This fine adaptation of Tolstoy's oft-filmed novel Resurrection begins in the countryside of Czarist Russia.
Fredric March is a young prince in love with Anna Sten, a servant girl with whom he has grown up. The dashing March seduces her, only to slip away the next morning. He then forgets all about the girl, who, it turns out, is pregnant with his child. The child dies and Sten, accompanied only by
another servant, buries its tiny coffin in unconsecrated ground. Seven years pass and March is engaged to Jane Baxter, the daughter of another prince, C. Aubrey Smith, who invites March to sit as a juror on a case he is trying involving a prostitute charged with murder. The accused is Sten, who is
innocent of the crime. March presses for acquittal, but she is found guilty and sentenced to exile in Siberia.
This classic story of redemption is beautifully told under Rouben Mamoulian's strong direction. March and Sten are excellent as the tragic lovers, giving their roles depth and intensity. The photography by master lensman Gregg Toland gives the film a moody, atmospheric look which further enhances
the strong emotions of the story. Samuel Goldwyn was furiously trying to promote Sten, an actress he considered to be "the Russian Garbo." Maxwell Anderson and Leonard Praskins both received credit for the screenplay, though neither writer made contributions to the final script. Both had written
drafts which were unacceptable by Goldwyn's standards, and Preston Sturges was finally given the assignment at Mamoulian's urging.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: This fine adaptation of Tolstoy's oft-filmed novel Resurrection begins in the countryside of Czarist Russia. Fredric March is a young prince in love with Anna Sten, a servant girl with whom he has grown up. The dashing March seduces her, only to slip away… (more)