Stefan and Dolly Oblonsky have had a little spat and Stefan has asked his sister, Anna Karenina, to come down to Moscow to help mend the rift. Anna's companion on the train from St. Petersburg is Countess Vronsky who is met at the Moscow station by her son. Col. Vronsky looks very dashing in his uniform and it's love at first sight when he looks at Anna and their eyes meet. Back in St. Petersburg they keep running into each other at parties. Since she has a husband and small son, they must be very discreet if they are going to see each other alone. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
This version of Tolstoy's great novel, "Anna Karenina," made in 1948, stars Vivien Leigh as the tragic Anna, Ralph Richardson as Karenin, her husband, and Kieron Moore as Vronsky.
In a distant and unhappy marriage, Anna falls in love with Vronsky and eventually lives with him openly, forced to give up her son and her reputation.
Though the director, Julien Duvivier, imbues this film with tremendous atmosphere, it still tends to be slow and uninvolving. The best thing about this version for me is Ralph Richardson, who gives a magnificent, multilayered performance. Definitely the strongest in the movie. In some scenes, Vivien Leigh, who had been quite ill, doesn't always look well. She does a good job but unlike the great Richardson, she was not director-proof. Duvivier could have given her a little more guidance. Kieron Moore's Vronsky didn't seem like someone to give up your entire world for, but after being in such a controlling marriage, his gentler nature might have been just the ticket for Anna.
The costumes are glorious as are the other production values. The atmosphere evokes the brittle, freezing weather, the dampness, and the overall grimness of Russia. Unfortunately, one doesn't connect with the characters.
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