14 thoughts on “TBT: Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986)

  1. I am an Anastasia fan, but I really prefer the Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, Helen Hayes 1957 movie. Ms Bergman won an Oscar, costumes were marvellous and it was based on Anna Anderson’s Anastasia autobiography, I Am Anastasia.
    And I can’t wait for Matilda the biopic on Mathilde Kschessinkaya & Nicky to come out. Costumes are simply marvellous.

  2. I just recognized Jan Niklas as “Prince Erich” – he played the younger Peter the Great in the mini-series with Maximillian Schell! Small world and what fun to see this hunky prince again!

  3. How could I not know about this miniseries??!! I’ve long been obsessed with the last Romanov family and their tragic ending. I can’t count how many books I’ve read on the subject. Thanks for bringing this film to my attention.

    1. I picked Alexandra as my confirmation name after reading “Nicholas and Alexandra” as a thirteen year old. Unfortunately, my family refused to call me Alex, as I wished.

  4. I loved this mini series as a teenager and it sent me off down the rabbit hole of Russian history.

    I can still remember clearly the scene where Anna tells Cyril about a conversation overheard between Cyril and the Tsar about Cyril’s affair with a ballerina.

    1. Me too! the Romanovs are absolutely fascinating. The fact that Empress Elizabeth (Peter the Great’s daughter) isn’t more a historical household name is a crying shame.

  5. I remember loving this miniseries when it was on. I was so confused why everyone did not believe Anna that she was the lost princess. In fact this mini series is one of the reasons I have an unnatural loathing of Rex Harrison, well that and his involvement in Carol Landis suicide.

  6. I do remember this mini-series, albeit vaguely. I had already started my love affair with English history (that started at 11) and this helped widen my scope by quite a lot. Ahhhh memories…

  7. Coincidentally, I was listening to the soundtrack of the Anastasia musical while reading this. It’s interesting to see how screenwriters adapted Anderson’s story to make it more interesting for the viewing public, like giving her a love interest. The costumes in this are very pretty to look at, with some nice 20s silhouettes. That is some major 80s hair on Nicholas’s daughters, though!

    A really good recent book on Anderson is The Resurrection of the Romanovs by Greg King and Penny Wilson.

  8. It’s the 80s hair that gets me, but of course as drop waisted cotton heirloom work frocks and permed, dull hair were en vogue in 1986, it’s pretty much a moment of serendipity!

  9. The Romanov girls would have been fluent in French (spoken by the aristocracy in preference to Russian) and English (because English nannies were in fashion). They would have been educated in those languages as much as Russian. Royalty in those times were very multi-lingual.

  10. I remember watching this many years ago after seeing “Nicholas and Alexandra” and despite the cheesiness and the accents mismash, there was a lot of good acting here. Amy Irving was superb as Anastasia/Anna Anderson, she does convey well a woman who is very unsure of who she is and how she copes with struggling to find her own identity. I would recommend Robert Massie’s The Romanovs: The Final Chapter which gives an excellent account of the life of Anna Anderson and the first round of DNA testing that did prove beyond reasonable doubt that Anna Anderson was not Anastasia.

    And as for the life of the Grand Duchess Anastasia I would recommend Helen Rappaport’s Four Sisters (The Romanov Sisters in the US) for the life and times of Anastasia and her sisters.

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