Greta Garbo starred in this story once before in 1927. Silent film was titled Love and John Gilbert had the role now handled by Fredric March. March handles his assignment firmly and with understanding and the film in toto is a more honest and sincere rendition of the Tolstoy classic than the silent.
Garbo, too, seems to have grown since 1927. There is no flaw to be found in her rendition of the love-wracked Russian girl, Anna.
Trimmed to its essentials the story is an extremely simple one: a married woman, hating her cold, unloving, hypocritical husband, falls in love with a young officer of the guards. Love sweeps everything from under her. Her husband won’t give her a divorce. She gives up everything she has in life, including her baby, to go to her lover.
Casting throughout is excellent, although just a trifle annoying. There is a distinct clash of accents which might have been avoided. Reginald Denny, Basil Rathbone and Reginald Owen speak Oxfordese English, as opposed to Garbo’s Stockholmese.