Greta Garbo:         Anna Christie
Charles Bickford:  Matt Burke
Marie Dressler:     Marthy
George F Marion:  Chris
James T Mack:      Johnny
Lee Phelps:           Larry
Director:               Clarence Brown
Written by:            Frances Marion
                              Eugene O'Neill ( play)
It has been 15 years since Chris has sent 5 year old Anna to live with relatives in St. Paul, and now she is coming back. Anna needs rest and a place to stay so Chris moves Marthy off his barge. One night, going down the coast, they rescue 3 survivors of a boat sinking. The big strong Scot, named Matt, takes a liking to Anna and they go to Coney Island when they get back to land. Matt decides that he will marry Anna but Chris says no - as does Anna. Every male member of Chris's family has died at sea and Chris wants Anna to have children and a house on land.
What is so fascinating about htis movie is that it is Garbo's talkie- debut. Not a big deal??? Oh yes it is. Her voice is striking and really suits her genuine beauty. It represents Garbo, as well as Anna Christi in her melancholy. It is well known that Anna Christie was made a movie to make Garbo's entrance to the talking- pictures as belivable as possible. Her accented voice is so RIGHT in "Anna Christie", as Anna is supposed to be a foreigner. "Anna Christie" is one of my favourite Garbo pictures. I think this is the movie that astablished Garbo as the greta actress she is remembered as.

* Garbo was among the last stars to make her talkie- debut. Gloria Swanson also waited until 1930. *

* Garbo was among the few stars who made it from silent to talkie- movies without wrecking her career. Among the other "survivors" were Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson *

* "Anna Christie" was promoted with the tagline: "Garbo talks". It was really quite risky, but MGM knew that if "Anna Christie" wasn't a hit, it could be Garbo's last film. They wanted to earn as much money on it as possible. *

* Garbo got even more popular after "Anna Christie"  The public loved her dark and mysterial voice, and it gave her an even stronger personality on the screen.* 

* Garbo's first line came 20 minutes into the movie and was: "Gimme a visky. Ginger ale on the side. And don't be stingy ba- bee". It is now listed among the most famous movie- quotes of all time*

This causes friction between Chris and Matt so Anna sits them down and tells both of them the truth about her miserable life in Minnesota and the secret she has been carrying.
Photos from Anna Christie >>