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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.

Director:

Julien Duvivier

Writers:

Jean Anouilh (screenplay), Guy Morgan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vivien Leigh ... Anna Karenina
Ralph Richardson ... Karenin
Kieron Moore ... Count Vronsky
Hugh Dempster Hugh Dempster ... Stefan Oblonsky
Mary Kerridge ... Dolly Oblonsky
Marie Lohr ... Princess Shcherbatsky
Frank Tickle Frank Tickle ... Prince Shcherbatsky
Sally Ann Howes ... Kitty Shcherbatsky
Niall MacGinnis ... Levin (as Niall Macginnis)
Michael Gough ... Nicholai
Martita Hunt ... Princess Betty Tversky
Heather Thatcher ... Countess Lydia Ivanovna
Helen Haye ... Countess Vronsky
Mary Martlew Mary Martlew ... Princess Nathalia
Ruby Miller ... Countess Meskov
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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:

"And then his kiss crushed all the shame out of me, blotting out the vision of my own destruction!" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

27 September 1948 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ana Karenina See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of this movie. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second or third-generation (or more) copies of this movie. See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: "And the light by which she had been reading the book of life, blazed up suddenly, illuminating those pages that had been dark, then flickered, grew dim, and went out forever". See more »

Alternate Versions

U.S. release version runs approximately 112 minutes. This is the version issued by Fox DVD in 2007. See more »

Connections

Version of Ana Karenina (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Mikhail Glinka
Arranged by Constant Lambert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Turgid Drama
2 August 2003 | by harry-76See 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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