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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
In early 1800s Czarist Russia, Princess Anna Arkadyevna Karenina (Greta Garbo), the wife of statesman Count Alexei Karenin (Basil Rathbone) of St Petersburg, travels to Moscow to help settle a dispute between her womanizing brother Prince "Stiva" Oblonsky (Reginald Owen) and his distraught wife Princess Dolly (Phoebe Foster). While there, she meets and falls in love with Count Alexei Vronsky (Fredric March), a young officer in the emperor's guard. At first, Vronsky and Anna keep their affair secret, but word soon gets out amongst Russian high society. Her husband, always concerned about his public image, refuses to divorce her, making her choose between Vronsky and their young son Sergei (Freddie Bartholomew). Anna chooses Vronsky, and the couple go off for a few glorious months together in Italy. When they finally decide to return to St Petersburg and stop hiding their relationship, Anna finds that all her friends have shunned her. As she becomes more and more isolated from Russian society, she also fears that Vronsky is no longer in love with her.
Yes. Anna Karenina is based on the novel of the same name by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy [1828-1910]. The novel was first published in serial installments in the periodical The Russian Messenger from 1873-1877 and was first published in novel form in 1878. The novel was adapted for the movie by screenwriters Clemence Dane and Salka Viertel with dialogue adaptation by American screenwriter S.N. Behrman. Since the time of the silent film era, Anna Karenina is a story that has been retold numerous times in numerous countries. Silent films include Anna Karenina (1911), Anna Karenina (1914), Anna Karenina (1915), Anna Karenina (1919), and Love (1927). Anna Karenina (1935) is considered the first and most famous of the English language versions. It was followed by Anna Karenina (1948), Anna Karenina (1961), Anna Karenina (1985), Anna Karenina (1997), and Anna Karenina (2012), along with two TV mini-series: 'Anna Karenina' (1977) and 'Anna Karenina' (2000).
St Petersburg is about 463 miles (745 km) north of Moscow in western Russia. A map of Russia showing both Moscow and St Petersburg can be seen here.
They're chimneys, part of a heating system common in older houses in Europe. Instead of each room having a separate fireplace, a central fireplace can heat four rooms at a time with the smoke rising up the chimneys of each room.
After spending several months alone with Anna at his country house, Vronsky receives a note from Yashvin (Reginald Denny) informing him that the regiment has decided to fight in the Turkish-Serbian war and that he should come to Moscow to enlist. Jealous that Vronsky is not suffering the same ostracism from society that she is and afraid that he is choosing to enlist in order to get away from her, Anna lashes out at him, so severely that he leaves without further ado. Anna decides to go after him and travels to Moscow. She sends her butler to his mother's house where Vronsky is staying, while she visits with Stiva and Dolly. Dolly's sister Kitty (Maureen O'Sullivan) and Konstantin Levin (Gyles Isham) have married and just had their first baby. Dolly is still with Stiva, although he hasn't changed his philandering ways. When the butler returns with the news that he couldn't deliver the note because Vronsky had already left for the train, Anna hurries to the station where she sees Vronsky making a most fond farewell to Princess Lili Sorokina (Joan Marsh). As the train pulls out of the station, Anna throws herself on the tracks and is killed. In the final scene, Vronsky laments to Yashvin that he left Anna without any kind words and, for this, he will always feel guilty.
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