What is there to tell about the Tolstoy story Anna Karenina? Its locale is Russia in the time of the Czars. Anna (Greta Garbo) has a husband and a young son; Vronsky (John Gilbert), a military heritage and a desire for Anna. For screen purposes it’s enough that both are of the aristocracy, which permits Garbo long, stately gowns and Gilbert a series of uniforms that would make a buck private out of the student prince.
There are rich interiors, appropriate ex- teriors and an excellent officers’ steeplechase to get the action figuratively off of a couch for a while. Besides which Garbo and Gilbert supposedly care for each other in the script.
Anyway, director Edmund Goulding hasn’t let the title run away with his sense of discretion. Possibly has leaned over backwards to the extent of keeping this picture from becoming a rave. When all is said and done, Love is a cinch because it has Gilbert and Garbo.