I was initially undecided as to which of the various film versions of this tragic epic love story to opt for, but eventually decided on the Vivien Leigh/Ralph Richardson (1948) release.
Although we have not seen any of the other versions, my wife and I were transfixed by this film; the torment suffered by Anna and the appalling attitude of her boring, high and mighty, husband - cold as any Russian winter - who is concerned only with his political standing. His treatment of Anna in relation to their son, when he becomes aware of her extramarital affair is thoroughly despicable, even though she may be in the wrong.
In some respects, my wife felt that parts of the film were a little frightening, especially the premonitions Anna has of death, paralleled with a fatality witnessed early on in the film.
Although the story as depicted in the film has been outlined elsewhere, I have not read the book, so I am unable to comment on how faithfully this film version represents it, but I am pleased that I purchased this dvd.
As another reviewer has remarked, black vertical lines are noticeable for a few minutes towards the end of this particular print, apparently taken from the National Film Archive Collection, but which is not uncommon in old films, and which I should have thought may be difficult to eradicate. I was also rather amused by the so-obvious 'model train' plastered with icy snow on which Anna is travelling at the beginning of the film, but then visual effects have since improved considerably. Bearing in mind that the original film was released some 65 years ago, the picture quality is very good and I would recommend it to anyone interested in films of this genre.