Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Friday, 27 November 2015
Another Anna Karenina ....
There have been quite a few Anna Kareninas - its almost a key female role, like Hedda Gabler or Lady Macbeth. Garbo of course led the pack with her 1937 classic, and Vivien Leigh did it a decade later but to less effect. Then Nicola Pagett did it for the BBC in the 1970s, followed by Jacqueline Bisset for American TV, and there was a European version with Sophie Mareau, and that recent one which I have not seen, with Keira Knightley.. I have now discovered another version from 1961 made by the BBC with the intriguing casting of Claire Bloom and a pre-Bond Sean Connery, a year before DR NO. They are both of course ideal casting here. Its a great role for Claire, on a par with her Nora in Ibsen's A DOLL'S HOUSE.
Claire Bloom's is as usual exquisite, her reckless commitment to the illicit love aroused in her by Sean Connery's likely Vronsky - ideal here - after her dull marriage to the stuffy Karenin - a change of role for Albert Lieven after those evil Nazis he usually played (CONSPIRACY OF HEARTS). The treatment, in a series of longish scenes, is somewhat theatrical, but the costumes are splendid and director Rudolph Cartier sweeps the film to its shocking conclusion, though the script is simplified from the novel with some subplots missing. Bloom was also sensational the following year in THE CHAPMAN REPORT for Cukor, one of our favourites here at the Projector, and in 1963 in THE HAUNTING. She is still acting now in her 80s and crops up in various television series like DOC MARTIN.