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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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 is the first time I've seen Anna Sten in Nana and it's worth every minute of viewing. Of course what comes to mind is the opera La Traviata by Verdi which in turn was based on Alexandre Dumas the younger's novel La Dame aux Camelias, and I daresay the story has been told many times, of ill-fated deception of too many lovers.
Anna, whose spontaneous manner reminded me of Miriam Hopkins' strong style of delivery, is true to life and far more believable than Garbo whose acting came across as stilted. There are traces of Dietrich mannerisms in Anna's facial expressions but her beautiful features are truly awesome, a real beauty that I never tire of seeing.
This is a movie that I can look forward to viewing several times and not get tired of it. Recommended.
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