Anastasia: Ingrid Bergman’s first “Hollywood" picture in
seven years was actually filmed in Europe under Hollywood auspices, but it should speed her triumphal return to the American movie capital. The Swedish actress gives an Oscar-worthy performance in the role of a mystery woman who may or may not be the surviving daughter of the slaughtered Czar of Russia, and her transformation from drabness to splendor is exciting to behold. The film’s ambiguous ending is mildly disconcerting but its merits are impressive. The excellent cast includes Helen Hayes as a royal old lioness and Yul Brynner as a conspirator with a conscience.
The Girl Can’t Help It: Not a bad show-business comedy about a has-been gangster (Edmond O’Brien), his rueful manager (Tom Ewell) and the former’s untalented but stunning girl friend (Jayne Mansfield). Too much rock’nroll music in this one for my comfort, though.
The Iron Petticoat: A strained, almost embarrassing comedy about a Russian airwoman (Katherine Hepburn) who becomes a pawn in the cold war. Bob Hope is the jaunty American officer who tries to sell her the West. Ninotchka (1939) handled a similar theme much better.
Secrets of Life: The newest nature documentary from the Walt Disney empire is one of the best of them all, its superb color photography ranging from an anthill to a volcano. Music and spoken commentary arc good, too, without the usual folksy affectations.
The She-Creature: A prehistoric monster is dragged back to life from the slime of time through the subconscious “memories” of a hypnotized cutie (Marla English) in this tolerable horror item.
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