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Anna Karenina (1935)
Anna Karenina
Actors: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew, Maureen O'Sullivan, May Robson
Director: Clarence Brown
Genres: Drama
NR     2005     1hr 35min

Anna Karenina, dutiful wife and doting mother, knows contentment but not passion. That changes when she meets ardent Count Vronsky. For him, she throws away marriage, family, social position and finally her life. Leo Tolst...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew, Maureen O'Sullivan, May Robson
Director: Clarence Brown
Creators: William H. Daniels, Robert Kern, David O. Selznick, Clemence Dane, Leo Tolstoy, S.N. Behrman, Salka Viertel
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Classics
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/06/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1935
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

Susan Fong | Las Vegas, NV USA | 11/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is appropriate that one of literature's greatest and most tragic figures, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, is given compelling life on screen by one of fildom's most gifted and spellbinding artists, Greta Garbo, in MGM's luxurious production of Tolstoy's masterpiece, "Anna Karenina".Anna is the neglected wife of Russian aristocrat/bureaucrat, Karenin, haughtily portrayed by Basil Rathbone. Karenin is consumed by his career and social standing. It seems that the only reason he married Anna and had a son with her is to enhance his "respectibility" in society.When a handsome officer, Count Vronsky, played with conviction by Frederic March, understandably is infatuated by the astonishingly beautiful and charming Anna, he makes this known to her. He is persistent in his pursuit of her.At first Anna is reticent to his charms, but eventually succumbs. This story takes place during the 1800's under the reign of Czar Nicholas I of Russia. In this era, there was a strict and judgmental social code. Adultery was treated like a crime or a contagious disease, and Anna finds herself the object of scorn and ridicule among society.Anna's husband Karenin refuses to grant Anna a divorce and tells their son that Anna is dead when she flees to Venice with Vronsky. Eventually Anna becomes a social outcast because of her affair, and Vronsky begins to suffocate from their relationship. He decides to go off to war rather than be with Anna constantly.Devasted by Vronsky's abandonment and shunned by society, Anna's fate is tragic.I can imagine few other actresses than Greta Garbo who could so realistically embody the character of Anna. Anna is essentially a good person, a loving mother, and dutiful wife. But she is starved for tenderness and affection so she turns to Vronsky. Garbo subtly conveys Anna's despair and loneliness in her loveless marriage to Karenin. Garbo makes you empathize with her predicament, and you truly feel the joy, passion, and guilt that Anna experiences as she falls in love with Vronsky.As an actress, Garbo is a minimalist in the best sense. She understands that less is more. She can gladden or break your heart with a glance, a smile, or the slightest tilt of her posture. Her eyes are wondrously expressive. This is a masterful, mature, and dignified performance by a consummate actress.As for the rest of the movie, the direction, sets, and photography are all impressive. And Garbo's unearthly beauty is complemented by the ravishing costumes designed by Adrian. This version of "Anna Karenina" is a triumph."
Second Time Around
Samantha Kelley | USA | 01/08/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Anna Karenina (Greta Garbo) is a married woman who finds herself falling in love with the man (Fredric March) her sister (Maureen O' Sullivan) is in love with. It is absolutely taboo for her to even consider taking her new love on as a lover, especially since she has a young son (Freddie Bartholomew) who she adores. However, it is difficult for her to live under the frightening gaze of her rigid husband (Basil Rathbone) so she submits to her feelings.

The novel Anna Karenina is incredibly long so it is obvious that a lot was cut to bring it to a 95 minute film. However, the formation of the relationship between Garbo and March is difficult to believe since there is so little time for it to develop. Their early scenes seem stiff and without feeling. The overall story is also muddled with various events probably important in the novel but seemingly insignificant in the film.

This is the second version of this classic story that Garbo brought to the screen, the first being the silent film Love. As a result, she is natural in the role. However, her performance does not change the dull script."
M. Sharafyan | Glendale, CA USA | 10/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I am a huge fan of Greta Garbo, and I have seen all her movies more than once. I recently bought her Signature DVD collection and I was very happy to own it finally. I was watching "Anna Karenina" on the other day on DVD and I found out that a scene is missing from the movie. In that scene Greta Garbo's character Anna is with Frederic March's character Vronsky in Venice riding a gondola. Then, all of a sudden, a little boy comes to them and shows some tricks and Anna becomes very pleased to see him because he reminded her of her own son. She throws some coins to him. The missing scene is actually a part of this scene. That same boy brings all his friends from his neighborhood and they are all starting to do the same tricks as he was doing to get more coins. The whole scene takes approximately 5 minutes.
First, I thought that my DVD might have been defected, but I was so determined to find out that I actually bought another DVD just to prove myself that it is not defected. The production did skip that scene from the DVD. In May I went to see this movie on a big screen at UCLA and the scene was there. So if you are a picky person like me I would not recommend you to buy this DVD till the Warner Brothers will correct that mistake.
Greta Garbo in one of her greatest roles
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 06/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The classic 1935 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's tragic masterpiece is still a joy to behold. Greta Garbo is breathtakingly-lovely in one of her greatest screen performances.Anna Karenina (Greta Garbo) lives a life of dull monotony, broken only by the presence of her engaging son Sergei (Freddie Bartholomew). Her cold husband Karenin (Basil Rathbone) treats her more like a trophy than a wife, and she relishes her carefree visits to her relatives.When Anna falls in love with the dashing - and younger - Captain Vronsky (Fredric March) she gives way to a great passion...and even greater tragedy.This was in fact a remake of the hugely-successful silent film LOVE, again starring Greta Garbo with her frequent leading-man (and lover) John Gilbert. Both versions are splendid, but this version stays more faithful to Tolstoy's novel.Also starring Maureen O'Sullivan, May Robson and Reginald Owen."