February 17, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

The Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History is proud to initiate its new monthly Classic Film Series on February 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. with the 1956 Academy Award winning film, Anastasia, starring Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, and Helen Hayes. Films throughout the year will represent the best in film making screening award winning films from around the world.

Anatole Litvak's 1956 Anastasia was Ingrid Bergman's big comeback vehicle after being cast into the moral void for her relationship with Roberto Rossellini, but it's Helen Hayes' performance that really gives the film its heart and its best scenes. The story is a fictionalized account of what became of a Russian princess believed assassinated with the rest of her family during the Russian revolution. Like several others before her, Bergman's character turns up believing that she could be a surviving royal---in her case Anastasia. Brynner is a con man who doesn't particularly care if she is or is not the princess, so long as the Dowager Empress (Anastasia's grandmother) believes that she is.

In order to fully enjoy the film, one must say goodbye to a lot of the cold, hard historical facts and just accept the film as a dramatic fantasy. Bergman shines in the title role (though at 41, was a touch too old to be playing this character). She has the right European strength and dignity, beaten down by time and turmoil. She's a heroine to root for (much more so than the actual woman she is based on). Now that the story of Anna Anderson's claim to the title and inheritance of Tsar Nicholas' daughter has been completely debunked by DNA tests it's more a bit of wish fulfillment than a compelling mystery, and one that doesn't go out of its way to disguise its theatrical origins.

Brynner completes a stunning threesome for 1956 with this film and his work in "The Ten Commandments" and "The King and I." He and Bergman make a compelling pair. The icing on the cake is Alfred Newman's magnificent score. The music is grand and appropriately Russian and royal in flavor. (Some of it was derived from original Russian works). It adds the perfect feel to this gloriously beautiful film. For a more factual accounting of the demise of the Russian royal family, and the resulting Russian Revolution, make plans to visit the museum’s Russian Revolutionary War Posters, on exhibit until March 12.

The Classic Film Series is free to Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History members, and regular museum admission fees would apply to non-members ($10/adult, $8/senior and active military).


Cash bar and concession will be available 

1956 Academy Award winning film, Anastasia,