Anna Christie Reviews
October 19, 2007
the first garbo sound flick adapted from eugene o'nell's cynical story about a prostitute. garbo plays low-life women in the burgeoning period of her sound stage such as susan leonix: her rise and fall, later she's got more polished into those roles of tragic divine creatures such as camille, mata hari, anna karenia, queen christina and the ballerina in grand hotel...etc....anna christie might reflect the ambivalent gender-ambiguity on the real life garbo with her babbling men-hating remarks. "oh! men! all these men! i hate them! " that concides with the mannish side of garbo that manifests severe grittiness. as the one man who captures her heart emerges, she represses her mannishness into oblivion then she transforms into the affectionate ingenune who yearns for love at any cost that is the pattern of my so called "garbo cinema romances" except garbo's breakthrough into sound with her husky idiocyncratic voice and her innovative presence. the movie's aestheticism is mainly attributed to its elaborated dialogues with the craftmanship of master eugene o'nell, tinted with literature catharsis full of human-concerned pathos toward its characters. of course, the proper casting is also one of major factor which adorns the movie. as garbo utters "gif me a visky, ginger ale on the side, and don' be stingy, baby, " anyone would turn around and drawed by this raw magnetic androgynous voice then observe upon her statuesque facial contour with awe.
July 29, 2007
The thirties were a time when film truly surprised which wasn't necessarily the case in later decades and Anna Christie is an example of a good film from the era. Spend a Sunday afternoon with it.
October 28, 2008
garbo's sound film debut came with the 1930 adaptation of o'neill's play about a swedish prostitute trying to reform her life. garbo would also film an all german version of this property.
September 13, 2014
The second adaptation of Eugene O'Neil's stage play "Anna Christie" features Greta Garbo in her first talking role, representing her smooth transition from the silent era of films. Garbo is mesmerizing as the broken Anna, hoping against hope at the age of 20 that she will find some piece with the father she hasn't seen in 15 years. He doesn't know what has happened to her, and when he, with his simple ways and misunderstandings, and an overreaching suitor drive her too far, she lays out the truth to them in a heartbreaking climatic scene.
As one of the first talkies, "Anna Christie" is a bit archaic in how it was filmed. On the one hand it looks like a stage play, with cinematic attention to realism. On the other hand, the camera work is very simple, so that the movie often looks like a one-camera sitcom. What really works here is the acting, from Marie Dressler as the older drunk special friend of Anna's father, George Marion as her father, and Charles Bickford as Matt Burke, the Irish sailor that sets up Anna's dilemma. At times the acting (along with the plot) gets melodramatic and histrionic. I especially liked the earliest scenes because Garbo is somewhat restrained and does amazing things with her expressions to convey her history. By the end she is put in a situation that shows her inner steel.
And then the final act begins, which I find problematic in both the original play and here. What Anna must do seems like a betrayal of her character. The entire story is about her being driven to telling the truth about the past, implicating men and their awful ways in the process. Then, quite abruptly, the men who should be apologizing to her are allowed an easy way out. I want to believe that O'Neil was aware of this when he wrote the play, and that the final scene is itself an indictment of men, but I'm not sure that this is the case.
Still, much of the story and the movie are incredible, and Garbo is brilliant. I wonder what a 21st Century version of this story would look like during the final scenes.
May 9, 2014
You can't go very wrong with pre-code cinema. This film is best known as Garbo's first talking role, but it's also a fairly gritty adaptation of O'Neill that doesn't pull it's punches. It's a bit too static, like the filmed play it is, but it's quite enjoyable.
April 22, 2014
Anna christie is perhaps one of the best movies since cinema was born, its stars like greta garbo on her best performance ever,marie dressler (one of the first academy award winners for best actress), the excellent actor charles bickford and the director clarence brown, a well know director on the 20's and 30's. Greta's performance is perhaps the most electrifying ever for a female actress, intense as only the great german born actress could perform, Brown's Anna christie is a masterpiece, a movie full of great performances, specialy that of greta garbo as the alcoholic,strong and delicate Anna.
July 14, 2010
Garbo's oscar nominated performance, in his first talkie movie, it was a real and magnetic performance at the time that today is one of the most powerful performances by an actress ever.
A magnificent story and a melodrama masterpiece.
March 23, 2007
Nearly 80 years later, this film's two-word campaign is still remembered. People may not remember what the movie's about, but I just watched it, and I'm still not entirely sure myself.
Only part of the problem is Battling Accents Syndrome. Garbo, of course, has a Swedish accent. Go figure. Her father has a Swedish accent, too, of course. Her boyfriend has an Irish one. And Martha has a drunken one. And, essentially, there's our cast. I didn't actually need subtitles, but accents don't usually throw me much unless they're much thicker.
The Code and this movie debuted in the same year, though the Code would not be strictly enforced much for another four. This is very clearly a pre-Code movie, given its frank depiction of drunkenness and its . . . blatant references toward sex at the end of the movie that would give away the big secret. A scant five years later, this film could not have been made.
Which, I think, shows one of the great failings of the Code. The intention was to have every movie made be a movie you could see with your children, which is a ridiculous standard. You wouldn't take your child to see the play upon which this film is based, or indeed any Eugene O'Neill play. That would be foolish of you. Yet somehow, you'd never want to see a movie without your kids, apparently.
Much great literature is as great as it is because it explores more controversial themes. However, under the Code, those themes could not be so much as mentioned, much less portrayed onscreen for an hour and a half or two hours. The problems between Anna and her father and her boyfriend aren't innocent. They're rough and complicated, as are the people themselves. But the Code does not make allowances for that. According to the Code, we are all intended to be the Hardys, whose problems can be solved easily and quickly, in time for Andy to take his best girl out. (I guess. I've never actually seen an Andy Hardy movie.) It's not that the world back then was simpler. It's that complications weren't allowed on the screen.
July 5, 2006
[font=Trebuchet MS]Full review to come.[/font]
February 13, 2005
Early talkie from 1930 features Greta Garbo as the one time prostitute hiding her past, Anna Christie. She was one of a kind like all the true greats are but it is Marie Dressler who chews up the scenery and winning an Oscar for best supporting acteress. Good flick with a typical happy Hollywood Thalberg ending,
November 29, 2004
[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Greta Garbo has a past... but her father and paramour are not ready to hear it; from a play by Eugene O'Neill. [/FONT]