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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Anna Karenina (1961)

In 19th century Russia, a married woman (Claire Bloom) risks it all for love when she abandons her husband (Albert Lieven), child and reputation for a handsome Count (Sean Connery). Yet another version of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel, this time by way of the play by Marcelle Maurette (ANASTASIA). This more a highlights from ANNA KARENINA as it leaves out chunks of the novel including important supporting characters and it's a typical "tasteful" BBC (meaning culture for the middle classes) offering. But there is a reason to watch it ..... Claire Bloom! To drag out the old cliche, it's a role she was born to play. Bloom brings so much to part that isn't necessarily in the script. You can hear the passion in her voice, see the pain in her face, this isn't a by the numbers fancy costume performance, there's a real woman in there and Bloom brings all of Anna's burning intensity, conflict and agony to the forefront. It also helps to have the virile young pre-Bond Connery as Vronsky. You can understand why Anna would wreck her life and social standing for this man. Who would do that for Fredric March? Directed by Rudolph Cartier. With Patricia Laffan, Jack Watling, June Thorburn and Valerie Taylor.

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