アンナ・カレーニナ(2012年)

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INT. POKROVSKOE–NIGHT

CLOSE–Expert fingers–female, unlovely, capable–shape a small lump of
dough which, with some shreds of cabbage, becomes a filled bun called a pirozhok . . .
which is now placed on a baking tray to join rows of pirozhoki ready for the oven.

CLOSE– One hand opens the oven, and, mittened by an apron, removes
a tray of perfectly baked pirozhoki, which the other hand replaces with the
fresh tray . . . slightly burning itself on a knuckle.

TITLE OVER:
FEBRUARY 1872
POKROVSKOE, KONSTANTIN LEVIN’S ESTATE
300 MILES SOUTH OF MOSCOW:

INT. KITCHEN, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Agafia sucks her knuckle and checks what’s cooking on the stove-top. She is
the cook-housekeeper.

AGAFIA
He needs to come in if he’s to wash himself.

A Kitchen Maid at the sink obediently dries her hands on her apron. A
dozing dog, Laska, pricks up her ears.

EXT. YARD, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–NIGHT

It’s snowing. The Kitchen Maid, shawled, with a lantern, makes her way
across the yard towards the cowshed, a short distance, and pushes open the
frozen door. Laska is at her heels, but is made to stay outside.

3
INT. COWSHED, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–NIGHT

The herd stirs at the lantern light. The bull, Berkut, with a ring through
his nose, snorts as the girl goes by. At the back of the shed a cow is calving.

Levin is midwifing, sleeves pulled back, blood and slime up to his elbows.
He is 34. His steward, Vasili, holds up a lantern. Levin pulls carefully at
the emerging forefeet.

LEVIN
Good girl . . . good girl, Pava.

The calf’s head emerges.

KITCHEN MAID
(ARRIVING)
Agafia Mishaylovna says dinner’s like to
spoil.

The calf enters the world like a diver. Levin is feeling great pride and
pleasure.

LEVIN
. . . her father’s colour.

VASILI
Worth coming home for, Konstantin
Dmitrich!

LEVIN
I stayed too long in Moscow.

The cow nuzzles and licks her calf.

4
INT. DINING ROOM, POKROVSKOE–NIGHT

Cleaned up, in a smock shirt, Levin bites hungrily into a pirozhok, talking.
He has a book on a book-rest. Agafia ladles soup for him. Three generations
of family portraits look down on him.

LEVIN
. . . She’s a beauty. That’s twelve cows sired
by Berkut!

AGAFIA
So one of you is doing what the good Lord
made you for.

Levin evades, ducks into spooning up soup, finding his place in his book.
Agafia goes out. Alone, Levin closes the book and stares into himself.

INT. (MOSCOW)– DAY

CLOSE–Expert fingers scrape a cut-throat razor across a lathered
cheek . . . and again, skirting luxuriant facial hair on pampered skin.

TITLE OVER:
PRINCE OBLONSKY’S HOUSE, MOSCOW

INT. OBLONSKY’S DRESSING ROOM, OBLONSKY
HOUSE, SAME TIME– DAY

There is a door to the landing and a door to the bedroom.

5
Prince Stepan Oblonsky– Stiva to his friends–is 34 and liked by every-
body. A barber comes in every morning to shave him. His valet, Matvey, is
older and almost a friend. He holds up an enormous pear.

MATVEY
What should I do with this?

Oblonsky puts the barber on hold to have a look.

OBLONSKY
Where did you find it?

MATVEY
In your hat. Your Excellency.

Oblonsky thinks about it, lets the barber finish. He stands and removes his
dressing gown.

OBLONSKY
Yes . . . I picked it up somewhere for Daria
Alexandrovna and the children.

Matvey is ready with Oblonsky’s shirt, which he puts over his master’s head
like a horse’s collar.

INT. “DAY NURSERY,” OBLONSKY HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

There is a sloping lineup of five children, aged eight, five, four, three and
two, dressed and brushed for presentation to their mother, Princess Daria
Oblonsky, known as Dolly . . . who we now see is heavily pregnant. Stand-
ing by is a French governess, Mlle. Roland, and a Nurse. Mlle. Roland
is buxom.

6
Dolly picks up the youngest, Vasya, to kiss him and hands him to the
Nurse, and kisses the others in ascending order.

DOLLY
Bonjour, Lili; bonjour, Masha; bonjour,
Grisha; bonjour, Tanya.

Who’s coming to see Grandmama?

INT. OBLONSKY’S DRESSING ROOM, SAME TIME–
DAY

Oblonsky, dressed now and holding a cup of coffee, checks from the window.

OBLONSKY’S POV–

Dolly, in furs, the four youngest children and the Nurse, who carries Vasya,
all wrapped up against the cold weather, have come out of the house to a
waiting sleigh, as noisy as starlings, bickering, competing, reprimanding.
The Oblonsky’s Coachman assists, with a rug to spread across knees.

Oblonsky hands his coffee to Matvey and lights a small cigar. He detours
to take a sugared almond from a dish of sweets, and leaves the room . . .

INT. SCHOOLROOM, OBLONSKY HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Tanya is at her lessons with Mlle. Roland. When Oblonsky’s face appears
smiling round the door, Tanya jumps up and runs to him, greeting him,
laughing, kissing his face, hanging on his neck.

7
OBLONSKY
My Tanruchoshka! Mind my cigar.

He pops the sugared almond into her mouth and puts a conspiratorial finger
to his lips. Mlle. Roland, who has stood up for him, clucks in reprimand.

OBLONSKY (CONT’D)
Be good today. I’m off.

Tanya runs back to her seat and bends to her schoolbook. Oblonsky looks
Mlle. Roland in the eye. He moves his head slightly, unmistakably ask-
ing her to come outside. Mlle. Roland moves her eyes at him in humorous
reproach. Clearly, this is familiar ground. Oblonsky closes the door behind
him.

mlle. roland
(PAUSE)
Read the chapter carefully. I’ll come back to
test you on it . . . Read it twice.

INT. (ST. PETERSBURG)–DAY

CLOSE–Pretty fingers put on several rings, and then pick up a Fabergé
jade paper-knife to slit an envelope and withdraw a letter.

TITLE OVER:
ALEXEI KARENIN’S HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG
400 MILES NORTH OF MOSCOW

8
INT. ANNA’S BOUDOIR, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

It is early in the day. Anna’s maid, Annushka, has been dressing Anna.
Annushka is young, loyal, modest.

Anna is at her dressing-table-bureau, which is host to at least two pho-
tographs of a small boy (Serozha) and a child’s unframed drawing of
“Maman.” As she starts reading the letter, Anna’s eyes frown.

FLASH BACK, VERY SHORT, ALMOST SUBLIMINAL–

INT. (LINEN CLOSET)–DAY

Oblonsky and Mlle. Roland in a passionate embrace, vertical, clothed.

BACK TO SCENE

Anna turns the page, reads on, concerned.

FLASH BACK– SHORT, A BEAT OR TWO–

INT. LINEN CLOSET, OBLONSKY HOUSE–DAY

Still kissing, Oblonsky hoists up her skirts.

BACK TO SCENE

Anna turns to the second page.

9
FLASH BACK– SHORT

INT. BEDROOM LEVEL, OBLONSKY HOUSE–NIGHT

Oblonsky, coming in quietly and late from a night on the town, enters his
dressing room. He stops. He smiles a foolish apologetic smile.

REVERSE– (DRESSING ROOM)

Dolly is waiting for him, shocked, enraged, holding out a billet-doux on
pink paper: a love note.

BACK TO SCENE

Anna speaks as in exasperation to a naughty child.

ANNA
Tsk, oh . . . Stiva!

INT. KARENIN’S STUDY, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

ANNA
. . . and Dolly found a note from the
governess.

Anna is speaking to her husband “confidentially.” Karenin, a busy man,
drains his coffee cup and hands it (as with Oblonsky and Matvey) to his
valet, Korney, who bows and withdraws. Karenin continues transferring
papers from his desk to his portfolio . . .

Which done, he nods to his private secretary, Mikhail Slyudin, who comes
forward to receive it, bows and leaves.

10
KARENIN
Well . . . ?

Karenin is twenty years older than Anna and a senior figure in govern-
ment. He has an unattractive reedy voice and is pleased with himself as a
model of probity. He has the habit of cracking his knuckles.

ANNA
Stiva wants me to come to Moscow . . . to
persuade Dolly to forgive him.

KARENIN
I’m to be deprived of my wife so that adul-
tery may be forgiven? I can’t excuse him
just because he’s your brother.

ANNA
It’s for Dolly’s sake too.

KARENIN
(has to go)
I have four committees today . . .

There is another interruption: Serozha, aged seven and a half, and his
tutor, Vasily Lukich, enter for a ritual “good morning.” Serozha is a little
frightened of his father, but the mother and son are in love. Anna goes
straight to Serozha, her heart lifted, to hug him.

KARENIN (CONT’D)
Good, good!–I have the world waiting
for me, there’s never time to look at your
exercises!

11
LUKICH
Sergei Alexeyich is doing very well, Your
Excellency.

ANNA
(a button missing)
Tsk-tsk, who put this shirt on you? Never
mind. I’ll come and hear you read.

KARENIN
Tomorrow, perhaps. Thank you, Lukich–
perhaps tomorrow.

Lukich bows. Anna goes with Serozha, relinquishing him finally. She closes
the door on them.

ANNA
Alexei, do you think nine years of mar-
riage and children should count for nothing
against a . . . an infatuation?

Karenin cracks his knuckles, concedes.

KARENIN
No. Very well.
(kisses her hand)
But sin has a price, you may be sure of that.

INT. OBLONSKY’S DRESSING ROOM, OBLONSKY
HOUSE–DAY

Oblonsky has been bunking down on his couch. He moans and groans. He
gets up and tries the door to the bedroom. It’s locked. He knocks timidly.

12
OBLONSKY
(PITEOUSLY)
Dolly . . . please think of the children . . .

He listens hopefully. The other door, leading to the upper landing, is opened
violently by Dolly.

DOLLY
You think of the children! Their lives are
ruined now!

She slams the door behind her.

INT. BEDROOM LEVEL, OBLONSKY HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Oblonsky comes out of his dressing room to see the main bedroom door
slammed. He attempts to go in but the door is locked.

OBLONSKY
Oh, Dolly . . . I beg you . . .

Matvey come to the top of the stairs with a telegram.

MATVEY
Telegram. Should I send up the barber?

OBLONSKY
No, just the razor.

Oblonsky tears open the telegram.

13
MATVEY
Don’t worry, sir, things will shape them-
selves, you’ll see.

OBLONSKY
(RELIEVED)
My sister Anna’s coming tomorrow. We’re
saved.

INT. OBLONSKY’S OFFICE, MOSCOW–DAY

Inner doors open and Oblonsky comes out of his private office. He is his
genial self. Everyone in the general office– minor officials, clerks– stands
up for him and bows. Oblonsky is wearing government uniform–green
coat with gold embroidery on the collar–instead of his own coat. Oblonsky
is helped out of one coat into the other.

DOORKEEPER
Some man came without an appointment,
Your Excellency . . . waiting outside.

Oblonsky opens the door to look. Levin is sitting waiting on a bench, wear-
ing a sheepskin coat, cap and scuffed boots.

OBLONSKY
Levin! Where did you disappear?

He seizes Levin and kisses him.

LEVIN
(NERVOUS)
I’m very anxious to see you. I need your
advice.

14
OBLONSKY
Well, then, come into my room.

Oblonsky leads Levin back through the general office, where everyone stands
up again. Levin’s sheepskin and boots attract curious glances.

OBLONSKY (CONT’D)
This is my oldest friend, Konstantin Dmit-
rich Levin! Someone send word I’ll be a few
minutes late.

INT. OBLONSKY’S PRIVATE OFFICE, SAME TIME–DAY

Oblonsky leads Levin inside and closes the door.

OBLONSKY
I’ve been hard at it. Sit down.

Levin undoes his coat and sits down.

LEVIN
Hard at what exactly?

OBLONSKY
Why, we’re overwhelmed with work!

LEVIN
Oh–paperwork.

OBLONSKY
Paperwork is the soul of Russia. Farming
is only the stomach. When am I going to
come and shoot some snipe?

Seeing the clothes Levin is wearing, he laughs.

15
OBLONSKY (CONT’D)
Oh, but look at you, in Western clothes
you told me you’d never wear again. Some-
thing’s up.

LEVIN
Yes. I’m in love. I’ve come back to propose.
Have you guessed who she is?

OBLONSKY
(rolls his eyes comically)
I have a suspicion. Why didn’t you propose
when you were here?

LEVIN
I decided it was impossible. Kitty is of the
heavens, an angel, and I am of the earth–
but then I thought and thought, and . . .
there’s no life for me without her! . . . Do I
have a chance?

OBLONSKY
Of course you do. The Shcherbatskys are
giving a soiree this evening. Get there early
before the crowd. If I may suggest . . .

LEVIN
Anything! What?

OBLONSKY
New boots.

LEVIN
Right. Anything else?

16
OBLONSKY
(HESITATES)
We’d better have dinner together.

Come on, we’ll meet later at l’Angleterre.
Or do you prefer the Hermitage?

Oblonsky ushers Levin back into the general office.

INT. GENERAL OFFICE, SAME TIME–DAY

. . . Everyone stands up as before. The Doorkeeper produces Oblonsky’s top-
coat and helps him into it.

OBLONSKY
No–five-thirty at l’Angleterre–I owe them
more than the Hermitage, so it wouldn’t be
fair to withdraw my custom.
(taking his hat)
Boots, and a coat. And a proper hat.

He ushers Levin out.

EXT. L’ANGLETERRE RESTAURANT, MOSCOW–DAY

Firstly, a Moscow street scene, busy with people going about their business,
on foot and in conveyances.

Secondly, Levin approaches L’Angleterre in his new fur-collared coat, top
hat and boots.

17
INT. L’ANGLETERRE RESTAURANT, MOSCOW–
NIGHT

Oblonsky and Levin preside over the debris of three dozen oysters, with
champagne in a bucket to hand. Oblonsky is in a maudlin mood, afloat
on champagne.

OBLONSKY
It’s so unfair. You marry for love, you’re
a good husband. Children arrive. Years
depart. And all of a sudden your wife is
tired, her hair is thin, her body . . . while
you yourself still have your . . . vigour . . .
and you find yourself distracted by a pretty
woman . . .

LEVIN
Forgive me, but I find that incomprehen-
sible . . . As though I’d leave this restaurant
and steal a roll from a baker’s shop.

OBLONSKY
Well, you know, a freshly baked roll . . .

LEVIN
But I’m talking about love, and you’re talk-
ing about . . . your appetite.

OBLONSKY
Easily confused. Now look, do you know
Count Vronsky?

LEVIN
Who? No. Why?

18
OBLONSKY
He’s your rival. He turned up from St.
Petersburg after you left.

LEVIN
(AGHAST)
Who is he?

OBLONSKY
(CHANGING TACK)
You don’t have to worry about him. He’s
one of those rich, good-looking cavalry offi-
cers who’ve got nothing to do but make love
to pretty women . . .

A waiter arrives to remove the oyster shells, while an Elderly Waiter places
a bowl of soup in front of Levin and a lobster in front of Oblonsky.

OBLONSKY (CONT’D)
Cabbage soup?

ELDERLY WAITER
Potage aux choux a la Russe, as the gentle-
man ordered.

LEVIN
It’s what I wanted.

Oblonsky laughs. The Waiter departs.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
(ANGRY)
Understand that for me, tonight is a ques-
tion of life and death.

19
OBLONSKY
Oh, Kostya! Kitty would be mad to refuse
you. And Dolly is on your side, you know.
She says her sister Kitty was always meant
to be your wife and will be.

Levin jumps up in elation, collects himself, and sits.

LEVIN
Dolly said that? I’ve always thought your
Dolly’s a gem.

OBLONSKY
Oh, she is, she is . . .
(THOUGHTFULLY)
I loved her to distraction.

