Anna Karenina

One of the greatest stories would be Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. This story combines the elements of wealth, glamour, drama, love, war and tragedy. All of these elements cultivated into such a captivating story it's no wonder why the book translates so well into a television production.

The story is one that begins with our heroine, Anna, making a train trip to visit her sister, Dolly, in order to help negotiate a reconciliation between Dolly and her husband, Stiva. Stiva, having indulged in an affair with the children's governess, has been found out and faces the possibility of Dolly leaving him. This is where Anna comes in to help in the reconciliation process.

Amidst these events there is also the drama surrounding younger sister, Kitty, who is being courted by two Russian soldiers; Konstantin Levin and Alexei Vronsky. Although Kitty chooses Vronsky he brushes her aside in favor of her sister, Anna, who steals his heart. This in turn leads to Kitty's depression that spins into despondency and illness. Although Anna dismisses Vronsky's advances as fleeting, this situation soon changes drastically.

As the story progresses, Anna's husband becomes suspicious of his wife, especially after her avid concern for Vronsky's safety during a horse race. Anna admits her love for Vronsky to her husband and requests a divorce, which he refuses. He insists they maintain appearances for the sake of his political career. Anna compromises and moves to their country estate in order to meet with her lover, however, Anna is in for a shock.

Anna soon becomes pregnant with Vronsky's child and as a result is vanquished by her husband from their young son's life. Anna soon discovers that she is now an outcast of society, as well as being banned from her beloved son's life. The realization that Vronsky doesn't face the same exile that she does makes Anna think that she can no longer go on in this manner. This pushes Anna to the decision of comitting suicide.

1 Season, 10 Episodes
September 25, 1977
Cast: Stasys Baltakis, Ilja Bereznickas, Léa Bosco, Santiago Cabrera
Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina Full Episode Guide

  • The Levins are in Moscow for Kitty's benefit as she gives birth to a son. Stiva, while seeking Karenin's commendation for a new job, again asks him to grant Anna a divorce; but Karenin's decisions are now governed by a "clairvoyant" recommended by Lidia Ivanovna who apparently counsels him to decline. Anna and Vronsky become increasingly bitter towards each other. They plan to return to the country, but in a jealous rage Anna leaves early, and commits suicide by throwing herself in the path of a train.

  • Dolly visits Anna, and at Vronsky's request, she asks Anna to resume seeking a divorce from Karenin. Yet again, Dolly seems unsuccessful; but when Vronsky leaves for several days of provincial elections, a combination of boredom and suspicion convinces Anna she must marry Vronsky. So she writes to Karenin, and leaves with Vronsky for Moscow.

  • In Europe, Vronsky and Anna struggle to find friends who will accept them and pursue activities that will amuse them, but they eventually return to Russia. Karenin is comforted and influenced by the strong-willed Countess Lidia Ivanovna, an enthusiast of religious and mystic ideas fashionable with the upper classes, who counsels him to keep Seriozha away from Anna. However, Anna manages to visit Seriozha unannounced on his birthday, but is discovered by the furious Karenin, who had told their son that his mother was dead. Shortly afterward, she and Vronsky leave for the country.

  • Much more straightforward is Stiva's matchmaking with Levin: a meeting he arranges between Levin and Kitty results in their reconciliation and betrothal. A few months after Levin and Kitty marry, Levin learns that his brother Nikolai is dying. The couple go to him, and Kitty nurses him until he dies, while also discovering she is pregnant.

  • Karenin is finding the situation intolerable and begins seeking divorce. Anna's brother Stiva argues against it, and persuades Karenin to speak with Dolly first. Again, Dolly seems to be unsuccessful, but Karenin changes his plans after hearing that Anna is dying in childbirth. At her bedside, Karenin forgives Vronsky, who, in remorse, attempts suicide. However, Anna recovers, having given birth to a daughter she names Annie. Stiva finds himself pleading on her behalf for Karenin to divorce. Vronsky at first plans to flee to Tashkent, but changes his mind after seeing Anna, and they leave for Europe without obtaining a divorce after all.

  • Karenin scolds Anna for talking too much with Vronsky, but she returns Vronsky's affections nonetheless, and becomes pregnant with his child. Anna's anguish when Vronsky falls from a racehorse makes her feelings obvious, prompting her to confess to her husband. When Kitty learns that Vronsky prefers Anna over her, she travels to a resort at a German spring to recover from the shock.

  • Vronsky has no intention of marrying, and falls in love with Anna after meeting her at the Saint Petersburg railway station. There a man commits suicide by jumping in front of a train. Levin returns to his farm, abandoning any hope of marriage, and Anna returns to her husband Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin, a senior government official, and their son Seriozha in Petersburg.

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