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Anna Karenina [1997] [DVD]

3.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RYH5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,675 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Text in German; Language has option for English as well as German.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
As a Russian who has seen several film versions of Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina, I should say that in my opinion this is the best. There is an outstanding Russian film filmed in the 60s, but it's impossible to find it in an English translation. So, this is really the best Western film! All the others just stylised the Russian life and showed a Russia which has never existed.
But this film shows the real Russian atmosphere of the 19th century (and by the way, there are some Russian actors playing in the film, and sometimes the heroes even try to speak Russian!). What is more, it was filmed in Russia. And although the directors of the film very strangely mixed Moscow and St. Petersburg (there is a shot there showing the choreographic school and the Academic theatre in St. Petersburg with the sign "Moscow"!), this film is definitely worth seeing!
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Format: DVD
I first saw this version of Tolstoy`s Classic some years ago. I was enchanted and captivated by the sheer beauty of the production, the superb performances of the actors and the breathtaking tragedy of Anna as portrayed by Sophie Marceau. I have waited with patience for this wonderful film to be released on DVD. This version, originating in Germany has been cut to shreds. So much of the original is missing, it`s like watching a ` highlight show`. Furthermore, the English language Dolby 2.0 film is stuck with German Sub Titles which cannot be removed. As one who now lives in Denmark, although familiar with this practice (The Danes do it too), I found it nonetheless irritating to have words printed across the chests of the actors, diverting attention from the film on screen. Why is is that with digital technology allowing the viewer the choice as to whether to have or have not these annoying subtitles, the producers of this DVD have decided to make that decision for us. Please understand that my low appraisal and rating applies to this particular DVD issue and not the film itself, which is sublime. I just hope that an English Language version will be released, with the uncut version in all it`s glory.
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Format: VHS Tape
I have read this book and was looking forward to the acting performances of some of my favorite actors. They did not disappoint me. The scenes were set beautifully, costumes likewise. Music was enchanting. I feel I saw more of the secondary characters than Anna and her paramour who were supposed to be the focus in the film. Sean Bean is convincing as the man obsessed with another man's wife. Sophie is tiny in stature but commanding in her role. I feel half the novel is missing and the story is no longer an epic in the hands of this editor. Much of the meaning is lost. As a strong Sean Bean fan, I'm sorry he wasn't allowed more screen time, to help develop his character. As it is, I am not sorry I bought it because much remains of what was shot, but I wonder what it could have been like with another film editor.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a very handsome looking production. Sophie M and Sean B certainly look the parts. The selection of scenes from the book is good, yet the film as a whole seemed to add up to less than its parts. The reason seems to be because it as faithful a rendition of the novel as could be committed to film as could be achieved. As such it includes a good deal of Levin and Kitty's story, BUT that cuts into the time given over to Anna K and Vronsky separately, and to the development of their relationship. The result is that it ends up feeling very 'rushed'. As an example; Anna K frets over her loss of contact with her son, and this is a very important part of the relationship between Anna and Count Vronsky. When she goes to meet her son on the morning of his birthday it is a crucial and affecting part of the novel, yet, here, it is skated over in the most superficial and casual manner. There is absolutely no communication of that depth of feeling, and the renewal of her realisation of how much she has given up to be with Vronsky, which is, in turn, crucial to understanding why it all goes sour later. Things like this (there are other examples throughout) subtracts from the story and the success of the film.
This is a very great pity because much of it is good. It has the feel of being a sketch of a really good film, that simply couldn't be afforded on the budget they had to work with! If this film had been a remake by the Russians during the Soviet era they would've thrown as much money at it as was required, it would have been nearly twice as long, no doubt, and much better.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As per usual, the book is better than the film and it is not entirely true to the book but a good effort is made to bring a very long and psychologically in-depth book to life.
The film as a standalone product is enjoyable - if only to see a tragic love story, set in Russia, with magnificent costumes and scenery. (and to see the gorgeous Sean Bean at his best!).
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Format: DVD
Having read the book several times over the years and watched at least 5 different film/tv adaptations of it before this one, I must say that this version is the best film version I've seen. It has the usual limitations inherent in trying to cover the complexity of a Tolstoy novel in a two hour film, but that is unavoidable. It deviates from the story in a few details (such as having Anna miscarry rather than give birth to a healthy daughter to Vronsky). But the impact of all the wrong-doing - seen from a strictly moral view - of Anna and Vronsky is not minimized because of these changes, and that is the main thing.

The film is a determined attempt at making a FILM - a truly visual experience - and it succeeds most of the way. The dialogue is limited to what's necessary. This is not a talk-talk-talk movie. It requires actors who can really work with the camera, and both Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean - to just mention two - are very good at this.

It covers the two parallel love stories (Levin-Kitty and Vronsky-Anna) well, and the atmosphere is more 'Russian' than in any of the other versions I've seen both in its mood and in the balance between the two love stories. It doesn't hurt that it was shot on location in St. Petersburg, Moscow and environs or that the costumes are extremely well done. The lighting is carefully done to give the viewers a feel of the lush environment of the extremely rich Russian upper class. I also liked the touch of having the lower classes speak Russian and the upper classes only speak Russian to their servants but English (which in reality was French) among themselves.

It is well cast.
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