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Konstantinos

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I don't know about the 1935 version but I'd love a blu-ray of the 1997 version.

MV5BNjkwYzFkMjgtNGEwNy00MmFiLWEwMmEtMzJhYWI0MDQ0MDIzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQ3NzUxOTM@._V1_.jpg
 

BobO'Link

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I really enjoy the 1935 production of Anna Karenina - it manages to stay fairly true to Tolstoy's novel. That said, it also feels like a vehicle for Garbo, who was pretty much at the pinnacle of her career when this was made, yet it's also one of her best performances. Still, it won several awards and has an excellent cast. So far, I like this production best of all those I've seen. From what I recall (it's been several years since I last watched it), the DVD release of this one is actually pretty good but certainly could benefit from a restoration.
 

Will Krupp

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I agree that it is not a great film, but it is somewhat interesting to me because it was directed by Max Reinhardt. He had been known primarily as a stage director, so you get at least a sense of what his stage production from the late 20's might have been like, along with Mendelssohn's music. But as battlebeast says, it is not really a good performance of the play, and Mickey Rooney becomes insufferable very quickly.

Agreed on all counts. The film was a direct result of Reinhardt's highly acclaimed staging of the play at the Hollywood Bowl on September 18, 1934 before an audience of 12,000 people. Warner's decision to film it with most of the cast replaced by famous Warner contract players (for box office insurance) is definitely a case of over-egging the pudding (as they say.)

Olivia DeHavilland was one of the few cast members retained from the famous Bowl performance as well as, ironically enough, Mickey Rooney!

Reinhardt didn't speak English, by the way, and it's reported that all of his direction was given through a translator.
 
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Gerani53

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Famed film restorer Scott McQueen provided a wonderful commentary for Reinhardt's DREAM on the DVD release. It's pretty clear that he's a fan of the film, as are many others. And if Warners Archives were to scan the original negative for a Blu-ray incarnation, it would be one of the most impressive b/w releases of all time, given that the film is, if nothing else, one of the most exquisitely photographed creative works in the history of cinema. The fact that the movie's detractors seem to grudgingly agree with this assessment, but nevertheless strongly advise that potential viewers avoid this film like the plague, has always fascinated me. Maybe the evaluation should be more like, "if you want good Shakespeare, look elsewhere. But if you enjoy a veritable orgasm of creative cinematography and breathtaking visual design, this one is for you."
 

mskaye

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Famed film restorer Scott McQueen provided a wonderful commentary for Reinhardt's DREAM on the DVD release. It's pretty clear that he's a fan of the film, as are many others. And if Warners Archives were to scan the original negative for a Blu-ray incarnation, it would be one of the most impressive b/w releases of all time, given that the film is, if nothing else, one of the most exquisitely photographed creative works in the history of cinema. The fact that the movie's detractors seem to grudgingly agree with this assessment, but nevertheless strongly advise that potential viewers avoid this film like the plague, has always fascinated me. Maybe the evaluation should be more like, "if you want good Shakespeare, look elsewhere. But if you enjoy a veritable orgasm of creative cinematography and breathtaking visual design, this one is for you."
Warner's A MIDSUMMER'S ... is a unique piece of cinema history. The shimmering beauty of the cinematography will leave a lasting impression on anyone (as it did to Kenneth Anger for many reasons.) Yes, the melding of Shakespeare and the Warner Bros. "Weltanschauung" is odd to say the least but it's memorable and never boring. It's not for Shakespeare purists but then again, I'm in the camp that will take Orson Welles' approach to Shakespeare over Olivier's any day of the week.
 

Matt Hough

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I really enjoy the 1935 production of Anna Karenina - it manages to stay fairly true to Tolstoy's novel. That said, it also feels like a vehicle for Garbo, who was pretty much at the pinnacle of her career when this was made, yet it's also one of her best performances. Still, it won several awards and has an excellent cast. So far, I like this production best of all those I've seen. From what I recall (it's been several years since I last watched it), the DVD release of this one is actually pretty good but certainly could benefit from a restoration.
She won the New York Film Critics Circle Best Actress award for her performance and then wasn't even nominated for the Oscar. Incredible!
 

