Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »
In New York, the alcoholic skipper of a coal barge Chris Christofferson receives a letter from his estranged twenty year old daughter Anna "Christie" Christofferson telling that she will leave Minnesota to stay with him. Chris left Anna fifteen years ago to the countryside to be raised by relatives in a farm in St. Paul and he has never visited his daughter. Anna Christie arrives and she is a wounded woman with a hidden dishonorable past since she had worked for two years in a brothel to survive. She moves to the barge to live with her father and one night, Chris rescues the sailor Matt and two other fainted sailors from the sea. Soon Anna and Matt fall in love with each other and Anna has the best days of her life. But when Matt proposes to marry her, she is reluctant and also haunted by her past. Matt insists and Anna opens her heart to Matt and to her father disclosing the darks secrets of her past.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The original play opened in New York in 1922. See more »
Two versions of this film exist: this German-language version was directed by Jacques Feyder, while a simultaneously filmed English-language version was directed by Clarence Brown. The German version has a different running time and features a different supporting cast. See more »
Filmed by MGM on the same sets as the English version, but in German, Garbo's second portrayal of "Anna Christie" benefited from practice and her apparent ease with German dialog. Garbo appears more relaxed and natural under Jacques Feyder's direction than under Clarence Brown's, and her silent movie mannerisms have all but disappeared, which made her transition to sound complete. The strength she brought to the character remains here, although it has been softened, and Garbo reveals more of Anna's vulnerability. The entire cast, with the exception of Garbo, is different from the previous version of the film, and Garbo benefits from not having to compete with Marie Dressler, who stole every scene she was in during the English-language version. In Feyder's film, Garbo holds the center of attention throughout, although the three supporting players, particularly the father, gave excellent performances.
Feyder's direction was more assured than Clarence Brown's, and his use of the camera and editing techniques did not seem as constrained by the new sound process as did those of Brown. The film moves with more fluidity than the English language adaptation, and the static nature of the first film has been replaced with a flow that maintains viewer interest. Even William Daniels cinematography seems improved over his filming of the Brown version. He captured Garbo's luminescence and the atmospherics of the docks with style. Also, the screenplay adaptation for the European audience made Anna's profession quite clear from the start, and the explicitness clarifies for viewers who were unfamiliar with the play as to what was only implied in the Brown filming. However, the film was made before the Production Code was introduced, which made the censorship puzzling.
Garbo's Oscar nomination for "Anna Christie" was always somewhat mystifying, and I suspected that the nod was given more in recognition of her relatively smooth transition to sound films than for her performance. However, some of the Academy voters may have seen the German-language version of the film, and they realized, as will contemporary viewers, that her "Anna Christie" under Feyder's direction was definitely Oscar worthy.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this