In all departments a wow picture. Comparison is inevitable with the silent version made by Thomas Ince eight years earlier with Blanche Sweet and William Russell. In both instances Hollywood closely follows the Eugene O’Neill play.
Infinite care in developing each sequence, just the proper emphasis on characterizations and a part that exactly fits Greta Garbo put Anna Christie safely in the realm of the superlative.
‘Garbo talks’ is, beyond quarrel, an event. La Garbo’s accent is nicely edged with a Norse ‘yah’, but once the ear gets the pitch it’s okay.
George Marion, in the original Ince production, again plays the old sentiment-hungry seagoing father. Charles Bickford as the Irish sailor of massive muscles and primitive ideals is magnificent. Perhaps the greatest surprise is Marie Dressler, who steps out of her usual straight slapstick to stamp herself an actress.
1929/30: Nominations: Best Director, Actress (Greta Garbo), Cinematogrpahy