David_B_K

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I know the complete collection of the BBC Shakespeare Plays have been released on DVD by Ambrose Video in Region 2, but has the complete collection ever been released on DVD in Region 1? I know that Ambrose Video released four 5-DVD box sets titled Comedies, Histories, Tragedies and Tragedies II which cover 20 of the 37 plays.
I used to have some of the Ambrose DVDs, but about 9 years ago I bought the Region 2 BBC box set for about £57. I believe it is out of print now.. The plays all had to be converted from PAL to NTSC for USA broadcast and suffered a bit IMO and they sometimes had synch issues on the USA DVDs. The region 2 versions in original PAL all look and sound much better, IMO.

The series was sort of hit and miss, with some really great productions (like Midsummer's) and some really poor ones. Still it's great that they did them all.
 

Darby67

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I used to have some of the Ambrose DVDs, but about 9 years ago I bought the Region 2 BBC box set for about £57. I believe it is out of print now.. The plays all had to be converted from PAL to NTSC for USA broadcast and suffered a bit IMO and they sometimes had synch issues on the USA DVDs. The region 2 versions in original PAL all look and sound much better, IMO.

The series was sort of hit and miss, with some really great productions (like Midsummer's) and some really poor ones. Still it's great that they did them all.
David:

Thank you for the information on the DVD releases of the BBC Shakespeare Plays; your help is much appreciated. I was a latecomer to being aware of this series and the OOP sets fetch fairly high prices. Still, I'll keep hunting for them....

Sean
 

Filmgazer

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I haven't seen this 1935 version, but it sounds promising.
Of course, Garbo is incredibly beautiful in this, but she doesn't seem to have much romantic chemistry with Fredric March. Fortunately, Basil Rathbone is in superb form as a sympathetic heavy and it's certainly a lavish production care of David O Selznick when he was still at MGM.
 

bujaki

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Of course, Garbo is incredibly beautiful in this, but she doesn't seem to have much romantic chemistry with Fredric March. Fortunately, Basil Rathbone is in superb form as a sympathetic heavy and it's certainly a lavish production care of David O Selznick when he was still at MGM.
Garbo disliked March as he was intent on bedding her. She chewed on onions or some other pungent food before their kissing scenes in order to repel him.
 

bujaki

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In 1965 there was a mini Garbo festival in Puerto Rico. Five films were revived in newly struck 35mm prints. Of course they were projected in 1.85 ratio, but what did I know or care at the time (I was 15). It was my first glimpse of the Divine Garbo. I was in boarding school, so I was only able to catch 4 out of 5, missing only Conquest.
The first one was Queen Christina with that unforgettable post-coital ballet in the bedroom, and the final image. Then came Anna Karenina, with her radiant face coming out of the train smoke. This was followed by Camille--that renunciation scene reaches lofty heights even opposite that ham. And then she laughed; and I discovered Ninotchka and Lubitsch in one magnificent package.
Oh, how lucky I was! Garbo had conquered a 15-year-old for life. It took me a number of years, but now I can say that I have seen every bit of film she appeared in, even the snippet that survives of her lost film, The Divine Woman.
Even though she was given so many mediocre vehicles by her studio, MGM, she usually transcended them through her indefinable mystique.
She has to be experienced.
 

battlebeast

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Famed film restorer Scott McQueen provided a wonderful commentary for Reinhardt's DREAM on the DVD release. It's pretty clear that he's a fan of the film, as are many others. And if Warners Archives were to scan the original negative for a Blu-ray incarnation, it would be one of the most impressive b/w releases of all time, given that the film is, if nothing else, one of the most exquisitely photographed creative works in the history of cinema. The fact that the movie's detractors seem to grudgingly agree with this assessment, but nevertheless strongly advise that potential viewers avoid this film like the plague, has always fascinated me. Maybe the evaluation should be more like, "if you want good Shakespeare, look elsewhere. But if you enjoy a veritable orgasm of creative cinematography and breathtaking visual design, this one is for you."
What’s the point of having great cinematography if the acting is bad?

I’m going to watch this again, because I haven’t seen it in a while.
 

benbess

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If Warner Archive ever does a 4K disc then Ryan's Daughter, which was of course filmed in 70mm, might be a good candidate. But just a regular blu-ray would be most welcome too. I haven't seen this movie since I got rid of my 2-tape VHS set 20+ years ago, and that VHS tape from the Columbia video club from c. 1995 was the first time I'd seen it.

ryan's daughter.jpeg
 
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mskaye

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What’s the point of having great cinematography if the acting is bad?

I’m going to watch this again, because I haven’t seen it in a while.
The acting isn't bad in this film. It's just an odd mix. Sort of like Scorsese's use of many of his NY repertory co. in his LAST TEMPTATION of CHRIST...
 

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