Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna
Anastasia- The Mystery of Anna.jpg
DVD release cover
Written byJames Goldman
Directed byMarvin J. Chomsky
Creative directorMarvin J. Chomsky
StarringAmy Irving
Olivia de Havilland
Rex Harrison
Jan Niklas
Omar Sharif
ComposerLaurence Rosenthal
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes2
ProducersLance H. Robbins
Cheryl Saban
CinematographyThomas L. Callaway
Running time195 minutes
Production companiesTelecom Entertainment Inc.
Consolidated Entertainment
DistributorNBC (1986)
Sonar Entertainment (World-Wide)
Bridge Entertainment Group (2006) (Netherlands)
Dutch FilmWorks (Netherlands)
Mill Creek Entertainment (USA, 2011)
e-m-s the DVD-Company (Germany)
Original release
  • December 7, 1986 (1986-12-07) (USA)
  • December 8, 1986 (1986-12-08) (USA)

Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (Also titled Anastasia: The Story of Anna) is a 1986 American-Austrian-Italian made-for-television biographical film directed by Marvin J. Chomsky,[1] starring Amy Irving, Rex Harrison (in his last performance), Olivia de Havilland, Omar Sharif, Christian Bale (in his first film) and Jan Niklas. The film was loosely based on the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia and the book The Riddle of Anna Anderson by Peter Kurth. It was originally broadcast in two parts.


The film starts Part 1 in December 1916, at a lavish ballroom gathering just before the Russian Revolution, then moves to 1917's February Revolution, the family's forced exile to Siberia that summer after Nicholas II's forced abdication in March, the late-1917 October Revolution Communist takeover, the start of the Russian Civil War, and the July 1918 mass shooting of the Romanov family. Afterwards, it revolves around Anna Anderson, who believes that she is Anastasia Romanov, daughter of Nicholas II of Russia. Anna first tells her story in the 1920s when she is an inmate in a Berlin asylum after her suicide attempt. Her story of escaping from the Bolsheviks who killed the rest of her family in 1918 seems so vivid that many Russian expatriates are willing to believe her. She slowly gains more trust, but Europe's Romanov exiles are very hesitant to believe her tale and send her away. In Part 2, she travels to the United States' branches of the family in New York City in 1928, while Nicholas' mother, Maria Feodorovna, dies in her native Denmark. America's expatriate Romanovs also eventually publicly denounce her as an impostor and coldly snub her at Feodorovna's funeral, causing her to leave the U.S. in 1931 to return to Germany. The movie culminates in 1938 with Anna deciding to sue the Romanovs in Germany's courts to force them to recognize her as Anastasia, but it never reveals if Anna really is Anastasia. The ending epilogue narration says that the court case ended in 1970 with Anna not being able to either prove herself or to be disproven as Anastasia Romanov, she eventually moved back to the U.S. and settled in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she died in 1984.



Year Award Category Person Result
1987 Artios Best Casting for TV Miniseries' Lynn Kressel Nominated
Primetime Emmy Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Miniseries or a Special (Dramatic Underscore) Laurence Rosenthal Won
Primetime Emmy Outstanding Costume Design for a Miniseries or a Special Jane Robinson (costume designer) Won
Primetime Emmy Outstanding Miniseries Michael Lepiner
Kenneth Kaufman
Graham Cottle
Marvin J. Chomsky
Primetime Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special Olivia de Havilland Nominated
Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV Olivia de Havilland Won
Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV Jan Niklas Won
Golden Globe Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV Nominated
Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV Amy Irving Nominated

See also


  1. ^ "Anastasia: the Mystery of Anna". BBC. 24 July 1990. Retrieved 18 September 2016.