Anna Karenina (1935) - Rotten Tomatoes

Anna Karenina (1935)

Anna Karenina




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This second filmization of Leo Tolstoy's novel is widely regarded as the best version. Greta Garbo plays the title character, the sheltered wife of Czarist official Rathbone. Intending to dissuade Rathbone's brother (Reginald Owen) from a life of debauchery, Garbo is sidetracked by her own fascination with dashing military officer Fredric March. This indiscreet liaison ruins Garbo's marriage and position in 19th century Russian society; she is even prohibited from seeing her own son (Freddie Bartholomew). In keeping with the censorial strictures of 1935 Hollywood, Anna Karenina is extremely careful in the staging of its final suicide sequence, allowing the audience to determine for itself whether or not Garbo's desperate act of throwing herself under wheels of a train is intentional. Outside of the expected superb performances of Garbo and March, the film's most fascinating characterization is offered by Basil Rathbone, whose cold cruelty in banishing his wife is shown to be the by-product of his own broken heart (though Rathbone never allows himself to descend into cheap sentiment). The first film version of Anna Karenina was the 1927 silent feature Love, also starring Garbo, which substituted an imbecilic happy ending for Tolstoy's bleak denouement (there would be an acceptable third version in 1948, starring Vivien Leigh. The 1935 Anna Karenina is arguably the finest accomplishment of the felicitous 1930s alliance between star Greta Garbo, director Clarence Brown and cinematographer William Daniels.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Clemence Dane, Salka Viertel, S.N. Behrmann
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 6, 2005


Greta Garbo
as Anna Karenina
Fredric March
as Count Vronsky
May Robson
as Countess Vronsky
Ella Ethridge
as Anna's Maid
Mary Forbes
as Princess Sorokino
Ethel Griffies
as Mme. Karatasoff
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Anna Karenina

Critic Reviews for Anna Karenina

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 26, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

On the whole, Anna Karenina is a picture of merit. It is decorative, well-meaning, and full of neat encounters, and it certainly presents a Garbo in the high summer of her maturity, richer and more mellow than she has ever been before.

Full Review… | October 30, 2015
Observer [UK]

This lavish, MGM production surely excises some of the important details from Leo Tolstoy's novel, but makes up for it with the luminous presence of Greta Garbo and some gorgeous cinematography.

Full Review… | February 4, 2011
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Anna Karenina

Good in a golden age of Hollywood kind of way.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

Has the customary MGM sheen and Garbo is good as always but still heavy going.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Is it possible for a film to be well-made, but is as boring as humanly possible? I really don't think Anna Karenina was meant to be translated onto the silver screen. Halfway into it I was already bored to tears and I wished she would just freaking kill herself already.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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