INT. (ST. PETERSBURG)–NIGHT

A little out of focus and further obscured by puffs of steam, the wheels
of a locomotive and its tender plus a carriage or two, with part of the
superstructure–the whole kit and caboodle turning out to be a rich child’s
table-top model railway–go by the Camera like a WIPE revealing the
momentarily gigantic face of Anna . . . who is crouching down to watch
the toy go by.

INT. DAY NURSERY, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

Serozha is at present snivelling.

SEROZHA
But why?

20
ANNA
Because that’s where Aunt Dolly lives.

SEROZHA
But why?

ANNA
(PATIENTLY)
I told you, Serozha. She’s not well. I must
go to see her.

SEROZHA
But why?

ANNA
Now, don’t make Mama cry. I’ll be back
before you know, and bring you a present.

SEROZHA
Don’t want a present. I want you to stay.

Anna is on the brink of tears.

ANNA
Oh . . . my little Kutik . . .

SEROZHA
What present?

ANNA
That’s better.

She dabs her eyes.

21
INT. KARENIN HOUSE–NIGHT

Kapitonich, the Karenins’ Hall Porter, an “old soldier,” comes out of the
house to where a private carriage is waiting. The coachman is Konrad.
Anna comes out with Annushka, who has a large soft bag containing
everything her mistress needs for the journey. Kapitonich holds the carriage
door for them.

INT. MOVING TRAIN–NIGHT

Anna has a window seat. Next to her is Annushka.

In the opposite window seat is Countess Vronsky, at sixty losing the battle to
keep her youthful beauty. She has a lap dog (and perhaps a Fabergé-topped
walking cane). Next to her is her Maid.

Anna is not happy to be leaving. She holds a small framed photo of Sero-
zha, which she then puts away in her red bag. Countess Vronsky smiles at
her. Anna wipes her eyes, explains.

ANNA
It’s the first time I’ve left my little boy.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
So you are leaving your son and I am return-
ing to mine. I am Countess Vronsky.

Anna knows the name.

countess vronsky (cont’d)
I’ve been in St. Petersburg for the christen-
ing of a granddaughter–my elder son mar-
ried Princess Chirkov. You’re a charming
creature. Why don’t I know you?

22
ANNA
I’ve never been in Moscow society, really.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
But you know my name?

ANNA
I’ve heard you mentioned . . .

COUNTESS VRONSKY
Talked about, you mean. Ah, love!

Anna, found out, smiles tentatively.

ANNA
Was it love?

COUNTESS VRONSKY
Always. My sons are ashamed of me. But I’d
rather end up wishing I hadn’t than end up
wishing I had–wouldn’t you?

ANNA
I . . . I don’t know . . .

Anna looks at the snow on the window. She is unsettled by the conversation.

EXT. SHCHERBATSKY HOUSE. MOSCOW–NIGHT

A sleigh (i.e., a cab) brings Levin.

23
INT. ENTRANCE HALL, SHCHERBATSKY HOUSE,
SAME TIME–NIGHT

The Hall Porter lets Levin into the house. A Footman takes Levin’s hat
and coat. Levin is uneasy–he seems to be first to arrive. He decides he has
come too early. He pulls his coat back from the Footman.

LEVIN
I’ll come back.

UP ABOVE

Princess Ekaterina (Kitty) Shcherbatsky is eighteen. Eager to see who has
arrived, she hurries from the direction of the reception room and looks down
into the entrance hall in time to see Levin snatch his hat back from the
Footman.

KITTY
Konstantin!

LEVIN
I’m too early.

KITTY
(PLEASED)
No! Come up!

DOWN BELOW

Kitty runs off out of Levin’s view. He flings his hat and coat at the Foot-
man and runs up the stairs.

24
INT. RECEPTION ROOM, SHCHERBATSKY HOUSE,
SAME TIME–NIGHT

Levin hurries in and finds Kitty seated prettily in a “receiving” pose. She
is alone.

KITTY
Look at me! I’m receiving for Papa and
Maman who are late to dress. It’s my first
reception.

Levin plays along, kissing her hand elaborately.

LEVIN
Princess Ekaterina! Delighted, delighted!

KITTY
( FORMAL)
I’m so pleased you were able to be with us,
Konstantin Dmitrich!

LEVIN
(DROPPING IT)
Kitty . . . you look . . . you look–

KITTY
Stiva told us you were back. How long are
you staying?

LEVIN
I don’t know. It depends on you.

KITTY
On me?

25
He has got ahead of himself. Doors are flung open and the hosts, Prince and
Princess Shcherbatsky, and a crowd of guests who have arrived together, are
greeting each other. Levin has to make a quick decision, and he makes the
wrong one–to go on.

LEVIN
What I mean to say–I came with only one
purpose–I want to–will you be my wife?

Kitty panics. A wave of Guests is almost upon her.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
I’m sorry–sorry–wrong moment–but
will you?

KITTY
I can’t. I’m sorry.

Kitty flees. Levin seems stunned, surrounded now by greetings, laughter,
and servants with trays of drinks.

LEVIN
Yes. It was impossible.

Prince and Princess Shcherbatsky receive a young married member of Kitty’s
set, Countess Nordston . . . and introduce Levin, who hears and sees noth-
ing. He turns away, leaving the Countess hung out to dry.

Levin finds himself face to face with Burisov, a silky Officer in sky blue
uniform, who introduces himself.

BURISOV
Burisov. Are you the brother of Nikolai
Levin?

26
LEVIN
Yes.

BURISOV
He’s in Moscow, he’s staying at the Unicorn
in Khitrovka.

LEVIN
How do you know?

BURISOV
(SMILES)
It’s the sort of thing I know.

He bows to Levin and turns away to greet someone.

Levin reacts, decides to leave. He makes for the door. He nearly collides
with someone, gives and receives an apology, and suddenly understands who
this man in Guards uniform must be. Levin turns.

LEVIN
Count Vronsky?

VRONSKY
Yes.

Levin pauses awkwardly. Vronsky hesitates, bows and continues on. Levin
witnesses Kitty seeing Vronsky approaching, and sees her face light up.
Vronsky kisses her hand.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
(BANTERING)
Princess Kitty . . . It’s been so long, and yet
it seems like yesterday.

His banter is lost on her. She laughs happily.

27
KITTY
It was yesterday!

Levin turns away and leaves.

EXT. SHCHERBATSKY HOUSE–NIGHT

Levin comes out of the grand house where several coaches are waiting. Hum-
bled and angry with himself and the world, he takes off his top hat and
considers putting his fist through it, but jams it back on his head. A horse-
cab comes along. Levin waves it down.

EXT. KHITROVKA, MOSCOW–NIGHT

A mean street, an area of poverty and crime. Levin pays off his cab.

INT. THE UNICORN, KHITROVKA–NIGHT

Levin goes up a dimly lit, dingy staircase. Snatches of MUSIC and SING-
ING drift up the stairs.

TOP OF THE STAIRS

Levin knocks at a door, then louder. The door is flung open. Nikolai
Levin is the spirit of consumptive, bohemian radicalism. He peers at Levin,
surprised.

LEVIN
It’s Kostya.

Nikolai roars with laughter which turns to wheezing.

28
NIKOLAI
God, look at him! You look like a capitalist!
(THEN SUSPICIOUSLY)
What do you want?

LEVIN
Nothing. I came to see you.

Nikolai goes back into the room, shouting for “Masha.” Levin follows him.

INT. NIKOLAI’S ROOM, KHITROVA, SAME TIME–
NIGHT

Levin sees that he is in a tiny apartment. A Young Woman looks at him
fearfully from the inner doorway.

LEVIN
Good evening, miss . . . madame . . .

NIKOLAI
Don’t talk to her like that. It frightens her.
You sound like a magistrate.
(shouts at her)
More vodka for my brother, quick about it.

LEVIN
I don’t want anything.

Masha goes to Nikolai and whispers to him, calming him.

NIKOLAI
I’m all right.

He fills a wineglass with vodka and gulps it greedily.

29
NIKOLAI (CONT’D)
Who told you where to find me?

LEVIN
A colonel in the Third Department. They’re
watching you.

NIKOLAI
Good. They must think I’m dangerous.

Levin involuntarily smiles at the self-puffery.

NIKOLAI (CONT’D)
What have you got to smile about?

LEVIN
Nothing.

NIKOLAI
That’s right. The day is coming. I gave up
my birthright for it. You’re on the wrong
side of history. Not because privilege is
immoral but because it’s irrational.

Wheezing, he goes for the bottle again. Masha tries to take it from him,
appealing to Levin.

MASHA
He is sick.

NIKOLAI
Let go or I’ll beat your lights out.

He pushes her away and pours himself more vodka.

30
NIKOLAI (CONT’D)
I took Mary Nikolova from a brothel but I
consider her my wife. If her presence offends
you you’re free to leave. Are you married?

LEVIN
No.

NIKOLAI
Why not? Are you waiting to fall in love?

LEVIN
No.

NIKOLAI
Good. Romantic love will be the last illu-
sion of the old order. You should marry one
of your peasants.

Levin’s reaction is almost violent, surprising Nikolai.

LEVIN
Yes. I damn well should!

NIKOLAI
(toasts, casually)
The brotherhood of man.

Levin recovers himself. He takes out his wallet.

LEVIN
Nikolai, you have to see a doctor. Then
come and stay with me at Pokrovskoe till
you get your health back.

31
NIKOLAI
(SCORNFULLY)
With my wife?

Levin becomes flustered.

LEVIN
If you . . . or go abroad to a spa. I’ll send you
more if that’s what you . . .

Masha reaches for the money Levin has put on the table. Nikolai knocks
her hand away. He throws the banknotes at Levin. He coughs himself into
a paroxysm. Levin tries to embrace him. Nikolai throws him off.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
(CRIES OUT)
What about the brotherhood of brothers?

Masha snatches up the banknotes.

INT. STATION (MOSCOW)–DAY

There is a scattering of people of all classes on the platform waiting for the
arriving train.

By the entrance/exit gate, a Guards Officer stands holding a bouquet. The
Stationmaster stands by. A strip of faded red carpet has been laid on the
planks.

STATIONMASTER
The private coach will stop opposite the
carpet.

The Guards Officer nods. He sees Vronsky arriving.

32
VRONSKY
Hello, what’s this?

GUARDS OFFICER
Austrian royalty on their honeymoon. I’ve
got them for four days.

VRONSKY
Bad luck. What do they like? Art?

GUARDS OFFICER
Food.

VRONSKY
Here’s the train.

EXT. PLATFORM, THE ARRIVING TRAIN, SAME
TIME–DAY

Vronsky moves closer to the slowing train, scanning the windows going by.

EXT. PLATFORM ENTRANCE GATE, SAME TIME–DAY

The Guards Officer and the Stationmaster are disconcerted to see the obvious
“private coach” stop seriously short (or long) behind luggage wagons, etc.

STATIONMASTER
I’ll see to it.

He hurries away towards the engine.

Oblonsky hurries through, relieved not to be late.

33
EXT. PLATFORM, SAME TIME–DAY

Vronsky is saluted by his mother’s Major Domo, a tall man in livery with
a cockade.

MAJOR DOMO
Second carriage, Your Excellency. I’ll see to
the Countess’s luggage and bring it on to the
house.

Vronsky nods, and makes his way towards the second coach, against the
flow of disembarked passengers.

EXT. TRAIN (ENGINE), SAME TIME

The Stationmaster speaks to the Engine Driver.

EXT. EXIT/ENTRANCE GATE, SAME TIME–DAY

The Guards Officer with the bouquet stands uncertainly while arriving
passengers go past him.

EXT. “PRIVATE COACH,” SAME TIME–DAY

The Royal Austrian Honeymooners peer anxiously through the window.

INT. TRAIN, SAME TIME– DAY

Countess Vronsky remains sitting. Annushka packs away Anna’s blanket
and pillow. Anna looks out of the window.

34
ANNA
I’ll come back.

Anna moves to the door opening on to the “porch.” Vronsky is on the point
of entering. He steps back to allow her by. They barely exchange a glance
as she passes him, but, simultaneously, each of them looks back. Anna looks
away quickly. His look lingers before he turns away to enter the carriage.

INT./EXT. PORCH–DAY

Anna, from her vantage point spots Oblonsky, calls to him. Annushka,
with her bag, comes onto the porch and descends to follow her mistress.

EXT. PLATFORM, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna steps down to the platform and embraces Oblonsky. They are delighted
to see each other.

ANNA
(ACCUSINGLY)
You don’t look ashamed.

OBLONSKY
(CONTRITE)
I am, I really am.

INT. TRAIN, SAME TIME– DAY

Countess Vronsky remains in her seat. Vronsky bends at the window, look-
ing at Oblonsky and Anna.

35
VRONSKY
Yes, of course. Oblonsky’s sister . . .
Karenina.

COUNTESS
Charmante, don’t you think?
(to her Maid)
Wait for me in the carriage. I’ll take Tosca.

She takes the dog. The Maid leaves with her bag.

VRONSKY
. . . You stayed longer in St. Petersburg.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
Long enough for you to start a little love
affair, I hear.

VRONSKY
I can’t think what you’re referring to,
Maman.

He glances back to the window, where Anna turns back to enter the train.

EXT. PLATFORM, SAME TIME–DAY

As Anna turns back, a Railwayman with a hammer for tapping wheels
is in her way. He steps back for her with a bow and a “Madame!” Anna
glances at him and moves past him. The man taps a wheel, making a ring-
ing sound which means the wheel is okay.

As Anna mounts the steps, a Train Guard looks up and down the plat-
form, holding a green flag.

36
INT. TRAIN, SAME TIME– DAY

Anna enters from the porch.

ANNA
There, Countess, you have found your son
and I have found my brother.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
Madame Karenin has a son, too. It’s the first
time they have been apart, so she frets about
him.

VRONSKY
Excuse me for not recognizing you before.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
We passed the time telling each other about
our sons.

ANNA
Yes, I’ve been hearing all about you.

VRONSKY
That must have been very boring for you.

The ringing sound of the wheel-tapper’s hammer is faintly audible in
Anna’s hesitation. Anna shuts off the gallantry.

ANNA
Au revoir, Countess.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
Au revoir, my dear. Let me kiss your pretty
face.

37
Countess Vronsky does so. Anna turns to offer her hand to Vronsky. As
Vronsky takes her hand, the train lurches and moves, unsteadying them
both.

EXT. PLATFORM, SAME TIME–DAY

Oblonsky– and everyone still on the platform–is shocked by a dreadful
scream and shouting. The train, having moved a few feet, stops. Oblonsky
hurries towards the scene of the accident, right opposite the gate. The Station-
master overtakes him.

EXT. TRACKS, SAME TIME, DAY

The Wheel-Tapper lies between the wheels, mangled.

Oblonsky joins the horrified onlookers. The Guards Officer arrives, too,
with his bouquet. Then Vronsky arrives. He turns to the Guards Officer.

VRONSKY
Keep your people inside until this has been
cleared up.

EXT. PLATFORM AND EXIT GATE–DAY

Countess Vronsky, Vronsky, Anna and Oblonsky, Oblonsky almost in tears,
come towards the gate. A Porter follows with Anna’s large suitcase, hat-
boxes, etc. Annushka has the travelling bag.

OBLONSKY
. . . the sole support of a large family, they
say.

38
ANNA
Can’t anything be done for them?

Vronsky glances at her.

VRONSKY
Wait for me, Maman.

Vronsky retraces his steps.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
(TO ANNA)
I’ve you to thank for that.

She knows her son. Anna hasn’t understood, but when Oblonsky looks back
he sees Vronsky with the Stationmaster, taking money from his wallet.

OBLONSKY
What a good fellow . . .

Anna catches on, doesn’t like it.

INT. OBLONSKY COACH–DAY

ANNA
Have you known Count Vronsky long?

OBLONSKY
Did you like him? He’s in love with Kitty.

ANNA
Oh . . .
(PAUSE)
But we should be discussing you and Dolly.

