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  • Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina [VHS]
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Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sophie Marceau, Sean Bean, Alfred Molina, Mia Kirshner, James Fox
  • Directors: Bernard Rose
  • Writers: Bernard Rose, Leo Tolstoy
  • Producers: Bruce Davey, Jim Lemley, Stephen McEveety, Vladimir Zhelezniakov
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: August 25, 1998
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790731614
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,110 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Sophie Marceau plays the title character in this 1997 version of Tolstoy's classic, set in Imperial Russia. Bernard Rose (Paperhouse) directs, but his accent is on sumptuousness instead of performance, and the result is that much of what happens--especially Anna's affair with Vronsky (Sean Bean)--is opaque and unbelievable. (Bean in particular is badly suited to his part.) A redeeming feature is Alfred Molina's role as the narrator, but he alone can't prop up Rose's façade of grand passion. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

This film has much to offer to those who have not read the book.
KerrLines
The book was excellently written and the characters so brilliantly depicted you felt their anguish and joy as though it had happened to you.
Kazza
Anna Karenina is a very tragic story of unfulfilled love, and Sophie Marceau pulls off the roll fabulously.
Carolyn Richardson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The first time I saw this film I was confused. I could not understand the opening, which does not follow the novel, nor the connection between the music and the actions portrayed by the actors. Later, I saw it on a small video screen. Then the movie made sense to me since the small screen focused on the close-ups and subtle shifts of mood in the telling of the story to better effect than the large theatre screen. I recalled the experiment by Eisenstein and Prokofiev in Alexander Nevsky that links music and images together in such a way that the music leads the images in the film. It seemed to me that that may be the key to watching this film, and the next viewing confirmed it. The music is a synopsis of the grandeur, both tragic and comic, of Russia. The novel itself is a tragedy surrounded by the comedy of Levin's recognition of the meaning of God and the proper understanding of marriage within the context of God's providence. I was glad that the scriptwriter kept Tolstoy's clear moral purpose in writing Anna, which was, after all, an answer by him to Flaubert's Emma Bovary. I also thought that the film is an excellent corrective to the rather silly Hollywood emphasis on "amour" above all. The greatness of Anna is her tragic desire to see the affair all the way through to its destructive end. Tolstoy emphasizes her eyes, which squint more tightly as her life comes to an end. Vronsky's tragedy is that he is mediocre and completely out of his element with Anna. Perhaps the criticisms of Bean's performance reflect rather his excellence at playing a mediocre man and an audience's unwillingness to accept the moral criticism implied in the film that the sort of love that Vronsky felt for Anna cannot be the basis for marriage.Read more ›
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Donegal Dan on February 21, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
It's been a long time since I read the book and I think this film takes some liberties with it, but I don't care. I enjoyed it purely as a "doomed love" story. I liked this better than any other version of Anna Karenina that I have seen, primarly because of the beautiful cinematography, the glorious music, the extravagantly beautiful interiors and the presence of Sean Bean, who has to be the sexiest Vronsky of all time. Sophie Marceau was not a bad Anna and at least, unlike some versions I have seen, it wasn't hard to see why she would inspire Vronsky's obsession. And the ballroom scene was one of the most beautiful and sweepingly romantic I have ever seen. There was a little too much of the Kitty/Levin relationship and Levin's voiceover ramblings were at points pretty boring but the movie overall is really a jewel in every way--very romantic, two beautiful protagonists, exotic settings and a score second to none.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Joe E. Byerly on November 3, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A lavish production; if you enjoy period films, this one is a pleaser. The ball in Moscow is especially well done; waltzing beautifully choreographed within grandiose setting. Well cast and acted; Sean Bean is surprisingly good as Veronsky, and Sophie Marceau's interpretation of Anna works. Only wish the film were longer and could have been more detailed re the Kitty/Levin relationship.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alexander of Caslano on May 2, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you love gorgeous antique costumes and jewelleries,I'm sure you'd fall in love with this remake movie of Leo Tolstoy's masterpiece.
Thanks to Bernard Rose who revealed the scenery,atmosphere colours and layouts... perfectly real.
Anna Karenina(Sophie Marceau) is a young passionate bourgeois lady married to an old fashion man while Russia was under the rule of Romanov.
The undelightful tittle-tattle among the courteseans
had conducted Anna to a tragic ending.

It is splendid at the ballroom,amazing atmosphere,the gentlement(knights)were able to dance,holding their ladies with only one arm,this is glamorous!!
while the piece of 'Swan Lake' is in the air,Anna's heart was blasted by the glimpse of a young cavalliere...Count Vronsky.

The movie has a fantastic cinematography,you'll delightly feel as though you're among them.It would bring you back to the 18th century where each gesture of a character is a
'book of etiquette'.And above all,to me Sophie Marceau is a cute French origin.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By KerrLines on November 16, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Tolstoy cannot be distilled into less than two hours,but the music of Tchaikowsky,Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff coupled with lavish costumes and on location shots in St.Petersburg made this an immense viewing pleasure.The production was very much on the scale of AMADEUS.Director/Screenplay writer took much liberty with Tolstoy's ponderous novel and made a lush presentation showcasing the sounds and scenes of Czarist Russia.The camera work and lighting are first rate.These are some of the films numerous strengths in contrast to the condensed version of the book! This film has much to offer to those who have not read the book.The high points are hit.It should leave viewers the desire to know more of Tolstoy's writings and of Russian history.Again,the Georg Solti conducted soundtrack is worth a watching alone!!!
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Richardson on February 8, 2009
Format: DVD
Anna Karenina is a very tragic story of unfulfilled love, and Sophie Marceau pulls off the roll fabulously. She's the perfect age for a young and beautiful Anna, married to an aged Karenin. Sean Penn is a great Vronsky, although I still think Chris Reeves was a more attractive Count Vronsky although I don't care for the movie version he starred in. But this version of Anna Karenina is a must have for anyone in love with historical costume, particularly any fan of the cuirass bodice style of the mid to late 1870s version of the bustle dress era. I don't recall who did the costuming, but they should have received an Oscar. Everything that both Anna and Princess Kitty wore on screen is to die for, from Anna's black ball gown and Kitty's yellow one, to the black and white "race day" dress. In fact, all the women's clothing in the movie looks impeccable from start to finish. I want to make every dress in this movie. My only question is why do we have to rely on the import market to get this on DVD?? My version is Chinese (Hong Kong) and while it's great quality, the subtitles that I know were in the VHS version are missing here, which undercuts your understanding of a crucial scene between Kitty and Levin in the second half of the movie. What is Warner Bros. problem?
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