Nana is a 1934 American Pre-Code film, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, released through United Artists, starring Anna Sten. and directed by Dorothy Arzner and George Fitzmaurice. This version ...
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Nekhlyudov, a Russian nobleman serving on a jury, discovers that the young girl on trial, Katusha, is someone he once seduced and abandoned and that he himself bears responsibility for ... See full summary »
In Zola's Paris, an ingenue arrives at a tony bordello: she's Nana, guileless, but quickly learning to use her erotic innocence to get what she wants. She's an actress for a soft-core ... See full summary »
Because his finances are low and he is seeking background for a new book, author Tony Barratt and his wife Dora return to his country home in Connecticut. While he is finding a theme for ... See full summary »
Nicole Larsen is detested by her countrymen because they suspect she is collaborating with the occupying Germans. In reality she is working for the Norwegian underground, risking her life passing secrets to the resistance fighters.
Jerry Stafford, a businessman, is in love with his secretary but she deserts him for another man. When she realizes her mistake, she goes back to him. Doris Brown is her girlfriend who is in love with a man named Monty Dunn.
Two sisters, May, older, naive, and June, younger and worldly, arrive in New York straight from the country and settle down in a boarding house. Their search for jobs leads them to find beaus and romantic trouble.
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers
Nana is a 1934 American Pre-Code film, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, released through United Artists, starring Anna Sten. and directed by Dorothy Arzner and George Fitzmaurice. This version of Émile Zola's heroine was to be the vehicle for Sten's triumph as Samuel Goldwyn's trained, groomed and heavily promoted answer to Greta Garbo. Despite the big investment, the publicity help from William Randolph Hearst, and a record-breaking opening week at Radio City Music Hall, Sten was beautiful but disappointing. Goldwyn's tutoring of Sten is mentioned in Cole Porter's 1934 song "Anything Goes" from the musical of the same name: "If Sam Goldwyn can with great conviction / Instruct Anna Sten in diction / Then Anna shows / Anything goes."
This tame version of the Emile Zola novel has excellent production values is lensed by Gregg Toland and features an able supporting cast all negated by the wretched Anna Sten in the lead. A Garbo/Dietrich hybrid with a dreadful grasp of English she more resembles Bela Lugosi in inflection than the other two imports.
Nana is the toast of the Paris theater during the Belle Epoque. With boudoir attributes that match her stage performances she attracts a lot of heavy hitters. She truly falls for a low in status officer but this is complicated by his brother (Lionel Atwill) who at first attempts to break up the two but finds Nana irresistible himself.
Sten's flat affect is beyond bad, her stage presence a travesty. Lionel Atwill, Mae Clarke and Philip Holmes fulfill their end of the bargain ably but there is no getting around the totally lost Ms. Sten. It cries out for Greta or Marlene from its opening moments and given its impressive foundation I found myself annoyed at this botched chance to do the Zola novel justice and the lost opportunity for both actresses to sink their teeth into a role that would have ranked with their best.
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