39
She scolds him like a naughty boy.

ANNA (CONT’D)
What have you got to say for yourself?

OBLONSKY
I’ve said it all–on my knees–in tears . . .
Now I need you to say it. I’m going to the
office, so you’ll have Dolly to yourself.

ANNA
(SEVERELY)
Don’t be home late.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM, OBLONSKY HOUSE,
MOSCOW–DAY

Dolly pours tea for Anna. Dolly smiles at her wanly– brightly.

DOLLY
Kitty’s coming by to see you. She’s all
grown-up, and a bit frightened of you–the
belle of St. Petersburg society!

ANNA
Is that who I am?

Dolly . . . Stiva has told me.

Dolly bursts into tears. Anna embraces her.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Dolly, I’m sorry from the bottom of my
heart.

40
DOLLY
I don’t know what to do.

ANNA
(SOOTHING)
I know, I know.

DOLLY
I can’t bear to be with him. And he doesn’t
care, he’s got what he wants.

ANNA
What he wants is you. He loves you, Dolly.
You and the children are everything to him.

DOLLY
Are we? And there is room for a governess?

ANNA
That was shameful, disgraceful. But it was
not love. It was the animal in man, not the
soul. Stiva’s remorse is from the soul.

DOLLY
What about me? Does his remorse make it
easier for me?–

ANNA
I know you are suffering. But, Dolly, you
must tell me . . . is there enough love left in
your heart . . . enough to forgive him?

DOLLY
When I think of them together, I can’t for-
give him, no!

41
ANNA
My poor lamb. So you’d rather accept your
fate . . .

DOLLY
My fate?
(OUTRAGED)
But I haven’t done anything! It’s him
WHO’S–

ANNA
Do you love him, Dolly?

Dolly nods tearfully.

ANNA (CONT’D)
You love him, and he loves you, but you
can’t forgive, so your lives must continue
like this for ever, with both of you wretched.

She’s winning.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM, OBLONSKY HOUSE–DAY

Anna, Kitty, Tanya and Grisha are at a handsome card table where
board games, dominoes, cards, etc., are kept. There is a spill of alphabet
bricks, each with a letter printed in it. They are spelling out their names in
alphabet bricks. Grisha is on Anna’s lap pulling at her hair. The spelling
business, including misspellings by Grisha, creates a noise of laughter and
mock-rebuke. Tanya at the same time is trying to pull a ring from Anna’s
finger.

Kitty is not at all frightened of Anna now; enraptured by her, laughing.

42
ANNA
Grisha, don’t pull so hard, you’re getting it
all in a tangle–and look for another G for
GRIGORI–
(She takes off her ring for Tanya)
–here, darling, you can wear it till you go
TO BED–

Dolly sits apart, embroidering. She looks up at the sound of voices down-
stairs, Oblonsky coming home. The children hear their father and abandon
the card table, running out to greet him. Dolly stands up to leave by a dif-
ferent door, giving Anna a collusive glance.

Anna pushes aside the alphabet bricks.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Well, that’s the end of that.

KITTY
Will you stay for the Bobrishchev’s ball,
Anna?

ANNA
Oh . . . I always feel dull at a ball.

KITTY
How can you ever be dull?

Oblonsky arrives in the doorway with Tanya and Grisha hanging on him.

KITTY (CONT’D)
Stiva! Tell Anna she must come to the ball.

OBLONSKY
Of course she must.

43
He cocks an eye at Anna: how did it go with Dolly? Anna moves her head:
upstairs.

ANNA
. . . and God go with you.

Kitty catches the moment.

OBLONSKY
(LEAVING)
You can introduce me to your new governess.

TANYA
She’s old! She’s a hundred!

Which leaves Anna and Kitty alone.

ANNA
I know why you want me to come. You want
everyone to be there because you’re sure it’s
going to be your night.

KITTY
How did you know?

Anna’s smile is her acting out a mock-mysteriousness.

ANNA
I know everything.

She has moved alphabet letters around to spell out VRONSKY. She laughs
at Kitty’s tearful, joyful nodding, genuinely happy for Kitty.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Oh, to be your age again . . . surrounded by
that blue mist, like mist on the mountains

44
that clears slowly to reveal the terrifying,
beautiful valley you must enter to become
grown-up . . . I was eighteen too, when I
got married . . .

A quiet note of regret hangs in the air between them for a moment before
Anna dispels it.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM, OBLONSKY HOUSE–NIGHT

With only a lamp or two lit, and the door open, Anna sits alone at the
card table, with a neglected book, one hand playing idly with the alpha-
bet bricks. Their pleasant clicks are the only sound as she remains lost in
thought. She closes her book, marking the place. She is going to go up to bed.
She hears the sound of the doorbell.

INT. ENTRANCE HALL, OBLONSKY HOUSE, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

Vronsky has been let in spattered with snow.

SERVANT
. . . no, Your Excellency . . . He’s just gone
up. . . . The Princess retired early . . . Is
there a message?

Vronsky glances up and sees Anna looking down. Their eyes meet. A second
passes. Vronsky is about to speak. Anna turns away and moves out of his
view, towards further stairs, with her book.

VRONSKY
No.

45
EXT. NEAR POKROVSKOE–DAY

Levin is coming home in a sleigh, driven by his one-eyed coachman, Ignat.
He is huddled under a bearskin blanket. The house is in sight.

The sleigh overtakes a Peasant Woman, Serafina, walking to the house car-
rying a big bundle of willow wands strapped to her back: a strong young
woman with a handsome face. She stops and bows her head. Levin looks at
her. She then looks him in the face.

Laska, barking joyfully, races from the house.

INT. BATHHOUSE, POKROVSKOE– DAY

The bathhouse has a stove which heats water. There is a brazier to create
instant steam, but not now. Levin, almost naked, lies on a plank deck,
thoughtful, staring at something . . . no, at someone: Serafina, who is put-
ting on her clothes. Postcoitum. She has no angst. Dressed, she crosses herself.

LEVIN
Will you go to confession?

Serafina nods indifferently.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
God will forgive you.

SERAFINA
And you also, master. He is watching.

LEVIN
God forgive us then, for committing the act
of love.

She nods without irony.

46
SERAFINA
He is merciful.

LEVIN
“Not according to my deserts, O Lord,
but according to thy mercy”–that’s a fine
prayer. But I’m full of doubt. Sometimes I
even doubt that God exists.

SERAFINA
How can there be anything if God didn’t
make it?

LEVIN
I don’t know. One day science will tell us.

SERAFINA
That’s sinful talk if the priest heard you.

LEVIN
Well, I won’t go to confession.

SERAFINA
(SHRUGS)
Your father built the church. You’re con-
fessed a while yet.

Levin feels outplayed.

SERAFINA (CONT’D)
Will you bring me something from
Moscow?

LEVIN
What would you like?

47
SERAFINA
Soap, the kind wrapped in paper to look
pretty, and smelling like for a proper lady.

Levin is touched. He nods.

SOUND OVER–MUSIC OVERLAP WITH THE BALL.

INT. THE BALL, MOSCOW–NIGHT

Kitty enters the Ball, a proper lady.

This is a gilded affair, conducted by a Master of Ceremonies. The Host
and Hostess are positioned to welcome each guest. Dancing has started– a
waltz.

Kitty and her parents enter the ballroom and are received by their hosts.
Everything has come together for Kitty–her dress, her hair, her skin, her
moment. She radiates happiness. An Officer stands aside to let them pass,
openly admiring Kitty, smoothing his moustache. A Youth having trouble
with his white tie hurries past but turns back to Kitty.

YOUTH
Kitty! May I have a waltz?

KITTY
You may, Boris. I’ll save you the third just
because it’s your first ball.

YOUTH
(THRILLED)
You’re my first conquest.

The Master of Ceremonies, Korsunsky, arrives and without permission
sweeps her into the waltz.

48
KORSUNSKY
It’s a relaxation to dance with you, Princess.

Kitty sees Anna arriving with Oblonsky and gives a little gasp at her
God-given beauty.

KORSUNSKY (CONT’D)
But back to work! Where do you want to
be taken?

KITTY
There.

Korsunsky waltzes her brilliantly through the dancers and twirls her to
rest in front of a small group including Anna and Oblonsky– floating
Kitty’s train.

KORSUNSKY
(BOWING)
So that your ankles may be seen.

Anna appraises Kitty at a glance and gives her a tiny nod signifying top
marks. Kitty glows.

KITTY
How are you, Stiva?

OBLONSKY
Thanks to Anna, I am a happy man. Would
you like to dance?

KITTY
No, ask Anna.

49
ANNA
(DEMURS)
No . . . I don’t . . .

She looks up and sees Vronsky coming straight towards her.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Come on then.

Just as Vronsky is about to bow, she takes Oblonsky’s arm and he whirls
her away. Kitty smiles for Vronsky but his eyes have followed Anna, know-
ing she cut him. He remembers himself after an awkward hiatus. Kitty’s
mother and father are watching from afar. Vronsky obliges. He invites her
into the waltz.

PRINCE SHCHERBATSKY
. . . this vile, idiotic matchmaking of
yours . . .

PRINCESS SHCHERBATSKY
For goodness’ sake, what have I done?

PRINCE SHCHERBATSKY
Levin is a thousand times better than this
Petersburg fop. If he had royal blood my
daughter wouldn’t need him!

Vronsky’s mind is absent and the waltz ends after only a few steps. He
stand waiting for the music to start.

KITTY
Is anything the matter?

50
VRONSKY
No. You look . . . as lovely as ever, Princess
Kitty.

The music starts and they dance on.

At the end of the waltz, Vronsky leaves Kitty with her mother, bows and
departs. Princess Shcherbatsky is beginning to have doubts. She starts to ask.

KITTY
(SHARPLY)
Don’t ask me, Maman!

Boris the Youth pops up to claim his dance. Dancing, Kitty sees Vronsky
talking to a couple of Officers. She is anxious but not disillusioned.

Grumpy Prince Shcherbatsky is dancing with Countess Nordston.

COUNTESS NORDSTON
He’ll dance the mazurka with Kitty, you’ll
see. I call the mazurka the now-or-never.

Anna watches the dancing. She rejects an offer with a smile. She sees Vron-
sky and to her discomfort Vronsky looks up and catches her looking.

She turns away at once, and notices that ladies are curtseying and men are
bowing as the Host and Hostess escort an overweight but glittering young
couple towards a decorative buffet in an adjoining salon: the Austrian
royal honeymooners . . . attended by the Guards Officer from the station.
Anna stands and curtseys as they pass by into the salon . . . where Oblonsky
is roaring with laughter, champagne in hand.

AUSTRIAN PRINCESS
. . . we were shut up in the train for an hour!

51
Anna steals a sidelong glance towards Vronsky but he is no longer there.
She looks for him among the dancers, smiles at Kitty going by with the
enthusiastic, inexpert Boris.

Suddenly, Vronsky is at Anna’s side.

VRONSKY
Dance with me.

ANNA
(CALMLY)
I am not used to being spoken to like that
by a man I met once at a railway station.

VRONSKY
I dare say, but if I’m not to dance with you,
I’m getting out of this operetta and going
home.

ANNA
Then, for Kitty’s sake.

She gives him her hand.

Kitty looks for Vronsky, can’t see him, then is taken aback to see him with
Anna. Kitty watches Anna dancing. Anna says something which makes
Vronsky laugh. Anna laughs. Anna blossoms in front of Kitty’s eyes. Vron-
sky twirls Anna around and she comes smiling into his arms.

It goes on like that. Kitty watches them from within the arms of young men,
old men, from the wall. Anna and Vronsky dance slow, they dance fast,
gaily, solemnly, gazes locked.

Others are noticing too: Countess Nordston, Princess Shcherbatsky, and
eagle-eyed matrons. Anna, oblivious, has found a release in herself.

52
Countess Nordston finds Kitty sitting alone. Korsunsky announces the
Mazurka.

COUNTESS NORDSTON
You’re not dancing the mazurka? I won’t
have it.

She pulls Kitty to her feet.

countess nordston (cont’d)
I’m engaged by General Glub–I give him
to you.

THE MAZURKA . . .

Korsunsky supervises a large circle of couples who change partners as they go
round, with one couple dancing in the middle of the circle.

KORSUNSKY
. . . the lady chooses a lady and a
gentleman . . . !

The lady in the middle beckons to Anna and the man who, changing part-
ners, happens to be dancing with her. They enter the middle where they
have their solo turn as a couple, while the original couple reenter the circum-
ference. Anna is flushed with pleasure. Among the surrounding dancers,
Vronsky has no eyes for his partner, only for Anna. Kitty, dancing, watches
Vronsky incredulous.

KORSUNSKY (CONT’D)
(ADDRESSING ANNA)
. . . and the lady chooses a lady and a
gentleman . . . !

53
Anna looks smilingly around the dancing circle and sees Kitty staring
at her. Anna “wakes up.” Everything which made her drunk makes her
sober in the instant. She waits until the change of partners brings Kitty
and Vronsky together. She beckons them into the middle. Her own partner
expects to re-join the circumference with Anna, but she makes an apology
and escapes through the circle, running towards the door.

With a howl and clatter, the St. Petersburg express seems to crash through
the ballroom.

MONTAGE

An abstract, nightmarish, discordant noise of clattering and howling
accompanies unexplained flame–light on wood, glass, iron . . . blackness
opens like a door on a blizzard of light, and slams shut.

Anna’s face, eyes closed, floats ghostlike.

INT. TRAIN, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Anna comes to consciousness in the dimly lit carriage, making sense of what
seems like a hallucination. Wind and snow batter on the window. The
Carriage Stoker, in long coat and cap, deals with the stove, clears frost off
a thermometer on the wall. He leaves, opening the door to snow and wind
and slamming it behind him.

EXT. RUSSIA–NIGHT

The train “speeds” (35 m.p.h.) through a blizzard.

54
INT. THE TRAIN

Anna has a reading lamp hooked over her armrest, and a novel. She cuts
a page with a paper-knife. But the book cannot hold her. She is reading
without taking it in. She turns back a page and tries again, but almost at
once she turns to the window where the dark reflection of her face looks back
at her. Kitty’s face staring as she stared at Anna, betrayed.

Anna turns away from the window. The Guard comes through the door,
letting in wind and snow, and shuts it. He walks through the carriage.

GUARD
Bologoye! Fifteen minutes.

The train is slowing.

EXT. BOLOGOYE–NIGHT

The train clanks to a halt at a small station. Anna (and a few others)
get down from the train. She wears a heavy cloak. The wind blows a few
snowflakes through the station but the roof keeps off the snow. She is glad of
the fresh air. Here and there, men are walking, smoking, laughing together.
She feels better.

A tall outline of a man in a greatcoat and military cap emerges from the
flickering gloom. She catches her breath. He salutes her.

VRONSKY
Can I be of service to you?

ANNA
I didn’t know you were . . . Why are you
leaving?

55
VRONSKY
You know why. I have to be where you are.
I can’t not.

ANNA
This is wrong. If you’re a good man, forget
everything that happened, as I will.

VRONSKY
I’ll never forget a single thing about you,
not a word, not a gesture–

ANNA
That’s enough!

She climbs the steps on to the porch. At the door to the carriage she pauses.
The encounter has left her feeling elated and frightened.

EXT. STATION, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

The train arrives. Vronsky gets down from the train and starts to walk
towards Anna’s carriage. His German valet, Franz, runs up to him (from
second class).

VRONSKY
Take the luggage home.

Franz runs back the other way. Vronsky walks on, then stops when he
sees Karenin waiting on the platform, smiling and going forward to hand
Anna down the steps. Kapitonich enters the carriage. Vronsky hesitates.

ANNA
(ANXIOUS)
Is Serozha all right?

56
KARENIN
Oh, is that all I get? Yes, he’s quite well.

Vronsky steps forward. Anna knows he’s there. She angles herself to avoid
looking at him.

VRONSKY
Did you have a good night?

He bows to Karenin.

ANNA
Yes, quite comfortable. Count Vronsky.

