37 user 26 critic

Anna Christie (1930)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 21 February 1930 (USA)
A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.


Clarence Brown


Frances Marion (adapted by), Eugene O'Neill (from play "Anna Christie")
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Anna Christie II (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Theo Shall, Hans Junkermann
Romance (1930)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Gavin Gordon
Mata Hari (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Lionel Barrymore
Camille (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore
Anna Karenina (1935)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When two childhood sweethearts are kept from marrying, misery ensues.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lewis Stone
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
Conquest (1937)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Polish countess becomes Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress at the urging of Polish leaders, who feel she could influence him to make Poland independent.

Directors: Clarence Brown, Gustav Machatý
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Boyer, Reginald Owen
The Kiss (1929)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Anders Randolf
Love (1927)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A married woman compromises her social standing and family life when she falls for a young officer.

Directors: Edmund Goulding, John Gilbert
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, George Fawcett
The Temptress (1926)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An architect tries suppressing his passion for a seductive woman.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Mauritz Stiller
Stars: Greta Garbo, Antonio Moreno, Marc McDermott


Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Anna Christie
Charles Bickford ... Matt Burke
George F. Marion ... Chris Christopherson
Marie Dressler ... Marthy
James T. Mack James T. Mack ... Johnny the Harp
Lee Phelps Lee Phelps ... Larry the Bartender


In New York, the alcoholic skipper of a coal barge Chris Christofferson receives a letter from his estranged twenty year old daughter Anna "Christie" Christofferson telling that she will leave Minnesota to stay with him. Chris left Anna fifteen years ago to the countryside to be raised by relatives in a farm in St. Paul and he has never visited his daughter. Anna Christie arrives and she is a wounded woman with a hidden dishonorable past since she had worked for two years in a brothel to survive. She moves to the barge to live with her father and one night, Chris rescues the sailor Matt and two other fainted sailors from the sea. Soon Anna and Matt fall in love with each other and Anna has the best days of her life. But when Matt proposes to marry her, she is reluctant and also haunted by her past. Matt insists and Anna opens her heart to Matt and to her father disclosing the darks secrets of her past. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All Talking Picture See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 February 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anna Kurisuti See more »


Box Office


$376,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"Anna Christie" was the fifth most popular movie at the U.S. box office for 1930. See more »


Matt Burke: [after Anna offers him a drink] The devil with the drink! But I'll be taking it anyhow!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Two versions of this film exist: this English-language version was directed by Clarence Brown, while a simultaneously filmed German-language version was directed by Jacques Feyder. The German version has a different running time and features a different supporting cast. See more »


Referenced in The 50th Annual Academy Awards (1978) See more »


Music by Arthur Kay
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize Winner graced by Garbo
31 May 2005 | by escheticSee all my reviews

For Greta Garbo's first talking picture, MGM wisely chose Eugene O'Neill's Pultizer Prize winning 1921 play ANNA Christie.

Also wisely, the producers backed Garbo up with not one but two members of the Original Broadway Cast (George Marion as Anna's father, Chris, and James T. Mack as Johnny the Priest - transmuted to "Johnny the Harp" for films so as not to offend).

This little change is interesting. Like too many films accused (by those who want MOVIES to be MOVIES and ignore their origins) of being "little more than filmed stage plays," the problem is not the play but the movie makers who wouldn't be more faithful to the property. By diluting a great cinematic stage work so it wouldn't offend anyone, or opening it up because they COULD, too many lose the very qualities which made the piece worth filming in the first place.

Fortunately, the respect the studio had for both O'Neill and Garbo allowed ANNA Christie to survive the normally destructive process admirably in Frances Marion's generally sensitive screen adaptation. Wonder of wonders, Marion even allows the POINT of the scene where Garbo's Anna reveals her past on "the farm" to the man she badly wants to marry and the father who sent her there in tact! What the League of Decency must have thought of that!

The source play's greatest problem has always been that Chris's friend Marthy tends to walk away with the first act and then disappears from the last two so that Anna can take stage - the two sides of the genuinely good woman men don't always recognize.

The perfectly cast Marie Dressler (who had cut her teeth on the Broadway stage as well before going to Hollywood) is the perfect balance for Garbo's Anna in this area as well and the fast moving film at only 90 minutes, doesn't allow us too much time to miss her - one of the few benefits from atmosphere being shown rather than eloquently described in the original - AND screenwriter Marion is wise enough to stray from O'Neill to bring Dressler back for a touching scene two thirds of the way through the film that will remind many of Julie Laverne's second act appearance in SHOW BOAT.

Anna and Marthy's early scene together on screen (16 minutes into the film) taking each other's measure and setting up all the tension of the rest of the story is among the most affecting scenes in the entire piece. Not to be missed.

ANNA Christie is great tragic play and a good film drama. It's hard to imagine that a latter day remake, which would almost certainly lose the grit and atmosphere of this 1930 remake (it was first filmed without sound in 1923 - also with George Marion's original Broadway Chris) could improve on this excellent filming.

The internal scenes hew closest to the play, but the exteriors shouldn't be missed by anyone with an eye to atmosphere. While the background screen work is not to modern technical standards, the backgrounds give a better glimpse than most films of the era of the actual world in which the screen play is set (especially in the New York harbor).

Nearly all Garbo's naturalistic performances of the sound era have held up superbly (only the too often parodied death scene from CAMILLE, 7 years later, will occasionally draw snickers because of the heavy handed direction and the parodies), but this ANNA Christie, together with the variety of her 1932 films, MATA HARI and GRAND HOTEL, and the sublime Lubitsch touch on her 1939 comedy, NINOTCHKA ("Garbo laughs!"), surely stand as her best.

O'Neill fans who are taken with this play at the edge of his lauded "sea plays," should track down the fine World War II shaped film released in the year before the U.S. entered the conflict, THE LONG VOYAGE HOME (1940). It is almost as skillfully drawn from those sea plays as this one is from ANNA Christie, and features a youngish John Wayne in one of his rare non-Westerns supporting a fine cast of veteran actors showing him the way.

18 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed