Anna Karenina Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 11, 2007
Good in a golden age of Hollywood kind of way.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2007
Has the customary MGM sheen and Garbo is good as always but still heavy going.
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2007
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.
October 17, 2009
A good movie based on classic Russian tale. Subject matter that would not be so controversial today, and definitely not noteworthy. However, in the early the 30 and the 19th century, it was scandalous and this a fascinating look of the morals of the time.
October 13, 2009
Excellent version of the famous and classic story. Greta Garbo is divine in one of her best roles. Expertly directed by Clarence Brown, the glossy MGM production is outstanding. Basil Rathbone is wonderfully wicked and gives an outstanding supporting performance.
October 28, 2008
anna karenina was garbo's second chance to play tolstoy's tragic heroine. the first was a contemporary version titled love. it was released in 1927.
½ January 27, 2008
Because the character of Anna in this movie was a strong-minded woman, it was a little shocking to see the spiral her life took. It reminded me of a statement that my Communications professor made about those who have the strongest resolve, are the easiest hurt, and have the least resilience. While I don't necessarily agree with his argument, I have to agree that Anna would be the perfect poster child to prove his theory. It appears to depict her as a "love-starved" obsessive woman who's reason escapes her when love appears. She loses sight of her obligations and her responsibilities for the "hope" of love with a playboy from her past.

It is a very good movie...shocking, but good.
July 10, 2013
Remake of her 1927 version of Tolstoy's "LOVE"
½ April 25, 2014
First of i don't get what the big deal is with greta garbo. This movie has one of the old movie pet peeves, a character who falls in love at first sight inexplicably and its the strongest love ever known to history like they are a couple of teenagers. And as soon as they are in love they fall out of it. I gotta say i agree with the De facto villain, Anna's husband, on almost all of his points. Hes right about everything and expresses it so bluntly, what a bad ass. There is just nothing interesting about this movie, no great lines or great scenes. Derivative and forgetful.
½ February 15, 2014
It is quite dull, but Greta Garbo saves it from being forgotten. It is visually big and brimming with the typical MGM's class and greatness. But sometimes, I want to jump off to a train the same as Garbo did.
½ November 24, 2013
It has a couple of flaws - the ending could have been a bit more tense, the pacing sometimes feels rushed and the story needed some sort of expansion (the inclusion of Kitty and Levin would have been nice), but this Anna Karenina adaptation greatly benefits from strong acting, beautiful artistry and cinematography and moving added scene in the end all leading to a definitive film version of the story yet.
½ January 14, 2013
I haven't read the Tolstoy novel but since there isn't much plot to speak of in this cinematic version, I'd imagine a fair bit has been excised. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, Garbo is gay and merry, falling for Count Vronsky (Frederic March) even though she has a husband (Basil Rathbone) and child (insufferable Freddie Bartholomew). Garbo swoons (and there is clearly a filter on the camera when she is in close-up). But as a result, she and Vronsky are cast out of society and she is forbidden to see her son. As Vronsky's passion becomes muted, Garbo broods and is gloomy -- these are the moods for which she became famous. Things do not end well. This is a expensively-staged MGM production but I found the direction rather bland, even though the sets and acting were something to look at.
October 6, 2012
How can you give it 100% when the reviews are not that good? You only gave Bergman's masterly Seventh Seal 94%! The Tomatometer needs fixing.
August 18, 2011
Anna Karenina (Garbo) is a high-strong Russian woman who is married to the icy Karenin (Rathbone). They go to a high class ball with her relatives, and there she meets the dashing Count Vronsky (March), and they end up falling in love. But soon, Karenin finds out, and not only kicks her out of the house, but does not let her see her son (Bartholomew) who means the world to her. She and Vronsky eventually get married, but is plagued by sadness, guilt, and a passive husband that eventually dooms Anna for her infidelity. Screen-legend Greta Garbo was at the peak of her career at the time of this movie, and had had success in almost every movie she made before-hand. She already had teamed up with director Clarence Brown in other well-received classics, so by seeing this I knew something good would happen, considering how wonderful the following movies were. Though this one might not be as good as "Flesh and the Devil" altogether, Garbo's performance is simply amazing here. Her tragic character Anna is so awesome to watch, and so painful at once, and when you watch, you can almost feel the world of hurt her character's feeling. I wish she would have gotten an Oscar nod for this role, because nobody, could match up to the standard that Greta set. Fredric March never was better in this early role, and I also consider this to be one of his most memorable performances. His character pretty much hides behind a mask for the first hour, but then you see what he is really like. It's very strange to think how actors could just work with lines and make them their own. I found Rathbone's acting job to be very satisfying, and is a great love to hate character. Though any spouse would be mad at infidelity, the way Karenin deals with it is so rough and tough, but he never overacts it or makes it cheesy, its done to the perfect extent, making it very well done. "Anna Karenina" is one of Garbo's best (though I like "Ninotchka" better), and this is one of her finest performances.
½ July 26, 2011
Typical 1930s MGM film in its production values, but the screenplay and many of the performances make this a dreary adaptation of Tolstoy's novel. I first saw it in the 1950s as a 14-year-old schoolboy and even then found the film flawed. The saving grace for me was Garbo's performance, but half-a-century on even that didn't grab me. Still, she's better than the rest of the over-emoting cast.
November 15, 2008
:fresh: [b][i]Great novel with a weak adaptation, saved by the one and only Greta Garbo, who once again showed she was a terrific actress and the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in this world. [/i][/b]
November 22, 2010
Great Adaption of the Tolstoi Novel with a hillarious Greta Garbo and it shows the Origin Russian Culture which was destroyed by the Communists
October 3, 2009
One of these days I'll get around to reading more of the classics. Until I do, viewing film adaptations will have to suffice. I recorded and was watching the 1948 version of ANNA KARENINA (Vivien Leigh), when I decided to stop and play my dvd of the 1935 version instead - which I had sitting on my shelf for the past year now. I suppose I didn't want to spoil the Greta Garbo version.

Produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Clarence's not a perfect film, but still highly entertaining and a feast for the eyes with it's beautiful costumes and lavish sets.

Anna Karenina (Greta Garbo) is the bored wife of a government official, Alexi Karenin (Basil Rathbone), who seems to care more for his duties to the state than to his wife. They have a young son, Sergei (Freddie Bartholomew).

During a visit to her relatives in Moscow, Anna meets a dashing army officer, the Count Alexi Vronsky (Fredrik March). Vronsky is instantly smitten by Anna's beauty... so much so that later, during a ball they attend, Vronsky completely ignores his date, Kitty (Maureen O'Sullivan) to be with Anna.

When Anna returns home a few days later... she realizes how loveless her marriage really
is... but also excited to be pursued by the handsome Vronsky. They continue to surreptitiously see each other and soon become the subject of much gossip. Karenin is aware of his wife's indiscretions and the impact it could have on his career and social standings... so he bans Anna from the house and refuses her visiting rights to their son when Anna refuses to give up seeing Vronsky.

The one problem I see with this film is that Basil Rathbone as Karenin is very good as the cuckold husband that he completely overshadows Fredric March's Vronsky. Anna's relationship with Vronsky should have played hotter (well, maybe not... considering the code imposed at the time). The script should have been tweaked in that regard. I've read comments that March is miscast here opposite Garbo...but I think it's more the fault of the script. I see no fault with Garbo's performance as Anna Karenina - a tailor made role for her.

There are some interesting shots here also... especially the one tracking shot down a very long dining table. I wondered how the camera could fit between the plates of food and the candelabras...

There is also a nice shot of a sunrise through a train window- symbolizing possibly the start of a new phase in Anna Karenina's life.

Will see how this holds up to the other versions...

8 / 10
½ November 15, 2008
No me gustó la película, la historia de Tolstoy es buena, Greta Garbo es una magnífica actriz, pero estos dos factores no pudieron salvar esta película, que a mi gusto no está bien hecha, no me agradó la forma en que cortan las escenas, la edición es mala, te deja con muchas dudas, y en ocasiones la película es muy aburrida.
December 1, 2007
"Anna Karenina" is based on a novel by Leo Tolstoy. I have not read Tolstoy's novel, but it is apparent from the thickness of the novel and the length of this film that this adaptation is heavily abridged. The story is simple; Anna Karenina is married to Karenin but has an affair with Vronsky.

The film features impressive sets and costumes. There are depictions of upper-class Russian rituals such as drinking games, dancing and a stage production. These are for the most part well-done, although the stage production seemed drawn out.

Greta Garbo as Anna, Fredric March as Vronsky and Basil Rathbone as Karenin lead the cast. It is an impressive roster, and all of them give solid performances, especially Rathbone and Garbo, but the characters they played were not exceptionally interesting. Freddie Bartholomew is notable as Sergei, Anna's astute young scientist of a child that has some touching scenes with Garbo.

This film is watchable and has a number of decent scenes, but never gains much momentum beyond a basic love story. Sadly I didn't form any strong attachments to the characters such that I was even indifferent to Anna's final fate at the end of the story. I'm not sure how other adaptations of the novel compare, but this one is somewhat flat despite having three accomplished performers in the lead parts.
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