1948. Great Britain. Julien Duvivier. 111 min.
Sunday, May 17, 2009, 5:30 p.m.
1948. Great Britain. Directed by Julien Duvivier. Screenplay by Jean Anouilh, Julien Duvivier, Guy Morgan. With Vivien Leigh, Ralph Richardson, Kieron Moore. "The multiplicity of pronunciations of Karenina by various people is a trifle distracting," a Variety reviewer observed in 1948, in one of many critical drubbings of the film. And yet Duvivier's screen adaptation of Tolstoy's novel, one of British producer Alexander Korda's most lavish postwar productions (and biggest flops), has its irresistible pleasures: the great Henri Alekan's moodily atmospheric cinematography, Russian designer Andrej Andrejew's set designs, Cecil Beaton's costumes, Richardson's magisterial Karenin, and Leigh’s desperate performance as the doomed heroine. 111 min.