Karenin extends a hand indifferently then dismisses Vronsky, drawing
Anna with him.

KARENIN
I have to get back to the Committee . . .

He walks Anna away.

KARENIN (CONT’D)
Well–were you a success?

ANNA
I? Oh–Dolly and Stiva . . . yes, I think
so . . .

Vronsky watches them go.

57
EXT. VRONSKY’S APARTMENT, ST. PETERSBURG–
DAY

A snowy St. Petersburg street. Vronsky arrives home by cab. He has a flat
in an old apartment block.

INT. VRONSKY’S FLAT, ST. PETERSBURG, SAME
TIME–DAY

Vronsky rings the doorbell. A Servant opens the door. A male voice shouts
“If it’s someone demanding money, don’t let him in!”

VRONSKY
I’ll announce myself.

Veronsky enters the main room. The occupant of the flat is a 2nd Lieuten-
ant, Petritsky, wearing his greatcoat over shirt and trousers.

PETRITSKY
Vronsky! The master himself. Baroness,
coffee from the new coffeepot for Count
Vronsky.

Petritsky indicates a pretty young woman in satin.

PETRITSKY (CONT’D)
I hope you are pleased by this ornament to
your quarters.

Vronsky bows and kisses her fingers.

BARONESS
I’ll be off home if I’m in the way.

58
VRONSKY
You’re at home where you are, Baroness.

BARONESS
Ah!–Pierre, you never say such pretty
things to me. We were just discussing my
husband. He won’t divorce me, you see. And
do you know why?

VRONSKY
No.

BARONESS
Because he likes eating off my family silver.

VRONSKY
Ah.

BARONESS
I want to bring an action. Just because I’m
supposed to be unfaithful, I don’t see why I
have to eat off Pierre’s crockery. Look at it.

VRONSKY
It’s my crockery.

PETRITSKY
How was Moscow?

VRONSKY
Provincial.

59
INT. SEROZHA’S BEDROOM, KARENIN HOUSE–
NIGHT

Anna, her dress changed, lies on Serozha’s bed, on her side, one arm under
his bedclothes scratching his back gently. He lies quietly on his stomach,
with his eyes closed, his face inches from hers. In the dim light of a night-
light she gazes at him for long moments.

SEROZHA
(MUTTERS)
You’ve stopped.

She resumes scratching. He grunts contentedly.

SEROZHA (CONT’D)
(SLEEPILY)
Thank you for my present.

ANNA
Sssh . . .

She kisses him and continues to lie there, gently scratching. He falls quickly
asleep. She removes her arm and restores his bedclothes.

INT. BEDROOM FLOOR, KARENIN HOUSE–NIGHT

There is a suite of rooms: the Bedroom connects to Anna’s Boudoir/Dressing
Room; and thence to Karenin’s small Sitting Room/Dressing Room, which
connects to the rest of the house. The rooms–like the whole house– are lit
by gas lamps but also by candles at key points.

60
INT. KARENIN’S DRESSING ROOM, SAME TIME–
NIGHT

Korney, the Valet, gathers up a discarded shirt, etc. Karenin in a dressing
gown is reading in a comfortable chair, by a candle lamp. Korney leaves.

INT. BOUDOIR, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Anna is at her bureau. She frowns and tears up the letter she is writing.

INT. DRESSING ROOM, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Karenin looks at the clock– nearly midnight– and closes his book. He
blows out the candle. He comes to the boudoir announcing himself with a
smile.

KARENIN
Time for bed!

INT. BOUDOIR, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Karenin comes to put his hand on Anna’s shoulder.

ANNA
I’m writing to Dolly . . . and to Kitty.

KARENIN
You are . . . good.

Anna shakes her head and clasps his hand.

61
INT. BEDROOM, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Candles each side of the bed. Karenin cracks his knuckles. He unlocks a
drawer and opens a tin box lying in the drawer.

Anna, disrobing, registers these sounds.

KARENIN
What are they saying in Moscow about the
new Statute?

ANNA
What new Statute?

Karenin takes a contraceptive sheath, made from animal intestine (re-
usable) from the tin.

KARENIN
The new Statute I carried in Council.

Anna blows her candle out and gets into bed.

ANNA
No one mentioned it.

KARENIN
Ah. Really?

He comes to bed in his nightshirt.

KARENIN (CONT’D)
Here it made quite a sensation.

He gets into bed. Anna waits dead-eyed. Karenin blows his candle out.

62
INT. KITTY’S ROOM, SHCHERBATSKY HOUSE,
MOSCOW–DAY

Kitty, a hollow-eyed version of herself, in a demure nightdress, sits upright
on a chaise longue with her legs stretched out. The Family Doctor deferen-
tially removes one of her slippers as though it were an intimate garment.

FAMILY DOCTOR
Forgive me, Princess, but I must . . .

With a silver “fork” the Doctor tests the sole of her foot for a reflex. Kitty
is miserably going along with a farce she despises.

INT. OUTSIDE KITTY’S ROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

The Prince and Princess are hovering. The Princess flutters with anxiety,
the Prince is in a temper.

PRINCE SHCHERBATSKY
Am I the only one who knows what’s wrong
with her?

But a Celebrity Doctor, as shiny as his own gold watch which he is check-
ing, is bearing down on them, riding over a Footman’s attempt to announce
him.

PRINCESS SHCHERBATSKY
Oh, thank God, doctor–my friends say
you’re the only one who can save her!

CELEBRITY DOCTOR
Possibly, Princess, possibly! At your service,
Your Excellencies. Where is the patient?

63
INT. KITTY’S ROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

Kitty is sobbing with shame: the Celebrity Doctor has stripped her to the
waist and is tapping her chest. The Family Doctor can’t bear it and excuses
himself.

CELEBRITY DOCTOR
Come, come, Princess, we are not backward
people–I handle naked bodies every day.
Deep breath now . . .

INT. OUTSIDE KITTY’S ROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

The Family Doctor and the parents are in a huddle. The Prince is apoplectic.

PRINCE SHCHERBATSKY
By God. I’ll challenge the scoundrel!

FAMILY DOCTOR
It’s the modern way . . .

PRINCESS SHCHERBATSKY
(to the Prince)
You’re not a doctor!

FAMILY DOCTOR
Her symptoms . . . loss of appetite, fast
PULSE–

PRINCE SHCHERBATSKY
Well, whose pulse wouldn’t be fast if some
brute of a–

The Celebrity Doctor comes briskly out of Kitty’s room, checking his watch.

64
CELEBRITY DOCTOR
Nervous palpitations. We must treat the
nerves. A tubercular cavity is suspected, too
soon to tell. Soden water every two hours. I
must see her again tomorrow.
(HE BOWS)
Prince! Princess!

He’s gone. The Prince enters Kitty’s room.

INT. KITTY’S ROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

Kitty is humiliated and triple-wrapped against the violation of her bosom.

PRINCE SHCHERBATSKY
Don’t you fret, my little Kate! You’ll wake
up one fine morning and say to yourself–“I
feel well and happy and I’ll go out for a
walk with Papa!”

The Prince is mortified when Kitty’s sobs redouble.

INT. ART EXHIBITION, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

The social set Anna now moves in is the brilliant circle with connections
to the Court on one hand and to the demi-monde of artists on the other. A
leading light of this set is Princess Betsy Tverskaya, a rich society beauty.
Betsy’s immediate circle includes Tuskevich, her “admirer.”

Anna lifts her eyes to see Vronsky in front of her, talking to Betsy. Vronsky
sees Anna and bows. She acknowledges him and kisses Betsy, and moves
on, studying the next picture. Vronsky watches Anna move on. Betsy cocks
an eye at him.

65
INT. PIANO RECITAL, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

A few rows of chairs in someone’s reception room, a mixed audience of guests,
a flashy pianist . . . Betsy with a “toy” dog on her lap, Tuskevich on one
side, Anna on the other.

The dog yaps and sneezes. Betsy hands the dog to Tuskevich, who goes to
exit with the dog. As Tuskevich leaves, Vronsky comes in. Anna sees him.
She turns back to the piano. Betsy glances at her.

EXT. PARK, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

Anna and Betsy, on a bright snow-white day, are being driven through a
park in Betsy’s smart equipage . . . towards a horseman walking towards
them: Vronsky salutes the little carriage as it trots by him. Anna keeps
looking straight ahead. Betsy acknowledges Vronsky’s salute.

BETSY
I want to give a small dinner before the opera.
Is there anyone you would like me to ask?

ANNA
Yes . . . Yes, the Metropolitan Bishop of St.
Petersburg.

Betsy laughs.

INT. STAIRS AND ENTRANCE HALL, KARENIN
HOUSE–NIGHT

Annushka puts Anna’s opera cloak over her shoulders, while Korney stands
ready with Karenin’s cloak and opera hat. Karenin comes down the stairs
to join Anna. Kapitonich stands ready to let them out.

66
KARENIN
Countess Lydia tells me you haven’t been to
one of her evenings since you returned.

ANNA
The last one was to meet a missionary, the
one before was for a lecture on the union of
the Greek and Roman churches.
(CLIMBS DOWN)
I’m sorry–I know you’re fond of her. Come
on, or we’ll be late.

Kapitonich opens the door to let them out.

INT. “FRENCH THEATRE,” ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

This is a small theatre with a “promenade” area where a group of Guards
Officers of high and low rank mix together to enjoy the chanteuses, the
comedians and the can-can girls. Vronsky is with his Commanding Officer,
Colonel Demin.

DEMIN
Here’s the thing, Vronsky. A posting has
come up and there’s a promotion in it for
you.

VRONSKY
Thank you, sir.

DEMIN
The garrison in Tashkent.

67
VRONSKY
Tashkent? But . . . I would like to stay in
Peter, sir, if you don’t mind.

DEMIN
I don’t mind. But your mother . . .

The can-can music starts up, to many cheers. Demin claps enthusiastically.
Vronsky is angry.

INT. OPERA HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

An attendant takes Vronsky’s coat and gives him a token for it. There is
a performance going on within, resolving into applause as he mounts the
stairs.

Karenin, an escapee looking at his pocket watch, comes down the stairs, goes
down past Vronsky, looks back at him for a moment, and continues.

INT. BETSY’S OPERA BOX–NIGHT

Vronsky enters the box as the performance prepares to resume. It is the
Tverskoy box, occupied by Princess Betsy and her husband, who is likeable,
overweight and, strangely enough, looking at an antiquarian book; wear-
ing white gloves. Vronsky bows to them and sits down next to Betsy. He
takes her opera glasses and looks through them at the Karenin box.

BETSY
You didn’t come to my dinner.

VRONSKY
I had to see my Commanding Officer.

68
BETSY
“She” didn’t come either.

Vronsky watches Anna through the glasses. Countess Lydia Ivanovna is
next to her. Lydia is in her forties, sallow, no beauty, sincerely religious,
and determined.

INT. KARENIN OPERA BOX, SAME TIME–NIGHT

LYDIA
. . . work never ceases for great men.

Your husband is a saint and we must all
cherish him for Russia’s sake.

Anna winces a smile.

LYDIA (CONT’D)
I hope you can come on afterwards–Father
Kristof’s report on the Chinese mission will
be with lantern slides.

ANNA
I’m expected at the Tverskoys.

LYDIA
No doubt, but I’m sure Princess Betsy can
wait for you, my dear.

Anna glances at Betsy’s box and sees Vronsky there. The opera resumes.

ANNA
Yes. In fact, I think I won’t go to Betsy’s.

69
INT. TVERSKOY OPERA BOX, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Vronsky looks through Betsy’s glasses.

BETSY
You’re caught.

VRONSKY
I’m afraid I am becoming ridiculous.

INT. BETSY’S RECEPTION ROOMS, TVERSKOY
HOUSE–DAY

Discreet Footmen move chairs to accommodate the guests who move to join
one of the conversation circles that make a buzz in the room. Betsy sits by
the samovar with her little court, including Tuskevich. The Guests include
the Princess Myagkaya, stout, red-faced, outspoken, and two Society ladies,
Lisa Merkalova and “Anna’s Friend.”

Vronsky arrives.

LISA MERKALOVA
Now, there’s a phenomenon, look– Anna’s
shadow has arrived before Anna!

ANNA’S FRIEND
I’m Anna’s friend . . . but this making-up-
one’s-mind-to-it in public is not polite to a
distinguished man like Karenin.

PRINCESS MYAGKAYA
In my opinion Karenin is a fool, and Anna
is the best of us.

70
LISA MERKALOVA
And we all love you for your contrary opin-
ions, Princess.

Vronsky looks around. He knows everybody in the room.

BETSY
Alexei . . . You look desperate. That’s not
attractive.

VRONSKY
I’m losing hope.

BETSY
Hope of what? Persuading a virtuous
woman to break her marriage vows?

VRONSKY
And how is Tuskevich?

BETSY
That’s not attractive either. Besides, I was
never virtuous.

VRONSKY
No–you’re right. She won’t come. I’m
going home.

EXT. TVERSKOY HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

The Karenin coach arrives. It’s Anna arriving at Betsy’s. She enters the
house in almost unseemly haste. Several coaches are waiting.

71
INT. CAB, ST. PETERSBURG, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Vronsky, in a state, lets himself be carried along. Then he changes his mind.
He puts his head out of the window to shout to the Coachman.

VRONSKY
Turn round!

INT. BETSY’S RECEPTION ROOMS, TVERSKOY
HOUSE–NIGHT

Anna enters. Faces turn to her. She glances around. She knows at once
that Vronsky isn’t there. Betsy beckons to her across the room. Anna, self-
possessed, smiling, nodding to friends, pressing a hand held out to her,
offering the other hand to be kissed, glides through a crowd of Betsy’s guests.

VOICES
Wasn’t Nilsson glorious? One sees that she
has studied Kaulbach, of course . . .

There’s something Louis Quinze about
Tuskevich . . . as if he came with the
furniture . . .

Betsy is smoking elegantly. She kisses Anna.

BETSY
He’s gone. But you’re just in time for the
surprise.

There is a series of minor explosions outside and the darkness out there turns
into an illuminated garden lit by fountains of fire, sprays of light. The
guests react with cries of pleasure and applause.

72
Anna turns at once to the window near her, puts her face up against the
glass, putting her hands to her temples as if to see the illuminations better.

REVERSE

Her self-possessed face, lit by fireworks, falls apart in misery.

The firework display continues for a short minute and is applauded. Betsy
acknowledges the congratulations and sycophancy which are her due. Foot-
men come through the room with trays of ices.

Anna is still at the window, unaware that there is only darkness outside.
In the room, Betsy notes the oddity: Anna alone with her back to the room.

REVERSE ON ANNA

Anna opens her eyes. She is lost for a moment, perplexed.

vronsky (O.C.)
May I have the honour of bringing you an
ice?

Anna turns, understanding nothing.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
Ices are being served.

ANNA
I would prefer to try a cigarette.

She sits down. Vronsky takes out a cigarette case. He lights her cigarette.
She tries it and coughs.

73
VRONSKY
(IN FRENCH)
Courage!

Anna smiles. Puffs delicately once.

ANNA
Thank you.

She gives the cigarette to him.

ANNA (CONT’D)
I’ll try another one sometime.

VRONSKY
When?

She looks at him in surprise. He dunks the cigarette in an abandoned dish
of ice cream.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
Where?

ANNA
Just as I was thinking your manners have
improved since Moscow. You behaved badly,
very badly.

VRONSKY
And who was responsible for that?

Anna gets up and walks over to Betsy’s chair.

ANNA
Give me a cup of tea.

74
Betsy obediently gets up to fill a cup from the samovar. Vronsky follows
Anna. This is watched by more than one guest. Betsy hands the cup
to Anna.

BETSY
How nice–Alexei Aleksandrevich has
arrived.

Karenin enters smiling. Lisa Merkalova and Anna’s Friend share a
delicious-malicious moment.

LISA MERKALOVA
I’m not sure my nerves can stand another
Alexei at this moment.

As Betsy and Karenin move smilingly to greet each other, Karenin’s radar
picks up the two women’s intimate laughter.

