ANASTASIA
1956, 20th Century Fox, 105 min, USA, Dir: Anatole Litvak

Ingrid Bergman’s return to Hollywood brought her a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the title role of this intriguing historical drama. Among the first casualties of the 1917 Russian Revolution were Tsar Nicholas II and his family, though rumors persisted for years that daughter Anastasia had escaped execution. With a £10 million inheritance on the line, General Bounine (Yul Brynner) grooms a mysterious young woman (Bergman) to play Anastasia, but the more time he spends with her, the more he begins to suspect she’s the real thing. Helen Hayes is wonderful as the dowager Empress who will decide the claim.


THE NIGHT OF THE GENERALS
1967, Sony Repertory, 148 min, UK/France, Dir: Anatole Litvak

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA costars Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif (and composer Maurice Jarre) reunite for this underrated mix of WWII history and murder mystery. When a prostitute who had been working as a German agent in occupied Warsaw is killed, military intelligence investigator Major Grau (Sharif) focuses on three German officers (Donald Pleasence, Charles Gray and O’Toole) as suspects while wartime intrigue swirls about. With Tom Courtenay, Philippe Noiret and Christopher Plummer.


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