Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Anastasia - The Mystery of Anna|
Actors: Amy Irving, Olivia De Havilland, Jan Niklas, Nicolas Surovy, Susan Lucci
Director: Marvin J. Chomsky
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
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 tha... more »
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One of the Twentieth Century's Great Puzzles
James L. | 02/02/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Amy Irving stars as Anna, a woman claiming to be the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, a claim which would mean that she had survived the execution of the Royal Family. She seems to know things about the Royal Family that only Anastasia could know, yet she has huge gaps in her memory and is unable/unwilling to speak Russian. Things are complicated by the fact that other women have claimed to be Anastasia in the past, and the Royal Family has grown tired of the pretenders to the throne. However, Anna has her supporters, although she knows the must win the support of her grandmother, the empress, if she is to have any hope of being officially recognized. Irving has a few good moments as Anna/Anastasia, but she doesn't project the strength that so many of the characters tell her character that she has. The supporting cast is competent, although few are given much in the way of characters to flesh out. The real bright spot in the film is Olivia de Havilland as the Empress. She infuses her character with humour and wisdom, and steals her far too few scenes. There is a narrator that appears irregularly throughout the film, and that device should have been eliminated. The direction lacks pacing, the script could be stronger, and the ending is rather flat. Despite the fictious romance and other weaknesses, I did find the film interesting, since the mystery surrounding Anna Anderson was one of the great puzzles of the Twentieth Century. People argued for and against her with equal passion. Since the film was completed, scientists appear to have proven that Anna Anderson was not Anastasia, but it would be interesting to think that maybe someone could have survived that brutal moment in history. I do wish they had made a more fact based, tighter film about it."
Entertaining, gripping drama
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 06/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ANASTASIA: THE MYSTERY OF ANNA features a tour-de-force performance by Amy Irving in the lead role, plus an excellent, star-studded supporting cast.
The miniseries is based on Peter Kurth's lengthy "Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson", still the most authoritive book on the woman who tried to claim the title of the murdered Duchess Anastasia.
We follow the young woman, Anna Anderson, as she tries to kill herself by falling into a Berlin canal, then through the various madhouses as she slowly but surely reveals her true identity as Empress Anastasia, daughter of the Czar, thought killed along with the rest of the imperial family.
Anna's plight to claim the title of Empress is marred by the efforts of the surviving Romanoffs, who all have their own motives in trying to keep the vast Romanoff fortune for themselves. Anna's best hope of gaining acceptance is visting the Dowager Empress (Olivia de Havilland). Anna also gains a valuable ally in Prince Erich (Jan Niklas) whom she later falls in love with.
This adaptation swaps a lot of the truth in favour of fairytale romance. There was no sweeping love story between Anna and Erich, and the film covers up a lot of the activities Anna got involved in which did nothing to help her plight (such as running around naked on the top of a New York hotel). Ultimately, despite the fact that Duchess Anastasia's death could never be fully-determined, Anna was proven to be a fraud when DNA samples of Romanoff ancestors were compared with tissue samples of Anderson.
However, this miniseries is highly-entertaining, especially the performance of Amy Irving, who invests a lot of feisty attitude and drama to the proceedings. Olivia de Havilland is likewise very memorable as the wry and whimsical Dowager Empress.
The amazing supporting cast includes Rex Harrison, Claire Bloom, Omar Sharif, Elke Sommer, Edward Fox, Susan Lucci, and Nicolas Surovy."
Anastasia, the Mystery of Anna....Superb!
beckhamgod | 01/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the beginning, this story compells the viewer in the tale of Anna Anderson, a woman who believes and claims that she is the last remaining member of the last Tzar of Russias immediate Royal Family. She believes she is the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholaevna. The story beginns with the introduction to the Royal Family. Omar Sheriff is very good as Tsar Nicholas II and Clare Bloom shines as Tsarina Alexandra. Christian Blae makes his screen dabute as Alexis. The story then unfolds into the Russian Revolution, and eventualy to the Royal Familys Execution.We are then taken to Berlin, where a lady is attempting suicide. She has bad amnisia, but slowly begins to believe she is Anastasia. In meeting Prince Eric, they battle to gain her Title as the Hier to the Russian throne. The story is filled with trouble and Turmoil, as well as heeps of Romance. Amy Irving is Outstanding as Anastasia, her red eyed-teary performance is outstanding. Other good parts are taken By Olivia De Havvilland as The Grand Duchess Maria, and Rex Harrison puts in a regal performance as Grand Duke Cyril. This film may alter History slightly, but it is something you will fall in love with again and again. Well worth the price for such a gem. Fantastic. Also available on DVD in the uk, but u have to hunt high and low! Good luck!"
Sarah Finley | Beaverton, OR USA | 04/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While the love story is completely fictional, and personally, I think we could have done without it, it is a very moving film. Amy Irving plays Anna extremely well. I have read a great deal about the Romanovs, particularly Anastasia, and I find that this particular version of the tragic story is one of the best that I have seen."