Morally moth-eaten, otherwise an old, enjoyable film.
The story is based on Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina", but set at the time --1958-- when the film was shot, with contemporary clothing.
First of all, I must say that Zully Moreno, the protagonist, was photographed with the utmost care, long shots or close ups, in such a way that she looks absolutely gorgeous, as a sort of Norwegian ice-blond amazon beauty with an incredible figure highlighted by a very impressive wardrobe created for her by Horace Lannes, then one of the best Haute Couture masters for the Argentinian cinema.
The movie, about 50 years old now, brings to us in full force the overwhelming moral straight jacket women lived asphyxiated with at the time. If we see it with our present mores it's quite hard to take its thematic without being absolutely shocked. How pitiless was society to a "fallen woman"?! Can you imagine nowadays talking about "fallen women"?! And when we consider that now in Argentina gay marriage and adoption are legal this movie is totally anachronistic.
But forget about the differences between then and now, the movie is quite good and extremely enjoyable, very well acted (except for the little boy, one of the most repulsive little boys in the history of the movies, Argentinian or from another galaxy, terrible actor too). Santiago Gomez Cou (her husband in the film) very good, cool as a cucumber and the usual cynic character in the Argentinian cinema then. Jorge Mistral, the Spanish actor, as the leading man, quite correct, and in general all the secondary actors quite acceptable.
Bringing a story such as this one from the 19th to the 20th Century without altering its moral consequences is a big mistake, because no one can really believe such rigid inflexibility and incredible punishment enforced upon a "decent married woman" that couldn't resist a Coup de Foudre (not many people could be able to resist a Coup de Foudre with Jorge Mistral). That, to me, is the thing that makes this movie extremely obsolete.
At that time in Argentina, movie makers didn't have the slightest idea about special effects, so, with nowadays eyes we clearly see a soft dummy under the horse's hoofs at the "Pato" playing turf or a very, very poor (almost unnoticeable final scene) where the viewer that read "Anna Karenina" will identify the accident I'm talking about as a very badly botched up attempt to portray it on the screen (and unfortunately, the very climax of Tolstoy's masterpiece).
The French vedette (or was she Catalonian?) Xénia Monty in a very brief appearance leaves you open mouthed with her incredible physique and window display legs (actually she looks like a Replicant from Blade Runner!!! Sheer physical perfection and perfect for the part).
For nostalgics, for soap opera lovers, for old black and white movie fans, a worthy story, with a well conducted, intriguing plot, visually appealing and if you can stomach the little boy scenes, fun for the handkerchief crowd too!!!
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