Karenin remains at apparent ease, as though unaware of people’s glances
at Vronsky and Anna, and he kisses Betsy’s hand. Princess Myagkaya has
meanwhile gone over to Anna. Anna likes her and is glad of the diversion.

PRINCESS MYAGKAYA
So the Schuzburgs asked us to dinner. The
sauce was said to have cost a thousand rou-
bles, and it was ghastly. We had to ask them
back. I gave them a sauce that cost eighty-
five kopeks and it was a triumph.

Anna and Vronsky laugh. Princess Myagkaya moves on.

VRONSKY
Were you glad to see me or not?

75
ANNA
This must stop. You make me feel as if I
were guilty of something.

VRONSKY
What do you want me to do?

ANNA
I want you to go to Moscow and beg Kitty
to forgive you.

VRONSKY
No, that’s not what you want. Moscow? I
can do better than that. Tonight I refused a
posting to Tashkent. I can change my mind,
and you’ll never see me again.

ANNA
If you have any thought for me, you will
give me back my peace.

VRONSKY
I have no peace to give. There can be no
peace for us–only misery or the greatest
happiness. You are my whole life now.

She looks at him and nods slowly, as if in thought.

Betsy diplomatically leads Karenin to Anna.

BETSY
Your husband is impossible!– his opinions
are all wrong but he talks so brilliantly he
wins every argument.

Anna looks up at her, hearing nothing.

76
ANNA
What?

She notices Karenin, who kisses her hand. Vronsky acknowledges Karenin.

KARENIN
I called to take you home.

ANNA
No, I’m staying. Send the carriage back
for me.

KARENIN
Of course.

He bows to Betsy. Ignoring Vronsky, he turns away.

LATER

Vronsky is with one group of guests, Anna with another. She is animated,
excited, at a small table, involved in a game of cards– which she wins, to
local applause. She speaks a “must go” to Betsy, and swiftly goes to the door.

INT. ENTRANCE HALL, TVERSKOY HOUSE–NIGHT

Dressed for outdoors, Anna comes down the staircase. The Doorkeeper sees
her, opens the door and signals.

EXT. TVERSKOY HOUSE, SAME TIME–NIGHT

The Karenin coach moves to the entrance door, which is held open by the
Doorkeeper.

77
INT. TVERSKOY HOUSE, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Anna hears hurried footsteps on the stairs. She hesitates. She continues
towards the door. Vronsky catches up with her. The Doorkeeper holds the
door open.

VRONSKY
Do you want me to go to Tashkent?

EXT. TVERSKOY HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

The two horses are restless in the freezing air. Konrad looks to the open door.
Nobody coming.

INT. TVERSKOY HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

VRONSKY
So I’ll go to Tashkent.

ANNA
No. I don’t want you to go.

She turns and goes out. Vronsky follows her.

EXT. TVERSKOY HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

Vronsky opens the carriage door for her. She gets into the coach, he closes the
door. He watches the coach go. His face.

78
INT. KARENIN COACH, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Her face.

INT. ENTRANCE HALL, KARENIN HOUSE–NIGHT

Kapitonich lets Anna in.

INT. KARENIN’S DRESSING ROOM, KARENIN
HOUSE–NIGHT

Karenin, reading by candlelight in his dressing gown, hears the sounds of
Anna’s return, all the way to her entrance. He cracks his knuckles.

ANNA
Waiting up? How unlike you!

KARENIN
Yes, I stayed up to talk to you.

Anna keeps going, to her dressing room/boudoir.

ANNA
What about? It’s late. Where’s Annushka?

He waits for her to return without her cloak.

KARENIN
I sent her off.

ANNA
Well, if you want to talk, but we should go
to bed.

79
KARENIN
I have to warn you about something.

ANNA
Warn me? It’s really rather late . . .

KARENIN
I wish to warn you that you may inadver-
tently, by indiscretion and carelessness, give
the world occasion to talk about you.

ANNA
I am not a committee. Please say what you
want to tell me.

KARENIN
You and Count Vronsky attracted attention
tonight.

ANNA
You don’t like it when I don’t talk to people,
and you don’t like it when I do.

KARENIN
I didn’t notice anything, myself. But I saw
that everyone else noticed. I consider jeal-
ousy to be insulting to you and degrading
to me. I have no right to inquire into your
feelings. They concern only your conscience.
But I’m your husband and I love you. It’s
my duty to remind you that we are bound
together by God, and this bond can only be
broken by a crime against God.

80
ANNA
I have nothing to say to you, and I’m tired.

KARENIN
And you have a son.

She returns to the boudoir. After a moment he follows.

INT. ANNA’S BOUDOIR, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

Karenin finds her in her underwear, throwing aside her dress. He apolo-
gises for that.

KARENIN
Forgive me.
(TURNING ASIDE)
If I am wrong, I ask your pardon.

ANNA
(LIGHTLY)
I don’t know what you’re talking about, and
it’s really too late for this. Excuse me, please.

Because she wants to undress, Karenin leaves her.

INT. BEDROOM, KARENIN’S HOUSE, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Anna lies in bed next to Karenin, elated.

ANNA
(ALMOST INAUDIBLE)
Too late.

81
CLOSE–

In the next instant, seemingly in her own bed, she gasps and jerks as though
her body has taken a blow.

The CUTS are now between a fragmented narrative of voracious sex (“SEX AS
BEFORE”) and “prelude to sex,” this being a sequence of shots starting with:–

EXT. VRONSKY APARTMENT, DAY

Anna arrives, heavily veiled, by cab. She enters the building.

SEX AS BEFORE

INT. VRONSKY APARTMENT, SAME TIME–DAY

Vronsky opens his door to Anna. They don’t speak. He takes her hand and
brings her in.

SEX AS BEFORE

INT. VRONSKY’S APARTMENT, SAME TIME–DAY

Vronsky leads Anna through the apartment to the bedroom.

SEX AS BEFORE

INT. VRONSKY’S BEDROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

Vronsky takes off Anna’s outer clothes, slowly and carefully, starting with
her hat and veil.

82
SEX AS BEFORE

INT. VRONSKY’S BEDROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna, in underclothes, unbuttons Vronsky’s shirt.

SEX AS BEFORE

INT. VRONSKY’S BEDROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna and Vronsky are standing kissing passionately. He has no shirt.

SEX AS BEFORE

INT. VRONSKY’S BEDROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna ends up half off the edge of Vronsky’s bed, climaxing upside down
and falling to the floor. Vronsky, also half off the bed, looks down at her.
He reaches down for her. She grasps hold of his hand, huddled, hugs it to
her, distressed to tears.

ANNA
Oh God forgive me. It’s the end of
everything–I’ve got nothing left now, only
you. Remember that.

VRONSKY
Anna . . . Anna . . . how can I not remem-
ber? You’re my happiness.

He draws her back on to the bed, kisses her face, her shoulder . . .

83
ANNA
Happiness! You murdered my happiness.

She tries to leave but he attacks her as a lover, and she gives way, responding.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Murderer. Murderer. Go on. Go on. Go on.

She starts hitting him.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Yes. Go on. Go on. Go on.

EXT. SPRING MELT (POKROVSKOE)–DAY

In sunshine, a large chunk of ice loses its purchase on winter and goes
floating along a stream of tiny ice floes between grassy banks almost free of
snow, with early aconites showing.

EXT. POKROVSKOE–DAY

The icy stream flows under a footbridge which has a broken handrail.
Vasili, the steward, is on the bridge with a Carpenter. Levin, on horseback, is
displeased.

LEVIN
I thought that had been done.

VASILI
I gave the order. What can you do with
these people?

Levin rides on, into an expanded prospect of fields and woods, snow on the ground.

84
LATER

When Levin gets in view of the house, he is puzzled by the distant sight of
a three-horse sledge arriving.

INT. DINING ROOM, POKROVSKOE–DAY

The new arrival is Oblonsky, enjoying his food.

OBLONSKY
Ah–potage aux choux a la Russe!

Agafia comes in with the roast fowl.

OBLONSKY (CONT’D)
Agafia!–if you opened up in Moscow,
l’Angleterre would go out of business.

Do you want news of Moscow?

LEVIN
Of Babylon? No.

OBLONSKY
You’re right, what do you care? You love the
country–you’ve got it. You love agricultur-
ing, and, Lord knows, you’ve got it. You love
shooting–you’ve got it. You’ve got every-
thing you want!

Agafia, leaving, throws Levin a look (no wife).

LEVIN
All right, go on, then. Have you stopped
stealing bread rolls?

85
OBLONSKY
Ballet girl, oriental type. How can I help it?

LEVIN
So, nothing new to tell me. How is–how
are the Shcherbatskys?

OBLONSKY
You mean Kitty.

LEVIN
I . . . Is she engaged now?

OBLONSKY
No. Vronsky went back to St. Petersburg.

He waits for this to sink in.

OBLONSKY (CONT’D)
Kitty will be at Ergoshovo visiting Dolly in
the summer. You could . . .

LEVIN
Oh yes, as if I had time in the summer! And
I’ve got extra land this year at Kashin for
the haymaking.

OBLONSKY
Kashin? That’s on the Ergoshovo road, isn’t
it? Won’t you call when Kitty is there?

LEVIN
(HEATEDLY)
Especially not then. I humiliated myself once.

Now it’s a row.

86
OBLONSKY
Damn you, Kostya, you love Kitty and you
can’t forgive her because, first, you funked
it, then you bungled it, then you ran away
from an eighteen-year-old girl who was
made a fool of by a uniform. It’s Kitty I’m
sorry for–not you!

LEVIN
Her heart told her no. Did you come to
shoot snipe or criticize me?

EXT. COPSE (POKROVSKOE)– LAST LIGHT

Levin and Oblonsky, with Laska, wait with their guns, a few yards apart.
Levin has calmed down.

LEVIN
For you, getting married is . . . a social engage-
ment. Not for me. For me, it’s the condition of
personal happiness and living the right way.
I’ll never again be carried away by passion. I
renounce it. I’ll have to find another way . . .

OBLONSKY
Look out–here they come!

A couple of snipe come drumming over the trees. The men fire simultane-
ously. One snipe falls.

OBLONSKY (CONT’D)
Bad luck!

Oblonsky laughs. Despite himself, Levin laughs too. Laska retrieves the bird.

87
INT. DAY NURSERY, OBLONSKY HOUSE–DAY

SPRING

Dolly has had her baby. She is holding the infant, having just finished
feeding him. Kitty is with her.

DOLLY
There. Oh, I’m sore with his feeding! Would
you like to hold him?

Dolly gives the baby to Kitty, who takes him almost unwillingly. Dolly
buttons herself. Kitty’s maternal instinct won’t engage. Dolly notes it.

DOLLY (CONT’D)
Well, don’t hold him like a parcel . . . It’s
Aunt Kitty, darling. . . . Little face . . .
little fingers . . . look at you . . . Doesn’t
he make you ashamed of dwelling on your
troubles . . . ?

KITTY
I have no troubles.

DOLLY
That man wasn’t worth the tears, believe me.

KITTY
(IRRITATED)
I don’t care about him. I don’t even think
about him. Or her. Except to hate her.

DOLLY
Then we’ll never speak of it again.

Dolly relieves Kitty of the baby.

88
DOLLY (CONT’D)
There are better men waiting for you. Stiva
says . . . Kitty, my lamb, did Konstantin
Levin . . . ?

KITTY
( FLARES)
What has Levin got to do with it? Anyway,
I’ll never get married. The whole business
of . . . it’s become disgusting to me . . . and
look what it’s done for you! Why do they
call it love?

DOLLY
Because it’s love.

Lovingly, she settles the baby in his crib, her face filled with tender joy at
the bargain.

EXT. IDYLLIC COUNTRYSIDE–DAY

SPRING

A lovers’ idyll, by a stream on a warm day. Anna, lightly dressed, smoking
a cigarette, watches Vronsky fill his wineglass from a tethered bottle in the
stream. There is a pony trap which brought them. He comes back to sit by
her. She kisses him.

ANNA
I want you to. I don’t care about it.

VRONSKY
You should care. You’re not supposed to.

89
ANNA
Pooh! Who says?

VRONSKY
Everybody. Doctors.

She laughs and throws her cigarette into the stream.

ANNA
You’re squeamish. You a soldier! Would you
faint?

VRONSKY
Anyway, someone might be watching.

Anna looks all around. Vast emptiness. She lifts a dock leaf to look under
it. She looks up at the sky.

ANNA
But I’m damned anyway.

VRONSKY
I’m not. I’m blessed.

Anna pushes him onto his back and straddles him.

ANNA
You love me.

VRONSKY
Yes.

ANNA
Only me.

90
VRONSKY
No.

ANNA
Apart from Frou-Frou.

VRONSKY
Yes.

Anna holds his face between her hands and works her body on him.

ANNA
But me more than your horse?

VRONSKY
Yes.

ANNA
Are you happy?

VRONSKY
Yes.

ANNA
And you love me?

VRONSKY
Yes.

ANNA
How much?

VRONSKY
This much.

Anna drags the front of her skirts out of her way.

91
ANNA
This much?

VRONSKY
Yes.

ANNA
This much?

VRONSKY
Yes.

ANNA
This much?

VRONSKY
Yes.

ANNA
This much? And this much? And this
much?

VRONSKY
Yes.

ANNA
( FIERCELY)
And . . . this . . . much . . . ?

She falls on him. He strokes her hair.

Her hand comes into view, the index finger bloody. She carefully paints his
lips with it. She kisses his lips clean, and rolls off him onto her back.

92
ANNA (CONT’D)
So this is love. This.

INT. KARENIN’S STUDY, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

SUMMER

Korney brings Countess Lydia. Karenin comes from behind his desk to
invite her to a chair.

KARENIN
Countess . . . I thought you would be at
Peterhof now.

LYDIA
I’ve come from there. I’m distressed that you
haven’t taken your usual house this year.

KARENIN
Anna wanted a change. She is spending the
summer at Tsarskoe.

LYDIA
Near Princess Betsy. And . . .

Karenin waits.

LYDIA (CONT’D)
The Guards are in summer camp at
Tsarskoe.

Karenin waits.

93
LYDIA (CONT’D)
Alexei Alexandrovich, forgive me but you
are too tolerant! Your wife . . .

Karenin affects surprise.

KARENIN
Oh, is this about my wife?

He smiles at her.

KARENIN (CONT’D)
My wife is beyond reproach. She is, after
all, my wife.

Countess Lydia gets the message. She rises to go. Karenin kisses her hand
and accompanies her to the door. She leaves him, and his social mask gives
way to his disturbance.

INT. DEMIN’S HOUSE, TSARSKOE–NIGHT

The Commanding Officer is throwing a party for his officers: serious drink-
ing, Soldier Servants, a crowded table on the large verandah, Soldier Sing-
ers in white linen tunics performing operetta and folk songs. Vronsky, in
party spirit, is with Petritsky and another friend, Yashvin, singing along.

An officer we don’t know is, surprisingly, hailed as “Vronsky!”–he’s
Vronsky’s elder brother, Alexander. He gestures “Later!” and goes to Vron-
sky. The brothers embrace.

ALEXANDER
Alyosha . . . a message from Maman. Her
friend Princess Sorokina has a house here,
and a virgin daughter, that’s not part of the

94
message, but they’ll all be at the races and
you’re expected to supper afterwards.

The song ends and Demin, half drunk, climbs on the table, shouts for silence
and a toast.

DEMIN
Gentlemen–I give you–the regiment!

General uproar. “The regiment.”

EXT. DEMIN’S GARDEN, TSARSKOE–NIGHT

On a garden bench where the noise of the party is quieter, Vronsky and
Alexander talk.

ALEXANDER
I heard you turned down a promotion.

VRONSKY
That was Maman interfering.

ALEXANDER
Yes. And now she’s come up with a princess
for you.
(SERIOUSLY)
Alexei–we’re brothers, so don’t take
offence. Getting married puts the pack on
your back–it leaves your hands free for
climbing the ladder. Getting serious about
a married woman is like carrying your pack
in your arms.

