposter to take on the supposedly dead Grand Duchess Anastasia, She is trained to meet the duchess' grandmother who lives in Amsterdam. Easy to recognize from that brief synopsis is the fact that it parallels the very flawed and wildly entertaining nineties' cartoon movie of the same name. For that one reason I found this to be a sensational watch. Looking between the two to see where one fails over the other, while the other succeeds was a tiny thrill for this film nerd. Both succeed in holding interest until the very end, both have a happy ending that you know deep down probably didn't happen, and both are basically about the search for an identity of any kind. This pitiless character, though an abject liar and someone who's fate wasn't known at the time of the film, is really only looking for the truth behind herself. The film does a great job of not drawing its own conclusions by saying it believes one way or another whether it was truth. Though there wasn't a seminal villain or musical numbers, it has the same basic concept which kept interest throughout. This was the most realistic way the events themselves could possibly go, and it remained impartial throughout while staying tongue in cheek. The fact that it was a period piece was well reflected in extravagant costuming, elaborate sets, and dialogue that espoused true melodrama and Russian highbrow stubbornness, in part from the general, portrayed by the very cultured Yul Brynner. Though touchy because it was Bergman's second Oscar, and her time in Hollywood was later marred by controversy, it really was a symbol of Bergman's talents as an actress and her pull in America. If you are wondering, in 2009 DNA testing revealed Duchess Anastasia died with her family in 1918. I am not disputing that this film wasn't at least semi-accurate, but I also don't care because it was an amazing film no matter what.
½ June 5, 2012
Must see the animated new version. A timeless classic.
May 7, 2012
gosh why do they use old people!?
Jason Vargo
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2012
There are a few obstacles to the 1956 version of Anastasia. The first is the opening 20 minutes of the film, which meanders and provides far too much exposition in the most boring means possible. And then there are the heavy accents by every character in the picture. But if you get past those two items-and understand this is heavily speculative historical fiction-Anastasia can be a gripping film. The story itself is solid, moving swiftly and seemingly culminating before it really should. Bergman is mesmerizing, especially in her scenes with Helen Hayes. Yul Brynner takes a back seat for most of the film, though he is a pivitol character throughout. Wheat we don't necessarily get is a well rounded look at Prince Paul, to see what he's about, since he is bad mouthed in the lead up to the finale. But, really, Anastasia makes a perfect double bill with 1971's Nicholas and Alexandra, an episode from history no one should ever forget.
½ April 4, 2012
Here's the thing with this movie. The main reason why this film doesn't fly for me is that A) having seen the animated film that would come out 42 years later, this one fails by comparison. The reason being Fox essentially took the exact same story and added action, comedy and music to make an animated film. The problem then is, this one is dull, horribly dull! The other thing is, while Ingrid Bergman does a good job, she's a total bitch, is highly unreliable (making her a poor heroine) and moreover is 20-30 years older than her character. The latter point is probably the biggest sin of all as it just doesn't make sense! Together, nothing seems to get past these faults; moreover, the General is Yul Brynner who will always be the King of Siam and nothing else. Again, it just can't work! At the time I think it may have, but now... not so much.
April 2, 2012
Excellent Movie. A must for Ingrid Bergman fans
March 4, 2012
Rated highly for the acting quality, but the film could have used more history to the plot.
February 6, 2012
The classic tale of the lost princess is given life through the performance of Ingrid Bergman, a woman of many talents.
January 26, 2012
It's an interesting movie that is historically inaccurate. It ends without any explanation. It's very stagey and plays out like a play, rather than a movie. Yul Brynner, Ingrid Bergman, and Helen Hayes are the main acting highlights in this movie. If you ignore the inaccurate portrayals and storyline, then you will enjoy this movie that's based upon a popular stage play.
December 29, 2011
Of course it's not historically accurate ; it is a film that to some extent models on real people but is not exactly about real people, since DNA tests revealed that Anna Anderson was not the real Anastasia Nikolevna; it's an attractive what if fairy tale, except that there is this lingering feeling of losing one's own identity and assuming new one; about creating that identity and starting to believe in it, all backed by wonderful performances.
December 17, 2011
This is a very good film, although I actually found Ingrid Bergman's performance (the reason I watched the film), to be off somehow. I'm normally a fan, and I'm not sure what it was, but it didn't completely work for me. I haven't seen all the films for which an actress was nominated in a leading role in 1956, but I have to say, I rather think Deborah Kerr was robbed.
½ December 11, 2011
Not my favorite...definitely drags, and the romance is totally unbelievable.
½ November 16, 2011
Anastasia is a light classic lead by excellent performances head of course by the ever so wonderful Ingrid Bergman.
½ October 27, 2011
It's an enjoyable but slight costume melodrama. It could have been really great if it explored the ironies and complexities of the historical issues dangling beneath the surface
July 8, 2011
To start with, the opening musical score is distracting and not appropriate at all. It suits epic movies like Ben Hur or Cleopatra more. This mindset for greatness goes on throughout the whole movie. It is ambitious but has little clue how to achieve eminence.

The idea to locate or to invent the daughter of the last of the Russian Tsar is good material for an interesting movie. Somehow the movie fails to soar and to connect. Lack of appropriate skills maybe? Everything feels so controlled. When the film is not working, they did not even attempt to focus on Ingrid Bergmanâ(TM)s intrigued beauty. (BTW she won an Oscar for this role though) The love between Bounine and Anastasia comes as much a surprise as it is unbelievable. Itâ(TM)s just a nice, low-key way to spend 100 minutes.
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