Artistic license aside, this is a beautifully rendered exercise in “what if…”—an historical fairy tale which combines mystery with a dash of romance as Pavlovich realizes, perhaps too late, that his interest in Anna goes beyond the huge dowry waiting for her in a London bank. Filmed in swirling colours with widescreen Cinemascope settings that reach from Parisian slums to royal reception halls, this is filmmaking on a grand scale. Presenting Koreff as a naïve tabula rasa, Litvak toys with issues of memory and identity as well as the need to belong—is Anna’s performance merely parroting or has Pavlovich’s tutoring actually tapped into buried memories? And is that a note of despair we hear in her insistence that she actually is Nicholas’ missing heir? Fine performances all around, especially from Bergman and a dignified Helen Hayes as Pavlovich’s most ardent skeptic, the dowager Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna living in luxurious exile in Copenhagen.
INTERESTING FILM,,, The injustice of "revolution" & the massacre of whole-sale royal-family in the name of the "country & people".
Very touching sad ordeal of a family in turmoil & the search of lost princes.
Saw this film again yesterday. It was a Guilty Pleasure of my youth. This time it seemed better than ever. Particularly the 'Scope! I was knocked over by some of the wide-angle shots! Some real hard thinking when into these camera angles... particularly one scene that was nothing but an empty room at night.... there are two open doors to rooms at either side of the screen. Lights are on in those rooms and create shadows in the room we are in including a big dark horizontal shadow completely across the screen with the door to the room on the left above and the door at the right below. Yul is in the off-camera room on the left and Bergman in the off-camera room on the right. The are talking back and forth to each other. The stereo separation is perfect and complete. They can even be heard to be walking around in their respective off-camera rooms, getting closer and further away from the microphones! The scene goes on for several minutes in which NOTHING AT ALL happens on camera... and for a climax neither of them come out of their rooms at the end of the scene! Genius!
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