This version of the Tolstoy classic lingers longer in Moscow during the weeks that follow the initial meeting of the starstruck lovers-to-be Vronsky and Anna Karenina. The story -- as it unfolds -- also focuses on Kitty, a young woman who is related to Anna's sister-in-law whose marital rift has brought Anna to Moscow. Until Anna shows up, Kitty had hopes of getting Vronsky, who is single and well connected, to propose to her. Ignored by Vronsky, Kitty turns her attention to another suitor, a man who seems to have a lot in common with Tolstoy.Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
The file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library contains a memo, dated November 6, 1935, from PCA Director Joseph I. Breen, who suggested that David O. Selznick alter the scene in which "Vronsky" returns to Moscow from Italy, to show that "Vronsky" is "definitely punished as a result of his sinful alliance with Anna." According to the memo, when Breen suggested that "Vronsky" be denied reinstatement in the Russian army and be banished from his native land, "Mr. Selznick agreed to this change." Breen also raised a number of objections to specific scenes that showed "Anna" and "Vronsky" carrying out an "adulterous" affair with impunity. In March 1935, Selznick wrote a letter to Breen, in which he sharply criticized new objections raised by the PCA to the script, claiming that Breen's "change of heart...will jeopardize a million dollar investment." Selznick went on to say that Breen's comments left M-G-M with no alternative but to make a "completely vitiated and emasculated adaptation of Tolstoi's famous classic." Following the film's release, the PCA received a letter from the Chicago Legion of Decency, which stated: "We are thoroughly disgusted to hear that you have passed Anna Karenina (1935) and Barbary Coast (1935) and shall boycott these and all others like them." See more »
The stunt double for Vronsky who falls off his horse in the race had a dark top, whereas Vronsky had a light top. See more »
Alexei, I've been sitting in that house - watched. Night after night we dine together in silence. He sits across the table and watches me. Cold. Polite. Merciless.
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Despite all previous versions being intact the 2006 UK Warner DVD was cut by 7 secs by the BBFC to remove footage of horse-falls. See more »
I absolutely love the novel Anna Karenina, but I am extremely displeased to find out that none of the movies really focus at all on the Levin/Kitty plot. There have been numerous arguments between scholars over whether or not Tolstoy had two protagonists--Anna, and Levin. To simply gloss over such a large part of Tolstoy's novel doesn't do justice to his work. And as I don't particularly like Anna or Vronsky, I definitely won't be investing my time in watching a movie entirely about them. It's a shame that people who see the many movies made about Anna Karenina won't be getting a better view of what the novel really is like.
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