95
VRONSKY
So they talk about me. I’m leaving, Sasha.

ALEXANDER
An assignation?

VRONSKY
Come on, I’ll introduce you.

EXT. STABLES, TSARSKOE–NIGHT

Vronsky with Alexander beside him clucks his tongue at the black opening
of a stable and calls softly for Frou-Frou. There’s a stir within and the
mare’s head appears. Vronsky opens the door.

ALEXANDER
Beautiful. A man would come to no harm.
Do you think you’ll win tomorrow?

VRONSKY
Makhotin’s Gladiator is favourite, sixteen
hands–Frou-Frou looks dainty beside
him, but she’s got heart. Haven’t you, my
darling?

He kisses Frou-Frou.

EXT. MEADOW–DAY

Vronsky sees Anna before she sees him. He pauses to look at her, struck by
her beauty, full of love for her. She is lost in thought.

96
VRONSKY
Anna.

She has not been expecting him. She is concerned.

ANNA
Alexei, what is it?

He shakes his head: nothing. She comes to him and hides her face in his
breast. He holds her tight, taking her hand and kissing it.

VRONSKY
I couldn’t bear not to see you before the race.

She hugs him, kissing his tunic.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
What were you thinking about?

She continues to hide her face. He lifts her face.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
Tell me.

ANNA
I’m pregnant.

Vronsky presses her hand to his face.

VRONSKY
Ah . . . My love.

He kisses her brow and her eyes.

97
VRONSKY (CONT’D)
Well, love was never a game to us. Here’s an
end to living in corners, existing day to day
on lies. Yes, now we can be together.

ANNA
How can we, Alexei?

VRONSKY
Tell Karenin everything.

ANNA
Do you think my husband will make you a
present of me?

VRONSKY
Leave him.

ANNA
Leave him and be your mistress?

VRONSKY
Yes. Run away.

ANNA
I would never see my son again. The laws
are made by husbands and fathers.

VRONSKY
What, then? I’ll never forgive myself for
your unhappiness.

Anna looks into his face.

98
ANNA
Unhappiness? I’m like a starving beggar
who has been given food.

She smiles rapturously.

ANNA (CONT’D)
I unhappy? No, this is my happiness!

She kisses him deeply.

EXT. MAZE, KARENIN’S RENTED HOUSE,
TSARSKOE–DAY

It’s a good maze. Anna and Serozha are running, laughing, between the
hedges. It’s a game. She is trying to find her way to him, chasing him. A
hedge divides them. Serozha darts away from her, runs into a dead end,
doubles back. She spots him, follows him, and now he has eluded her again.

Serozha finds his way out of the maze and is confronted by Karenin.

KARENIN
How are you, young man? Your tutor
doesn’t seem to be in evidence. We’ll have a
look at your lesson books.

Anna, coming out of the maze, sees Karenin, recovers.

ANNA
Alexei!–you got away at last. Can you stay?

KARENIN
Why . . . ?

Serozha looks scared to tears. Anna kisses him.

99
ANNA
Go and find Vasily Lukich.

Serozha runs into the house.

ANNA (CONT’D)
I have to change. Princess Betsy is sending
her trap for me. Would you like to come?–
she’s taking me to watch the race.

Karenin smiles coldly.

KARENIN
Races, surely. No, I’ll come on later, and
then I must get back to town.

Anna returns to the house. She wipes her kissed hand on her skirt.

EXT. THE RACES–DAY

This is a rough-and-ready racecourse but the venue for a high society occa-
sion, with a grandstand for top people and a grander section, ornamented
for greater comfort, for members of the Imperial family. It is also a fashion
parade for some.

The racecourse itself is an oval approached by a straight. There are nine
fences, water-jumps, etc., of various difficulty. The “jockeys” are officers in
the Guards, the Hussars and other regiments.

Among them is Vronsky, attended by a Trainer who is fussing over Frou-
Frou’s bridle and calming her. Vronsky looks with interest at a big power-
ful horse which must be Gladiator, with Captain Makhotin already in the
saddle. Makhotin and Vronsky greet each other with a nod.

100
KARENIN

— arrives at the races . . . making his way towards the front, smiling,
raising his hat to acquaintances . . . his eyes busy looking for his wife. He
reaches the front and looks up at the Ladies’ Stand.

EXT. THE LADIES’ STAND, THE RACES, SAME TIME–
DAY

Anna and Betsy are here, and, not far away, so are Countess Vronsky and
the Princesses Sorokina: the mother is a fading fortyish; the daughter is
eighteen, blonde and pretty.

Below the ladies section is a planked standing area for gentlemen, who also
may stand to watch the races from the stepped aisle of the seated section.
Soldiers, Horse People and Locals watch from the turf.

A race is flowing towards the winning post, with accompanying crowd reac-
tion, but it is clear from Anna’s detachment, exchanging chat with Betsy,
that this is not Vronsky’s race.

KARENIN

–looks up to the ladies’ stand. Betsy smiles at him in greeting, but Anna
seems unaware.

Countess Vronsky appraises the young princess.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
Exquisite creature . . . you really ought to be
the spoil of victory today . . .

The young princess smiles at her. Countess Vronsky turns her glasses towards
the Starting Post.

101
EXT. NEAR THE STARTING POST, THE RACES, SAME
TIME–DAY

. . . Vronsky mounts Frou-Frou. The Riders move to the starting line.

KARENIN

. . . watches Anna who is looking through her glasses towards the Starting
Post while the current race finishes to cheers.

KARENIN, SMILING AROUND, WATCHES AS:–

Anna’s anxious attention turns to a horse and rider who fell further
down the course– and to the ambulance wagon (with a red cross sewn
on it) . . .

Karenin mounts the steps of the aisle, raising his hat to ladies he knows.
Anna ignores him.

On the wooden boards below, where gentlemen are watching, Oblonsky calls
up to Betsy.

OBLONSKY
Princess! A bet! What do you fancy in the
next?

BETSY
Kusolev.

OBLONSKY
I’m on Vronsky. A pair of gloves?

102
BETSY
Done!
(TO ANNA)
Alexander Vronsky . . .

In the aisle at the top of the stand, Karenin watches as:–

Vronsky’s brother Alexander, escorting his wife, Varya, bows to Anna and
Betsy, but significantly Varya succeeds in not noticing them.

EXT. STARTING POST, THE RACES, SAME TIME–DAY

The riders line up . . . and they’re off.

VRONSKY’S POV

The stands and spectators are distant, the first fence coming at him, horses
on either side. His neighbour falls at the fence but Frou-Frou is clear, with
Gladiator half a length in front. The next fence is coming up. Gladiator
and Frou-Frou jump cleanly but a following horse falls badly.

EXT. LADIES’ STAND, THE RACES, SAME TIME–DAY

Spectators on either side of Anna and those behind and in front collectively react.

KARENIN SEES THAT:

Anna reacts not at all. Her gaze through her glasses stays unwavering
on Vronsky. Karenin notes this, and from then on his attention is fixed on
Anna. When the horses come opposite the stand, she lowers her glasses and
follows Frou-Frou taking the lead from Gladiator.

103
VRONSKY

— eases Frou-Frou past Gladiator. The horses take the next jump.

LADIES’ STAND

With one hand Anna grips her folded fan.

Karenin’s face is a mask as he watches Anna unconsciously half-destroying
it. She raises her glasses.

ANNA’S POV THROUGH GLASSES

Frou-Frou approaches the last fence with Gladiator half a length behind,
on the near side to Anna.

VRONSKY

— working the reins, rising and falling in rhythm with the horse, looks
ahead to the winning post, and before knowing it he makes an error, losing
the rhythm, dropping back into the saddle and raising the horse’s head, just
as Frou-Frou takes off.

ANNA’S POV (THROUGH GLASSES)

Frou-Frou rises, Gladiator rises. Frou-Frou disappears. Gladiator clears
the fence in Anna’s foreground. Simultaneously, there are shrieks and
exclamations all around her– OFF CAMERA– and the view through
the glasses zigzags in search of Frou-Frou, impeded by horses jumping the
fence.

104
She lowers the glasses and sees Frou-Frou on the ground, rolling over, and
Vronsky on the ground.

COUNTESS VRONSKY

— sees this, too, her mouth set tight with contempt.

KARENIN

–looks shocked. Almost in the same moment he hears Anna’s anguished
cry, conspicuous in the hubbub that follows the crowd’s exclamation.

ANNA
Alexei . . . !

KARENIN
I’m here.

This is adroit. He comes down several steps and pushes through to offer his arm,
but Anna has lost control, trying to escape like a bird beating against its cage.

KARENIN (CONT’D)
Would you like to leave?

Anna ignores him, puts her glasses to her eyes, searching out Vronsky.

ON THE COURSE

Vronsky extricates himself from his broken horse and, in terrible recrimina-
tion, tries to pull Frou-Frou to her feet by the reins. Frou-Frou struggles
to get up but her back is broken. Officials, officers, and a doctor have come
running.

105
ANNA

. . . sees an Officer hurrying to the Imperial party to report.

ANNA
Stiva! What are they saying?

OBLONSKY
Vronsky’s unhurt–but the horse . . .

Anna relapses into sobs, attempting to hide her face behind her destroyed
fan. Betsy gives Anna her fan.

VRONSKY

–is restrained by an Officer.

OFFICER
Her back’s broken!

The Officer takes a pistol from his holster. Vronsky, enraged and in grief,
takes the pistol from him.

KARENIN

–persists with Anna.

KARENIN
I’m asking you . . . if you wish to go . . .

He touches Anna’s arm. She jerks it away.

106
ANNA
No, leave me alone.

BETSY
I’ll bring her home, Alexei.

KARENIN
(SMILING POLITELY)
Excuse me, Princess, but Anna is not well
and I want her to come with me.

A gunshot is heard from the course. Anna turns her tear-streaked face
towards it.

INT. MOVING COACH–DAY

Anna’s hysteria has solidified into a blank despair. Karenin seems to want
to pretend that nothing important has happened.

KARENIN
You know . . . they say the Emperor dis-
approves of the races . . . the danger of
injury . . . but I . . .

Anna looks at him contemptuously.

ANNA
What?

KARENIN
I’m saying there is a value in manly sport,
for the military–

107
ANNA
I don’t understand.

KARENIN
In my opinion, it’s not the sport itself that’s
wrong, it’s the spectacle, it’s making a cruel
spectacle out of–

ANNA
What are you talking about?

Karenin changes tack.

KARENIN
I have to tell you–

ANNA
Yes.

KARENIN
I have to tell you, you behaved improperly
today.

ANNA
And how was that?

She has raised her voice. He raises a warning finger, and reaches to close the
communication window behind the coachman’s box.

KARENIN
By making plain your feelings when one of
the riders fell. Your conduct was improper.
It must not occur again. I have said it before.

Anna smiles faintly. He is misled by that.

108
KARENIN (CONT’D)
You are going to say my concern is unneces-
sary and ridiculous. You are my wife. I am
wrong to think that . . . yes–perhaps I was
mistaken.

Anna looks at him despairingly.

ANNA
No, you were not mistaken. I love him. I
am his mistress. I can’t bear you, I’m afraid
of you, I hate you. Do what you like to me.

Karenin is literally winded–gasping for breath, slowly getting his breath-
ing under control. Anna huddles away from him in her corner. Karenin
recovers himself only to the point of sitting stock-still, looking at nothing,
not moving.

The coach lurches, unbalancing him so that he is pushed against Anna. He
recoils as if from a contamination.

The coach slows. The coach stops. A Servant comes to the coach door, opens
the door.

KARENIN
Wait, please. Move away.

The Servant backs off.

KARENIN (CONT’D)
I will not have a scandal. Therefore . . . You
will not see . . . this man again. You will
behave in such a way that nothing is known
against you, by society or by the servants.
In return, you will keep the privileges of a

109
wife–and the duties. Tomorrow you will
return home. That is all.

Anna gets out of the coach and runs into the maze.

EXT. MAZE–NIGHT

Anna comes to Vronsky. She is still shaken by the showdown with
Karenin in his coach, but is now overtaken by concern for Vronsky after his
fall.

ANNA
Are you hurt?

Vronsky shakes his head. He is moved by the sight of her, full of love and
desire, but in her embrace he detects something new, a nervous exaltation.

VRONSKY
What’s happened?

ANNA
I told him I’m your mistress.

Vronsky lifts her face, strokes her cheek. He waits.

ANNA (CONT’D)
He thinks I can give you up and go on
living.

He embraces her for that, relieved, grateful, loving–understanding that
she is not going to give him up.

110
VRONSKY
No, you cannot.

INT. (ST. PETERSBURG)–NIGHT

Imperial hands (the Tsar’s for all we know) place over Karenin’s head a
broad red ribbon from which hangs a heavy medal. Karenin bows low.

INT. IMPERIAL SALON, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

At an ornate doorway a Major-Domo announces.

MAJOR DOMO
Their Excellencies Minister Karenin and
Madame Karenin!

Karenin, wearing his medal, and Anna smile their way into a party, to a
patter of polite applause. Further grandees are being announced, but are not
applauded . . . Prince and Princess Berghatskoy . . . Ambassador Chamber-
lain . . . Baron and Baroness Verdlov . . . Prince and Princess Tverskoy . . .

BETSY
Alexei Aleksandrevich . . . congratulations.
You’re the only man my husband would do
this for.

ANNA
(To Prince Tverskoy)
Tell me your latest find for your library.

PRINCE TVERSKOY
Not in front of the Princess.

111
Betsy draws Anna away for a moment.

BETSY
I can tell you’re happy. You’ve put on a little
weight.

ANNA
Both true.

INT. SEROZHA’S BEDROOM, KARENIN’S HOUSE–
NIGHT

Anna, in the same dress, kisses Serozha tenderly so as not to wake him, and
leaves the room.

INT. BEDROOM LEVEL, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

Anna enters the suite where Karenin, in his dressing gown, puts down his
book. He is elated by his evening.

KARENIN
Time for bed!

INT. BEDROOM, KARENIN HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG–
NIGHT

Anna is in bed. Karenin is getting ready for bed. Anna listens apprehen-
sively to the little noises of Karenin’s pre-coital preparations.

112
KARENIN
. . . not that I care for decorations but . . .

ANNA
Alexei . . . I can’t . . . I’m sorry . . . But I’m
his wife now.
(she turns to him)
I am having his child.

Karenin stares at her. He turns back to the open drawer and puts things
back the way they were. He locks the drawer. He puts on his dressing gown
and leaves the room. Anna waits a moment and follows him.

INT. SITTING ROOM, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–
NIGHT

It’s dark. Anna hears the crack of his knuckles and can see him faintly,
sitting in the dark.

KARENIN
Tell me what I did to deserve this.

EXT. HAYMAKING (KASHIN)–DAY

A prospect: next to a country road, a large expanse of meadow is being
mown forty swathes at a time by forty mowers swinging their scythes almost
in unison.

CLOSER–Levin is suffering but keeping up, bathed in perspiration. His
place is behind an old man, Theodore, who is scything as if without effort.
Just in time for Levin, Theodore calls a halt and takes Levin’s scythe to
sharpen it with a whetstone. Levin attracts a few grins and comments.

113
YOUNG PEASANT
Konstantin Dmitrich, you’ll know your
rows when the field’s all done!

Levin’s row has stalks of differing heights between the even swathes on
either side. There is some laughter, but the men are uneasy.

EXT. HAYMAKING (KASHIN)– SUNDOWN

It’s time to stop for the day. More tomorrow. The Mowers with their scythes
walk back across the large meadow of cut swathes. From the other direc-
tion, a crowd of Village Women are coming to meet them carrying food and
drink.

EXT. HAYMAKING (KASHIN)–DUSK

A fire has been lit. The Mowers eat their meal in the company of women.
Serafina tends to a cooking pot in the firelight. Levin watches her discreetly.
He has settled down at a discreet distance from the men. His attention
is caught by a grown-up Boy and his young Wife who have chosen to sit
slightly apart. He is charmed by them, watching the girl serve her husband.

