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Anna Karenina (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 27 September 1948 (UK)
A married woman's affair with a dashing young officer has tragic results.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Anna Karenina (1935)
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Anna Karenina is a young wife of an older husband. She has an affair with the handsome Count Vronsky. By following her desires Anna complicates her life.

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Anna (Marceau) is a wife and mother who has an affair with the handsome Count Vronsky (Bean). Based on the novel by Tolstoy.

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Drama | Romance
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Tragic Anna leaves her cold husband for dashing Count Vronsky in 19th-century Russia.

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Critics and the public say Karen Stone is too old -- as she approaches 50 -- for her role in a play she is about to take to Broadway. Her businessman husband, 20 years her senior, has been ... See full summary »

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Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Stars: Douglas Henshall, Helen McCrory, Stephen Dillane
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kieron Moore ...
Hugh Dempster ...
Mary Kerridge ...
Marie Lohr ...
Frank Tickle ...
...
Niall MacGinnis ...
Levin (as Niall Macginnis)
...
Martita Hunt ...
Heather Thatcher ...
Helen Haye ...
Mary Martlew ...
Ruby Miller ...
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Storyline

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 <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vivien Leigh in the most magnificent love story ever written! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

27 September 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ana Karenina  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Redgrave was cast, but pulled out when he was offered Mourning Becomes Electra (1947) in Hollywood. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue (from the novel): CHAPTER 1 "All happy families resemble one another, every unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion. Confusion reigned in the home of the Oblonskys". See more »

Connections

Version of Anna Karenina (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Mikhail Glinka
Arranged by Constant Lambert
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Turgid Drama
2 August 2003 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Count Tolstoy's massive novels, "War and Peace," and "Anna Karenina" are personally quite challenging.

Here are breathtakingly crafted literary works in a spiritual context of unconstructive energy. It's quite easy to become as entranced within these "worlds" as are many music lovers within the skewed terrain of Wagner's Valhalla and Nibelungens.

Tolstoy's words pull in the reader almost hypnotically as he spins his titanic, subtle tales of societal mores conflicting with human emotions.

Many of his characters are self-absorbed and vain, and his social environments repressive and stolid, with false values that tragically dehumanize and destroy.

So it's an ultimate challenge to attempt to separate these energetic downers from their dazzling technical counterparts.

In the case of "Anna," after stripping away the polished veneer, I find characters trying to cope with their testy emotional choices while being thwarted by inhuman societal standards.

Yet "Anna" is a favorite of filmmakers, having been done countless times, with the Garbo-Selznick version the most notable. Here Vivien Leigh gives a creditable performance of this distraught heroine, with Director Julien Duvivier joining Jean Anuith in script adaptation.

Ralph Richardson and Kieron Moore are both completely substantial, and general production values are attended to with solid professionalism.

Alas, the enactment seldom tugs heartstrings and, in fact, a strangely turgid pall seems to hang over the entire production. Condensing a 900-page novel down to 2-hour running time doesn't help matters.

As for Leigh, my feeling is that she gravitated too often to "fallen woman" roles. While she portrayed them very well, they may have failed to bring her the uplift her personality seemed to desperately seek. Hers was pretty much a career of depressingly joyless female characters, which perhaps worked not to her personal advantage.

That's another matter, though; Leigh was forever the consummate, fine actress, and her legacy is one of great artistic achievement.

This version of "Anna Karenina" remains a thoughtful, worthy attempt at a near-impossible task.


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