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Anna Karenina (1935)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 21 November 1935 (Hungary)
The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.

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Writers:

(from the novel by) (as Count Leo Tolstoy), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Phoebe Foster ...
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Gyles Isham ...
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Tania
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Storyline

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 <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 November 1935 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Ana Karenina  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,152,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Mowbray, who was originally cast in the part of Stiva, was replaced by Reginald Owen because he was tied up in Becky Sharp (1935). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Anna Karenina: You know, Dolly, men like Stiva aren't really conscious of deception at all. They put their wives and homes in one compartment... and these other women into another.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Basil Rathbone (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Eugene Onegin, Op. 24)
(1879) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Libretto by Konstantin Shilovsky, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Modest Tchaikovsky
Based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin
Opera Excerpts performed at the theater
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Garbo as Anna Karenina for the second time
22 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Greta Garbo first tackled Anna Karenina in the film "Love," which she made with John Gilbert. That film, however, did not follow the novel totally. Under Clarence Brown's direction, she now plays the role again opposite Frederic March as Vronsky and Basil Rathbone as Karenin.

Having seen the Vivien Leigh version as well, it's hard not to make comparisons. This version certainly moves along better than the Leigh version. Here, the Levin-Kitty (Maureen O'Sullivan) romance is no longer really a subplot, but a very minor part of the film. The production values are tremendous, as they were also in the Leigh Anna Karenina.

What the Vivien Leigh version had that this does not is Ralph Richardson's portrayal of Karenin, which is magnificent. Though Basil Rathbone is very good, no one can hold a candle to Richardson in this role, in my opinion. Rathbone is cold and authoritarian; Richardson is cold and authoritarian but pathetic, as a man who cannot love. He is also frightening. The scene where Anna sneaks in to see her child and meets Karenin upon leaving had much more tension in the Leigh film because of Richardson's quiet menace. What Rathbone does with a clipped voice and cold expression, Richardson does internally.

Apparently, for some reason, casting an appropriate Vronsky missed in both films. This is a man for whom Anna gives up the most precious thing in her life, her child, and forgoes her reputation. Frederic March, outgoing and charming, isn't quite right. Vronsky is a soldier, but he also has an element of passivity about him. Given Anna's controlling husband, she would be attracted to that. I didn't pick that up with March, and in the Leigh film, Kieron Moore was TOO passive. Also, I think Vronsky should be drop-dead gorgeous. I mean, if you're going to dump your marriage, your child, your reputation, Vronsky really ought to be a dreamboat. Since this is an MGM film, perhaps Robert Taylor would have been better: handsome, strong in voice and appearance, charming, romantic with just a touch of wimp.

The production values are magnificent, and Garbo is extremely effective in the role - beautiful, ethereal, and tragic. If she lacks anything, it is perhaps the vulnerability needed for Anna. Freddie Bartholemew is adorable as Anna's son.

I was much more involved with the characters in this Anna Karenina than in the Leigh, which was a very detached experience. This film was directed with more warmth. Very good.


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