Theodore comes to Levin with a jug. Levin takes a swig.

LEVIN
How many mowers is it, Theodore?

THEODORE
Forty-two, master. In your father’s time it
was work for two days for thirty men . . .
(SLYLY)
. . . though he never picked up a scythe
himself.

114
LEVIN
The men don’t like me for it.

THEODORE
They like what they’re used to.

LEVIN
It settles me.

THEODORE
How is that, master?

LEVIN
When I’m mowing, I don’t ask myself why
I’m here.

THEODORE
You’re here to be master, Konstantin Dmi-
trich, to be your father’s son, and father to a
son who will be master after you, as it has
always been by the grace of God.

LEVIN
My father owned you, Theodore. My grand-
father owned your father. Owned you like
chattels, to be bought and sold. Was that by
the grace of God?

THEODORE
It was. Those were good times when your
father had the keeping of us. That’s my
youngest you were looking at there. His
young life is perilous now since the Free-
dom came and work must be found.

115
LEVIN
It’s true I was looking at him.

THEODORE
(LAUGHS)
At his wife too, I dare say.

Levin is abashed, found out.

LEVIN
They look happier than I’ve ever been. Is it
living simply that I’m looking for?

EXT. HAYMAKING (KASHIN)–NIGHT

Night under the stars. Some of the men have gone, some have settled in for
the night. The cooking fire is burning out. Levin remains where he was,
watching, thinking: drawn to “the simple life.”

EXT. HAYMAKING (KASHIN)–DAWN

Levin wakes . . . woken by hoofbeats and the jingle of harness.

Levin sees a coach coming towards him. The coach comes nearer, leather
boxes strapped to the roof.

Levin sees that a young woman is looking out of the side window, holding
on to the white ribbons of her bonnet. He sees that it is Kitty, on her way to
Ergoshovo. (Princess Shcherbatsky is also inside, dozing.)

The coach passes on, leaving Levin lovelorn, the dawn light on him. The
sight of Kitty has turned him round again.

116
INT. STATION, ST PETERSBURG–DAY

AUTUMN

Vronsky stands at the entrance to the platform holding a bouquet, waiting
for a train. He looks pretty fed up.

INT. “FRENCH THEATRE,” ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

As before, the set-up is a small stage, a small auditorium, and an area for
drinking, cruising, etc., a combination of music hall and a bar with a few
tables. Vronsky is here as the escort of a Foreign Prince (an Indian), watch-
ing a “risqué” show with Can-Can Girls, much relished by the visitor.

Vronsky’s glance casts about in the gloom. The champagne is flowing. Vron-
sky spots a trio–Lisa Merkalova, Betsy, and Stremov, a politician and
Karenin’s rival.

Vronsky catches Betsy’s eye. She beckons him. He excuses himself to the
Foreign Prince, who doesn’t notice, and goes over to the other table. Under
the music, he is introduced to Stremov, and kisses the hands of the women.
He takes the empty chair.

VRONSKY
He’s some kind of prince at home. Exhaust-
ing. Where is Tuskevitch this evening?

BETSY
Why ask me?

At which moment, Makhotin appears at the table. Vronsky relinquishes
his chair.

117
VRONSKY
Captain Makhotin . . .

Vronsky bows to the women.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
I must leave you. I’m on duty tonight.

MAKHOTIN
Lucky woman. Give her my respects, and to
Karenin if you see him.

Vronsky freezes in anger.

BETSY
Don’t. Would you compromise me? And
Lisa?

Lisa and Stremov are enjoying it. Vronsky turns away. The Foreign Prince
is applauding enthusiastically when Vronsky rejoins him.

STREMOV
(SMIRKS)
I only say that a man who can’t govern his
wife has perhaps gone as far as he can go in
government.

INT. BEDROOM, VRONSKY’S FLAT, ST. PETERSBURG–
DAY

Vronsky wakes. He has fallen asleep in his clothes. A note has been deliv-
ered, propped up by the bed. He reaches for it.

118
EXT. KARENIN HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

A cab brings Vronsky. The Karenin coach is waiting outside. As Vronsky
approaches the door, it opens and Kapitonich comes out with a folded rug.
Kapitonich is wrong-footed by seeing him. Karenin comes out of the door,
into the gaslight. When he sees Vronsky he hesitates for a fraction but con-
tinues. Kapitonich is holding open the door of the coach. Vronsky bows,
Karenin, expressionless, touches his hat and gets into the coach, taking the
rug. Vronsky walks into the house as the coach moves off.

INT. ENTRANCE HALL, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

Kapitonich comes in, closing the door. Vronsky gives him his hat and coat.

KAPITONICH
Good evening, Your Excellency.

Kapitonich is uneasy. A Footman comes from a service door. He sees Vron-
sky and looks to Kapitonich.

VRONSKY
I am expected.

Kapitonich nods to the Footman.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

Anna, six months pregnant, is seated almost formally. The Footman lets
Vronsky in and retires closing the door. Anna runs to Vronsky.

119
ANNA
No!–no. I will not live like this!

He holds her, calming her, hushing her.

He leads her into a Winter Garden conservatory off the Reception Room.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Waiting hour after hour while you’re drink-
ing champagne with naked actresses–
don’t think I don’t know!–Lisa Merkalova
still calls on me.

VRONSKY
It’s punishment enough that I’m on escort
duty, without . . .

ANNA
Yes–I’m sorry–it’s my demon, I can’t help it.

VRONSKY
You wrote that you were ill.

ANNA
Did I? Well, I am!
(GAILY)
But don’t worry! It won’t be for long, I’ll
soon be out of your way–soon!

VRONSKY
Stop.

ANNA
No, it’s true. I was told it in a dream.

120
VRONSKY
There, it was only a bad dream.

ANNA
Yes, and I’m only going to die having your
baby.

VRONSKY
That’s all nonsense!

She kisses him all over his face.

ANNA
Tell me it is, tell me it is. You love me. Only me.

VRONSKY
Your note said your husband would be out.

ANNA
He was late. Serves him right. And you.
Why do you call him my husband? He isn’t
my husband–he’s a clock, a wooden doll–

VRONSKY
But it was awkward . . . a matter of your
honour. You made an agreement.

Anna flares up again.

ANNA
Do you think of my honour when you’re
sharing whores with your Hindoo!

VRONSKY
Your demon again!

121
ANNA
I’ll be glad to die, before you start to hate me!

VRONSKY
Anna . . .

Anna gives a gasp. She laughs.

ANNA
Put your hand there. There! Did you feel
him move!

INT. COMMITTEE CHAMBER, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

“The Committee” is in session. Stremov has the floor. He is referring to a
map of Russia on an easel, splotched with colours. Karenin is there but not
listening, his thoughts far away.

STREMOV
I must respectfully ask Minister Karenin
whether his proposals for the regulation of
these colourful Gypsy tribes, of these schol-
arly God-fearing Jews, and of–but I’m
afraid I have lost the Minister’s attention . . .

All turn to look at Karenin, who sits staring at nothing, unaware even of
the pause. He wakes. For a beat he hardly knows where he is.

INT. ENTRANCE HALL, KARENIN HOUSE–NIGHT

Kapitonich lets Karenin in. Karenin is brisk.

122
KARENIN
Who is here?

KAPITONICH
Only Madame, Your Excellency.

Karenin goes up the staircase. There is an urgency in him, a fury.

INT. ANNA’S BOUDOIR, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

Karenin walks in and goes to her bureau, empties out little drawers and
receptacles, looking for the key to the main drawer. Anna comes in from the
bedroom, alarmed, in her nightdress.

ANNA
I wanted to see him because . . .

KARENIN
I do not wish to be told why a woman wants
to see her lover.

He pulls furiously at the locked drawer, then looks around for an implement.

ANNA
What are you . . . ?

KARENIN
I want his letters.

Karenin finds an iron bootjack. Anna tries to stop him. He pushes
her aside and smashes the wood around the lock, then, struggling against her,
he takes from the open drawer a pretty cardboard box, a good guess. He
confirms that it contains letters.

123
KARENIN (CONT’D)
I am going to Moscow tomorrow, and
then to the provinces with a commission
to investigate conditions among the Jews
and Gypsies–whose conditions I infinitely
prefer to my own. I will not return to this
house until divorce has put you into the
street. Meanwhile my son will be sent to
live with my eldest sister.

ANNA
(WAILS)
Alexei . . . please . . . leave me Serozha . . . !

Karenin looks at her with contempt.

KARENIN
Do you think I would let you have my son?
You are depraved, a woman without honour. I
thank God the curse of love is lifted from me.

He walks out with the box of letters.

EXT. STREET, MOSCOW–DAY

WINTER AGAIN

Oblonsky arrives outside his office building in a cab. He enters.

INT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING, MOSCOW–DAY

Saluted by the Hall Porter, Oblonsky mounts a semi-grand staircase and
arrives at the entrance to his department. He goes in.

124
INT. OUTER ROOM, OBLONSKY’S OFFICE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Levin stands up in his almost new, hardly used coat, top hat and boots.

OBLONSKY
Levin! What . . . ?

Levin smiles, hopefully, sheepish.

LEVIN
I need your advice . . .

It’s a reprise. Oblonsky understands. He seizes Levin and kisses him.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM, OBLONSKY HOUSE–NIGHT

A small group. Dolly is playing the piano. Kitty turns the pages for Dolly.
The old Prince Shcherbatsky and the Princess are with Countess Nordston
and Oblonsky.

COUNTESS NORDSTON
Well, is he coming?

Kitty, keeping half an eye on the door, sees Levin enter and misses the page-
turn. Oblonsky goes to greet Levin.

LEVIN
Am I late? Who is here?

OBLONSKY
Of course you’re late! Come and meet . . .
Countess Nordston.

125
COUNTESS NORDSTON
(drily, amused)
We nearly met at the Shcherbatsky’s last winter.

Levin, puzzled, bows to her and to the Prince and Princess, who are respec-
tively pleased and making the best of it, and then to Dolly who approaches.

PRINCE SHCHERBATSKY
Come into the fold . . .

DOLLY
Kitty is here.

Levin is shaken. Dolly leads him to Kitty, who is frightened, shy and
shamefaced. Dolly leaves them.

KITTY
Konsantin . . . what a long time since we
saw each other.

LEVIN
Since you saw me, but I saw you not so long
ago.

KITTY
When?

LEVIN
You were driving to Ergoshovo . . . I was at
Kashin for the haymaking.

KITTY
Oh, but why didn’t you . . . ?

They are both embarrassed by the wrong step.

126
LEVIN
I’m so glad to see you. You’re just the same.

KITTY
I hope not–I was young and silly in those
days.

LEVIN
Months and months ago!

KITTY
And you haven’t changed.

LEVIN
No. I haven’t.

Kitty looks up at him, decoding. They gauge each other shyly.

OBLONSKY
Permit me to announce–soup Marie Lou-
ise, carp with asparagus, and roast beef! I
went to the market in person!

But Matvey at that moment presents Oblonsky with a visiting card on a
salver. Oblonsky reads it.

OBLONSKY (CONT’D)
(TO MATVEY)
An extra place.

INT. ENTRANCE HALL, OBLONSKY HOUSE, SAME
TIME–NIGHT

The new arrival is Karenin. Oblonsky is pleased.

127
OBLONSKY
Karenin!–I’m glad you came.

KARENIN
I’ve been on tour in the regions, a govern-
ment commission . . . I’m sorry–I have
come to tell you our connection must be
severed. I’m going to divorce your sister.

OBLONSKY
Divorce? Dear me, what are you talking
about? Don’t be in a hurry. Stay to dinner
and later talk it over with Dolly–

KARENIN
Prince Oblonsky, everything is over between
our families.

OBLONSKY
(REPROACHFULLY)
Alexei . . . divorce is one thing but dinner
is quite another.

INT. DINING ROOM, OBLONSKY HOUSE–NIGHT

Dinner for eight– clockwise, Oblonsky, Countess Nordston, Prince Shcher-
batsky, Kitty, Karenin, Dolly, Levin and Princess Shcherbatsky.

Two Servants and Matvey serve at the table, clearing away the “carp with
asparagus.” The Princess is challenging Karenin.

PRINCESS SHCHERBATSKY
You Petersburgers think yourselves so de
bon ton compared with dull, old-fashioned

128
Moscow, but we know how to do things–
only the other day, I hear, Vasya Pryachnikov
fought a duel with Kvitsky and killed him.

Oblonskky attempts to divert the conversation.

OBLONSKY
Well, what’s this government commission,
Karenin . . . ?

But Karenin ignores him. Oblonsky looks on helplessly.

KARENIN
What was the challenge about?

PRINCESS SHCHERBATSKY
Pryachnikov’s wife, naturally.

PRINCE SHCHERBATSKY
It was a matter of honour, defending a
woman’s honour . . .

Karenin remains cool.

KARENIN
It sounds like barbarism to me . . . And
what if the lover had killed the husband?–
would that have preserved the wife’s honour
too?

COUNTESS NORDSTON
Still, not many of us can say that our lover
died for love!

129
KARENIN
Love? Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s wife.

COUNTESS NORDSTON
Would you die for love, Konstantin Dmitrich?

LEVIN
I would. But not for my neighbour’s wife.

Levin is nettled to find that he seems to have made a joke, for the Countess
especially. Kitty remains serious, watching Levin, loving him.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
An impure love is not love, to me. To admire
another man’s wife is a pleasant thing, but
sensual desire indulged for its own sake is
greed, a kind of gluttony, and a misuse of
something sacred which is given to us so
that we may choose the one person with
whom to fulfill our humanness. Otherwise
we might as well be cattle.

COUNTESS NORDSTON
Ah, an idealist!

Reconciliatory laughter eases the atmosphere. Levin feels abashed at coming
out of his shell. He steals a glance at Kitty and finds her looking at him.
She smiles at him and drops her eyes.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM, OBLONSKY HOUSE–NIGHT

The dinner party settles in.

Dolly and Karenin sit knee-to-knee in a corner.

130
DOLLY
. . . but she will be nobody’s wife, she’ll be
ruined.

KARENIN
I tried to save her. She chose ruin.

DOLLY
Alexei Aleksandrevich–look at me. You
will have no peace of mind until you forgive
her. It was Anna who taught me that.

KARENIN
I do not wish to forgive. I am not a cruel
man. I have never hated anyone. But I hate
her with all my soul for all the wrong she
has done me.

Levin and Kitty are at the card table, with a spillage of the alphabet pieces.

OBLONSKY
It’s your turn to play us something,
Countess.

KITTY AND LEVIN

LEVIN
Since we last met, there is something I have
often wanted to ask you.

KITTY
What is that?

Levin sorts through the alphabet pieces as though he is putting off the
moment, but he quickly puts four letters spaced out in a row: D N M N.

131
LEVIN
This.

Kitty tries.

KITTY
Do Not . . .

Levin adds an I next to the D.

KITTY (CONT’D)
Did. Did Not.

Levin shakes his head. He adds an E next to the second N. Kitty concentrates.

KITTY (CONT’D)
The last word is Never.

Levin nods. Kitty puts letters in place. They read DID NO MEAN
NEVER.

Levin looks into her eyes.

Kitty finds letters and presents Levin with T I D N K. Levin adds NOW
to the K. Kitty nods. Levin adds OT to the N. Kitty nods.

Levin adds an O to the D. Kitty shakes her head. She puts an H after the T.

LEVIN
I know what it says.

Dolly, looking across the room, sees Kitty and Levin serious and smiling,
rapt.

Levin places extra letters: THEN I DID NOT KNOW. Kitty nods.

132
LEVIN (CONT’D)
Then. But now?

Kitty finds C Y F A F.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
Can You.

Kitty nods.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
Can you Forgive. And Forget.

Levin puts down I L Y.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
I never stopped . . .

He looks up to see silent tears streaming down her face. His own eyes flood.

