November 16, 2012

The Many Faces of Anna Karenina

Even though the Wall Street Journal 's Joe Morgenstern said this morning that it "suffers from the malady of hyperenchantment," we're practically having heart palpitations over the release of Joe Wright's Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley. But since we couldn't work a screening into our schedules for another week-and-a-half, we decided to bide our time by recollecting some of the most notable previous adaptations of Tolstoy's classic. (And fyi, you'll find enough fur in the following clips to launch a PETA protest.)

1935: Here's a trailer for the Oscar-winning 1935 screen adaptation starring Greta Garbo, Frederic March, Maureen O'Sullivan, and Basil Rathbone. Perfection in black-and-white.

1948: Vivien Leigh stars in this version. (Dubbed here in Russian for a note of Tolstoy-esque authenticity! LOL.)

1967: A Russian-language version. (Dig the CRAZY techno editing of this clip!)

1977: Awesome Oblonsky facial hair and some rather jaunty Mazurka moves in this BBC miniseries version starring Nicola Pagett.

1985: We *heart* Christopher Reeve! This is the first film version I (Amy) ever saw in my high school English class, so I have a soft spot for it. (Jacqueline Bisset was Anna.)

1997: Sean Bean plays Vronsky to the gorgeous Sophie Marceau's Anna, with Alfred Molina an unusual casting choice for Levin.  (*MAJOR SPOILER ALERT in this video clip.)

2000: Helen McCrory nailed Anna's feisty (well, unhinged) personality in this miniseries, as you'll see here.

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