Nana is a 1934 American Pre-Code film, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, released through United Artists, starring Anna Sten. and directed by Dorothy Arzner and George Fitzmaurice. This version ...
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Nana is a 1934 American Pre-Code film, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, released through United Artists, starring Anna Sten. and directed by Dorothy Arzner and George Fitzmaurice. This version of Émile Zola's heroine was to be the vehicle for Sten's triumph as Samuel Goldwyn's trained, groomed and heavily promoted answer to Greta Garbo. Despite the big investment, the publicity help from William Randolph Hearst, and a record-breaking opening week at Radio City Music Hall, Sten was beautiful but disappointing. Goldwyn's tutoring of Sten is mentioned in Cole Porter's 1934 song "Anything Goes" from the musical of the same name: "If Sam Goldwyn can with great conviction / Instruct Anna Sten in diction / Then Anna shows / Anything goes."
Sure, the film is dated, the dialogue sometimes florid, the tone too much copied von Sternberg. But this movie a mega-flop and Anna Sten and her mentor Sam Goldwyn pillaged?
I have seen Nana a few times on TV; coincidentally when first aired on TV (around 1970) and twice since then. Gotta tell you, I think Goldwyn was on to something - Anna is, yes, a bit like Garbo, a bit like Dietrich, but a lot like, well Anna Sten. And her acting far better than she is criticized for (try her 1935 The Wedding Night, very touching, thank you King Vidor).
Too bad she was not afforded more opportunities in the right vehicles (like Marion Davies?).
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