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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to a January 10, 1935 Hollywood Reporter news item, production on the picture, which was originally scheduled to start that week, was postponed indefinitely due to story changes. A Daily Variety pre-production news item noted that MGM had planned to rush production on the film so as to finish with Greta Garbo before 1 May and avoid having to pay "heavy overages" for her services. See more »
During the steeple chase, when Count Vronsky and his mount fail to make the jump, a segment from another race is edited into the film depicting the fall. In the film, Vronsky is wearing his white uniform jacket and dark pants and cap before and after the spill. The clip inserted depicts a jockey wearing white pants and dark silks. See more »
You will remain here as my wife... before the world. You will never see this... this "person" again.
And the alternative?
You will join the ranks of those women of ambiguous position who travel about Europe from one watering place to another, neither married nor unmarried, with no future and no present, with only your great love to sustain you. You will resign all claim to Sergei, because it would be my duty to remove him from your influence.
You say this knowing this I cannot do. There is no ...
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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 »
"Anna Karenina" is based on a novel by Leo Tolstoy. I have not read Tolstoy's novel, but it is apparent from the thickness of the novel and the length of this film that this adaptation is heavily abridged. The story is simple; Anna Karenina is married to Karenin but has an affair with Vronsky.
The film features impressive sets and costumes. There are depictions of upper-class Russian rituals such as drinking games, dancing and a stage production. These are for the most part well-done, although the stage production seemed drawn out.
Greta Garbo as Anna, Fredric March as Vronsky and Basil Rathbone as Karenin lead the cast. It is an impressive roster, and all of them give solid performances, especially Rathbone and Garbo, but the characters they played were not exceptionally interesting. Freddie Bartholomew is notable as Sergei, Anna's astute young scientist of a child that has some touching scenes with Garbo.
This film is watchable and has a number of decent scenes, but never gains much momentum beyond a basic love story. Sadly I didn't form any strong attachments to the characters such that I was even indifferent to Anna's final fate at the end of the story. I'm not sure how other adaptations of the novel compare, but this one is somewhat flat despite having three accomplished performers in the lead parts.
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