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Erich von Stroheim
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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>
Aware that her co-star Fredric March was notorious for seducing his leading ladies, Greta Garbo reportedly wore garlic under her clothes and purposely had bad breath in order to stave off his advances. See more »
When Anna arrives in Dolly's room, they hold hands, which then changes in the next shot. See more »
Our meetings are so brief, the dance also.
But our reunions are so frequent.
When I leave you, I'm lost in a world of strangers. When I touch your hand, we're alone.
[Smiling as she switches dance partners]
I return you to the world!
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Greta Garbo brings great pathos to the role of Tolstoy's tragic heroine, though it's anyone's guess why her Anna would be drawn even remotely to Frederic March's stiff, colorless Count Vronsky. Basil Rathbone, on the other hand, is all that he should be as Anna's cold, unforgiving husband and Freddie Bartholomew is quite fine as their son. It was inevitable that the complete breadth of Tolstoy's massive novel would suffer somewhat in its transfer to the screen and this is most keenly felt in the film's treatment of the secondary love story involving Kitty and Levin, which is all but discarded. Nonetheless, this MGM production, directed by Clarence Brown, is utterly involving. With the very pretty Maureen O'Sullivan as Kitty; Gyles Isham as Levin; and Reginald Owen, Constance Collier, Reginald Denny, May Robson, Ethel Griffies and Phoebe Foster.
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