Director: Clarence Brown
Starring: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew, Maureen O'Sullivan
#42 on AFI's Top Passions
Venice Film Festival's Mussolini Cup for best foreign film
Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina by 1935 was hailed as one of Russian literature’s finest works, said to embody the pinnacle of realism fiction and had been produced, up to that year, into three motion pictures, all silent, one Russian and two American produced. It is hear in Clarence Brown’s 1935 adaptation of Anna Karenina where the novel gets to flourish for the first time in a motion picture, with a full bodied story, not as abbreviated as the silent predecessors, with full dialogue, and the strong performance of Greta Garbo as the title character. At the time no other studio, but MGM along with its marquee actress would be able to do such justice to the Russian classic tale of forbidden love and ultimate tragedy. With lavish sets, wardrobe, and a notable cast in hand we are welcomed to what is considered the finest version of this story up to this point and even since its release.