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In New York, the alcoholic skipper of a coal barge Chris Christofferson receives a letter from his estranged twenty year old daughter Anna "Christie" Christofferson telling that she will leave Minnesota to stay with him. Chris left Anna fifteen years ago to the countryside to be raised by relatives in a farm in St. Paul and he has never visited his daughter. Anna Christie arrives and she is a wounded woman with a hidden dishonorable past since she had worked for two years in a brothel to survive. She moves to the barge to live with her father and one night, Chris rescues the sailor Matt and two other fainted sailors from the sea. Soon Anna and Matt fall in love with each other and Anna has the best days of her life. But when Matt proposes to marry her, she is reluctant and also haunted by her past. Matt insists and Anna opens her heart to Matt and to her father disclosing the darks secrets of her past. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Garbo's first spoken words in this 1930 film electrified audiences and became part of Hollywood legend. Garbo had become a star in her first American film, The Torrent, in 1926. And audiences waited til this film to see if Garbo could make the transition to talkies. She did. And while Pola Negri, Vilma Banky, and Renee Adoree fell by the wayside because of their accents, Garbo sailed on for another decade. Despite the staginess of this film, Garbo is really excellent, especially in the opening scene with the equally great Marie Dressler as Marthy. The two great stars trade dirty looks and sharp words as they size each other up while they have a few drinks and set the tone for the remainder of the film. Garbo was 25; Dressler was 60. Charles Bickford is OK as Matt, and George F. Marion is good as Old Chris. Marion originated this role on Broadway in 1922 and also played it in the 1923 silent version with Blanche Sweet. This Eugene O'Neill play is a true classic yet, oddly, was never filmed again. Anna Christie ranks as one of Garbo's greatest performances. And despite the staginess of the film and the grimness of the story, she is truly a marvel. See this one for Garbo and Dressler!
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