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Saturday May 18th 2024

Anastasia | 1956

Anastasia filming location: Cathedral of St Alexander Nevsky, Paris
Anastasia filming location: the Easter celebrations: Cathedral of St Alexander Nevsky, Paris

Lavish filming of Marcelle Maurette’s play, with Ingrid Bergman winning an Oscar as the woman who may or may not be the surviving daughter of the slaughtered Romanov family.

'Anastasia’ is discovered in Paris's Russian neighbourhood between the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau. The glittering Russian Orthodox church, where Easter is being celebrated at the beginning of the film, is the Cathedral of St Alexander Nevsky, 12 rue Daru (métro: Courcelles).

The troubled Anastasia contemplates suicide at the foot of the steps down from the elaborate Pont Alexandre III, crossing the Seine.

The final seal of approval for her identity needs to be given by the crusty-but-lovable Dowager Empress (Helen Hayes). In the real-life incident on which the play was based, Anastasia’s visit to the Empress was conveniently delayed so many times that the old woman died before the claim could be tested.

Anastasia filming location: Knebworth House, Knebworth, Hertfordshire
Anastasia filming location: Anastasia visits the Empress's palace: Knebworth House, Knebworth, Hertfordshire

In the movie, Anastasia is taken to visit the Empress in Copenhagen, with a Second Unit setting the scene in the Danish capital with shots of Copenhagen Railway Station and the nearby Tivoli Gardens. The Empress’s palace, though, turns out to be Knebworth House, near Stevenage in Hertfordshire. The elaborate Victorian mansion is a screen regular, probably most famous as ‘Wayne Manor’ in Tim Burton’s Batman.