7 May 2006 | MartinHafer
a pretty good silent film,...but where is the musical accompaniment?!
The main problem I had with this film wasn't the fault of the film's producers. In the old days of silents, some films had music composed for the film but regardless of whether or not this occurred, music was provided by the movie houses--it only was sent along on an accompanying record with some of the last silent films. Despite this movie being made before this period of recorded music for films, I still expected music on the videotape or DVD--this IS standard when you buy a silent film today. But, the knuckleheads from Timeless Video produced a completely silent film--not even a banjo or kazoo to provide background music! This is really cheap! Plus, the speed of the film was way too slow (silent and sound films need to be played at differing speeds in the machine) and the Timeless folks did nothing to compensate for this,...jerks! The film itself was a completely mixed bag and I really can't say I especially liked it or disliked it.
On the plus side, the cinematography was excellent for 1923. Also, the movie was pretty engaging because the plot was pretty adult and was definitely "pre-code"--i.e., the plot would have definitely violated the standards as set up in the 1930s for films with the Hays Code. Anna Christie was a prostitute and had slept with many men in the Eugene O'Neill play and the film didn't shy away from this, nor did it ignore her having been physically and sexually abused. While it wasn't "sleazy", it sure was pretty adult far.
The negatives were that, at times, the plot was really sappy and "heavy-handed" and the film reminded me of a turn of the century morality play since it seemed awfully contrived and over-acted (wild gesticulations were NOT put into all silent films--just sappier ones like this).
So, you make up your mind. It IS an interesting curio and might be interesting to watch before or after you see its remakes. But, on the other hand, there are better silents out there waiting to be discovered by you.