Anna Karenina (1935) 95 min | Mechanics' Institute

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Anna Karenina (1935) 95 min
February 2020 - Salka Viertel and Hitler's Exiles in Hollywood

Directed by Clarence Brown | Greta Garbo, Fredric March

In December, CinemaLit screened Love, a silent adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel about a married woman’s doomed love for another man. In 1935 this sound version was made, also starring Garbo but this time with Frederic March as Anna’s lover, Count Vronsky. Cinematography by William H. Daniels and sets by Cedric Gibbons make this movie a feast for the eyes, and in addition to Garbo as Anna, there are wonderful performances by Freddie Bartholomew as her son and Basil Rathbone as her chilly, unfeeling husband.


Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s new curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies. 

“I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."

The films Matthew will introduce this winter include Scarface: The Shame of the Nation for January’s film theme Speakeasy: Prohibition at 100Queen Christina opens February, with special guest Donna Rifkind, author of The Sun and her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood. March will be dedicated to pre-code Barbara Stanwyck films.

“Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”

Please join us in welcoming Matthew as he engages members and the public through our ongoing series of Friday night film screenings.

CinemaLit Films

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