Anastasia (1956)

Anastasia DVD

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
 Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, Helen Hayes
Also Starring: Ada
Directed by: Anatole Litvak

Synopsis: General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine (Yul Brynner) plots with fellow Russian exiles to produce the Grand Duchess Anastasia whom it is rumored has survived the massacre of her family, to cash in on the waiting inheritence.  When they find Anna Koreff (Ingrid Bergman) they believe they have the perfect match to fool the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (Helen Hayes).  Anna believes herself to be Anastasia and over time those around her come to believe it as well.

Kitty Cameo: During the period when Bounine is training Anna to act as a Duchess she is playing a piano in the suite where they are staying.  A cat is seen sitting on the piano watching her play.

Anastasia cat on piano

Anastasia Ana cat on piano looking inside

In the following scene the same cat is sitting in a chair in the background as Bounine waltzes with Anna.  But then the cat is never seen again.

So why is there a cat in these scenes at all?  According to a press release for the film the cat, given the name Ada, wandered onto the set.  The information released with a publicity photo of Ada (in which she is seen sitting on a soft cushion on a director’s chair) reads:

CAT THAT LIVES LIKE A KING — On the set of “Anastasia”, shooting in London with Ingrid Bergman, Yul “The King & I” Brynner and Helen Hayes starred, Ada has it soft.  She wandered on the stage one day to find excitement, and has had a cushiony time since.  Director Anatole Litvak ordered that she be treated like a distinguished visitor, and she appears to find the 20th-Fox CinemaScope love drama absorbing.

Anastasia Ana the cat on pillow

Final Mewsings: Even accidental cat actors deserve their moment in the spotlight.

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