EXT. STREET, MOSCOW–NIGHT

Karenin walks away from the Oblonsky house. He lifts his face to meet the
snowflakes. He looks tortured. Snow melts on his face like tears. He takes
from his wallet a telegram.

CLOSE UP TELEGRAM:
I BEG YOU TO COME. I NEED YOUR FORGIVENESS.
I AM DYING.

KARENIN
Die, then.

He stands in the snow, uncertain.

133
INT. TRAIN (MOSCOW TO ST. PETERSBURG)–NIGHT

Karenin sits like a statue.

INT. ENTRANCE HALL, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

Karenin is let into the house by Kapitonich.

KARENIN
How is your mistress?

KAPITONICH
Safely delivered of a daughter, Your
Excellency.

KARENIN
So . . . she is well?

KAPITONICH
The mistress is very poorly. The doctor . . .

Karenin, going to the stairs, sees Vronsky’s cloak and cap on the coat stand.

INT. BEDROOM LEVEL, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Karenin comes up the staircase. When he reaches his dressing room he hears
Anna shouting for “Alexei” in her delirium. He hesitates. Anna shouts the
name again. Karenin enters Anna’s boudoir.

134
INT. ANNA’S BOUDOIR, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Karenin sees Vronsky sitting with his hands over his face. Vronsky jumps
up in confusion.

VRONSKY
She’s dying. Please let me stay.

Karenin looks at him coldly and enters the bedroom.

INT. BEDROOM, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

Anna is not seeing or hearing, struggling against the Doctor and the Mid-
wife, while Annushka holds her hand.

DOCTOR
Thank God! She talks only of you.

In her delirium, Anna keeps up a bright prattle.

ANNA
Why doesn’t he come? He is kind. He will
forgive me.

MIDWIFE
He’s here–look–look–can’t you see him?

ANNA
I want Alexei! Why doesn’t he come? Give
me some water. No, I mustn’t, it’s not good
for my little girl. Or let her have a nurse.
Yes–don’t bring her here, because Alexei
is coming and it will hurt him to see her.

135
ANNUSHKA
He’s come, my dear–look there . . .

Annushka gives way to Karenin, who kneels by the bed, taking Anna’s
hand.

DOCTOR
(TO ANNUSHKA)
More ice.

Annushka hurries out.

ANNA
Oh, what nonsense. I must be asleep, that’s
what it is. You think he won’t forgive me
but you don’t know him. No one knows
him except me. I’m not afraid of him now.

Karenin gazes at her. He looks at her as he’s never looked at her.

ANNA (CONT’D)
I’m afraid of death, though.

Karenin tries to speak but cannot. He starts making shushing noises as to a
baby. She quietens down. She seems to recognise him.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Oh, my dear. Don’t look at me like that.
I am not the one you think. I’m afraid of
her. She fell in love with another man. I’m
the real one. But I’m dying now, then she’ll
be dead, too. Poor man! Let him come in.
Alexis! Alexis!

136
INT. BOUDOIR, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–DAY

Vronsky hears her calling. He comes into the bedroom.

INT. BEDROOM, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–DAY

Vronsky covers his face, unmanned. The Doctor nods to the Midwife–
“Leave them alone.” They leave.

ANNA
Take your hands away from your face. Look
at my husband. He’s a saint! Take his hand.
Alexei–take his hands away.

Karenin pulls Vronsky’s fingers, and holds on to Vronsky’s hand.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Forgive him, too. Thank God, thank
God . . .

DAWN

Anna is asleep. Karenin is alone with her. The crisis seems to be over. She
opens her eyes.

ANNA (CONT’D)
So you came.

Karenin puts his face down to her shoulder. She strokes him.

ANNA (CONT’D)
If I had died as I wanted, you would be free
of your troubles at last.

137
KARENIN
I am free of them.

Anna closes her eyes and sleeps again.

BOUDOIR, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–DAY

Karenin comes in. Vronsky is there. He looks up abjectly.

VRONSKY
Whatever you think of me, please believe
me, I love her–I could not have done other-
wise than what I . . . what I did.

Karenin nods and sits next to him.

KARENIN
But you must leave now. I promise to send
for you if she asks for you. I don’t know what
happened. I forgive you. I forgive Anna. My
soul is filled with joy. I will remain with her
and look after her for ever.

Karenin stands up and offers his hand. Vronsky grasps it and starts
shaking.

KARENIN (CONT’D)
Come now, come now . . .

Karenin embraces him, comforting him.

138
INT. VRONSKY FLAT, ST. PETERSBURG

Vronsky arrives back at his flat . . . and finds his mother waiting for him
in his sitting room.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
Look at you. You look like what you are. A
laughingstock. I fancy you are to be asked
to leave the regiment.

VRONSKY
I would like you to go, Maman.

COUNTESS VRONSKY
I will go when I’m ready to go. A little
affair with a married woman puts a finish-
ing touch to a young man’s education–but
this morbid, selfish obsession . . . ! You have
publicly humiliated a man who has devoted
his life to Russia, and it will not be forgot-
ten. You’d better come back to Moscow
with me. You’re finished here.

VRONSKY
In Petersburg?
(he taps his breastbone)
I’m finished here.

INT. BEDROOM, VRONSKY FLAT–DAY

For the first time, Vronsky is wearing civilian clothes . . . looking reflect-
ingly at his uniform hanging in his wardrobe. He places his cavalry cap
carefully on a shelf and closes the wardrobe.

139
INT. BEDROOM, OBLONSKY HOUSE, MOSCOW–
DAY

Levin is half-dressed in clothes to be married in, assisted by Matvey and
watched over by Oblonsky, who is in wedding clothes. Levin is frantic.
Oblonsky is perplexed. Matvey is unflappable, holding Levin’s coat ready
and following him around.

LEVIN
. . . no, I’ll go to her and tell her it’s not
too late to stop this business! Better now
than when we’re married and she realises
she doesn’t love me!

OBLONSKY
But she does love you!

LEVIN
How can she? I mean, look at me! Suppose
she’s only marrying me to get married?
Suppose she’s still in love with Vronsky?

She’s making a terrible mistake! I’ll go
to her and tell her she’s free, that’s what I
must do . . .

MATVEY
Your coat, sir.

Levin snatches the coat and puts it on, and dashes out of the room.

140
INT. ENTRANCE HALL, SHCHERBATSKY HOUSE–
DAY

Levin, in disarray, is let into the house. The entrance hall is crowded, loud
and chaotic with children, maids, governesses and Kitty’s mother. Tanya,
Masha and Lili are bridesmaids. Grisha is a page. Princess Shcherbatsky,
trying to create order among last-minute bouquet distribution, hair-
adjustments, shoe-changing, etc., sees Levin and explodes.

PRINCESS SHCHERBATSKY
Konstantin!–what– ?

LEVIN
I have to talk to Kitty.

PRINCESS SHCHERBATSKY
You’re not allowed to see her!

Levin gallops up the stairs.

INT. KITTY’S ROOM, SHCHERBATSKY HOUSE–DAY

Kitty, dressed for the church, is whispering into the crack of the bedroom door.

KITTY
No. I don’t understand at all! What’s the
matter with you?

INT. OUTSIDE KITTY’S ROOM, SAME TIME–DAY

LEVIN
You can’t love me. Think it over! Let people
say what they like!

141
KITTY
( FRIGHTENED)
Are you mad? Have you changed your
mind?

LEVIN
Yes. If you don’t love me.

KITTY
But I do love you!

Levin hesitates, desperate.

LEVIN
Do you? Well, I love you!

KITTY
Oh, Konstantin!

They link hands through the opening, each with a hand to kiss.

OVER– CHURCH ORGAN MUSIC

INT. CHURCH–DAY

A mere fragment of a long and ornate marriage ceremony . . .

The grizzled Priest lights two decorated candles, holding them askew in his
left hand, and he uses his right hand to touch Levin and, more tenderly,
Kitty. He gives the couple the candles, Kitty taking hers in her gloved hand.
Levin looks blissfully at Kitty.

142
MIX TO

The Priest lifts crowns from their heads, and invites them to kiss each other,
relieving them of their candles.

The Choir bursts with pride.

INT. NURSERY, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

The baby girl, two months old, is being fed by a Wet Nurse. Replete, the
baby is given over to the Nursemaid who lays the child in her crib.

Karenin watches all this. The women ignore him: they are used to him
now, and Karenin is harmless. Karenin stares fascinated at the baby, who
stares back.

INT. BOUDOIR, KARENIN HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG–
DAY

Anna stares at herself in the mirror. The act of raising a pair of scissors is
an effort. She isolates a thick lock of her hair, and snips it off.

INT. BEDROOM, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

Anna’s hair is short all over. She sits up in bed, listening to Princess Betsy,
who has brought the current gossip.

BETSY
. . . and there was her husband wearing her
best ballgown, rouge all over his face . . .
ma chere, le scandale! . . . But I’d better tell
you some regimental news . . .

143
INT. ENTRANCE HALL, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

Karenin enters and sees a glamorous Footman standing in the entrance
hall, holding a white fur cape.

KARENIN
Who is here?

FOOTMAN
Princess Elisabeth Federovna Tverskaya,
Your Excellency.

INT. BEDROOM LEVEL, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

Karenin approaches the bedroom door.

anna (O.C.)
No–I don’t want to see him.

betsy (O.C.)
. . . but your husband surely wouldn’t . . .

INT. BEDROOM, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna sees Karenin who is about to retreat.

KARENIN
Please excuse me.

ANNA
No–stay.

144
BETSY
I am so glad to see you. Everyone asks after
you.

Karenin bows to her and kisses Anna’s hand.

KARENIN
You look feverish.

BETSY
We have been talking too much–so I’m
going.

ANNA
Princess Betsy came to tell me . . .

I don’t want to hide anything from you . . .
Count Vronsky asked to come to say
goodbye–he’s going away. I have said I
can’t receive him.

Betsy kisses Anna.

BETSY
Goodbye, my treasure.

Karenin follows Betsy out. Anna gives in to a moment of grief, and recovers
herself when she hears the crack of Karenin’s knuckles. He comes in.

KARENIN
I agree with you. As he is going away, there
is no need for Count Vronsky to come here.

145
ANNA
I have just said so, so there’s no need to
repeat it.

KARENIN
But it is for you to decide.

ANNA
Yes, and I decided.

KARENIN
Then I am very glad that–

ANNA
That we agree, so perhaps we can stop talk-
ing about it.

KARENIN
Of course. Is there anything I can do for
you?

ANNA
Yes, can you please please please stop crack-
ing your knuckles.
(PAUSE)
I’m a bad woman. But I can’t breathe. Your
kindness which I can’t repay, and your
FORGIVENESS–

KARENIN
You begged me for my forgiveness.

ANNA
But I didn’t die and now I have to live with
it! If only you would have gone on hating me.

146
KARENIN
But then–what? What? What do you want?

Do you know what you want?

Do you want to see Count Vronsky?

ANNA
(QUIETLY)
Not to say goodbye.

KARENIN
I can’t hear.

ANNA
Not to say goodbye.

KARENIN
(PAUSE)
You would be lost. Irretrievably lost. You
would have no position. And worse if we
divorce. You would be the guilty party.
That means you cannot legally remarry.
Your union with Count Vronsky would be
illegitimate, and so would your daughter
who now has the protection of my name.
And that is what you want! It would be a
sin to help you destroy yourself.

ANNA
You forget something. Count Vronsky and I
love each other.

KARENIN
And this love sanctifies a criminal folly?

147
ANNA
(CRIES OUT)
All I know is that I sent him away and it’s as
if I’d shot myself through the heart!

KARENIN
(PAUSE)
I see. And Serozha . . . ?

It’s the crux for Anna, and she is prepared for it.

ANNA
I would die for him, but I won’t live like
this for him. When he knows about love,
he’ll forgive me.

Karenin can see where this takes him.

KARENIN
Then I must choose the smaller sin. Vronsky
robbed me of my cloak and I will give him
my coat. I will give you grounds to divorce
me, and I’ll accept the scandal, the humilia-
tion and the consequences to my career.

ANNA
No . . . I can’t . . .

KARENIN
You may write to him but I would prefer
you not to see him until you have left this
house.

148
EXT. ROAD BRIDGE, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

Two coaches, each with considerable luggage, have a rendezvous, one coach
on the bridge.

INT. COACH, SAME TIME– DAY

Anna is holding Baby Anya. Annushka and the Nurse are with her.

INT. SECOND COACH, SAME TIME–DAY

Vronsky, in civilian clothes, is alone, looking anxiously out of the window.

INT. COACH, SAME TIME– DAY

Anna gives the baby to the Nurse, as the coach halts.

EXT. ROAD BRIDGE, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna gets out of her coach and runs the few yards to Vronsky’s coach. He
opens the door for her.

INT. SECOND COACH, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna is kissing Vronsky’s face and being kissed, weeping, smiling.

VRONSKY
You look like a boy. But so pale. We’ll go
south . . . to the sea air and sunshine . . .

149
INT. BEDROOM (“THE SOUTH”)–DAY

Early morning. In a big untidy bed, Vronsky and Anna lie asleep, naked
and satiated. The style of the room, and the warmth of the light, tell of
the journey made, confirmed by the view from the window, an attractive
panorama from an elevation above the sea. In the room, there are open,
unpacked or partly unpacked trunks and cases, and, abandoned untidily,
Anna’s and Vronsky’s clothes.

INT. KARENIN’S STUDY, KARENIN HOUSE–DAY

Slyudin is in attendance on Karenin at his desk.

SLYUDIN
. . . and Madame Odette in person, so to speak,
Your Excellency, with your permission . . .

A respectful cough at the door reveals an obsequious male Shopkeeper. Kar-
enin is bewildered.

KARENIN
Madame Odette . . . ?

SHOPKEEPER
Excuse the liberty, Your Excellency . . . it’s
for a bonnet and some ribbons Her Excel-
lency has overlooked. If you wish us to
address ourselves to Her Excellency, please
be so good as to tell us where we might . . .

Karenin is stricken into immobility, his face hiding in one propped-up hand.
A tear falls on the blotter. Slyudin rescues him, ushering the Shopkeeper out.

150
Countess Lydia arrives in full fluttering cry.

LYDIA
I have forced my way in! I have heard!

KARENIN
Countess, every shopkeeper has heard.

LYDIA
My dear friend! Don’t give way to sorrow.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has you in his care.

KARENIN
No, I’m done for. I don’t understand any-
thing. All day long I’m being asked to
make decisions about bills and servants, the
kitchen, Serozha’s clothes . . .

LYDIA
I understand. I understand everything. I am
going to act. The household arrangements
you can leave to me. I will come every day. I
will be a second mother to Serozha.

He clasps both her hands and kisses them. Lydia falls to her knees.

LYDIA (CONT’D)
He that humbleth himself shall be exalted!
You must not thank me. Thank Him whose
love pours through me!

151
EXT. SNOWY COUNTRYSIDE, POKROVSKOE, SAME
TIME–DAY

The sleigh brings Levin and Kitty home through deep snow all around. The
house comes into view.

SLEIGH

They have been on honeymoon travels, attested by hotel labels on the lug-
gage. Kitty, eager and anxious, looks at the approaching house. Not too
bad. Levin takes her hand. She smiles at him, to calm him.

EXT. THE HOUSE, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–DAY

Agafia and Vasili come out on the porch. The house has been painted, the
window frames smartened up, and paper flowers are tied to the posts of
the porch. The sleigh pulls up. Levin carries Kitty through the snow to the
porch. Agafia bobs. Vasili bows.

LEVIN
This is Agafia, and Vasili, the steward . . .
My wife, Ekaterina Alexandrovna Levin.

KITTY
I am very pleased to meet you both.

Kuzma sidles by with a bow and goes to take the luggage from the sleigh.

LEVIN
And that was Kuzma. Come inside!

152
VASILI
Careful–door’s still a bit . . .
(to Levin’s look)
it’s all right, it’ll be dry tomorrow . . .

INT. SITTING ROOM, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–
DAY

Levin shows Kitty in. He is immensely relieved. It never looked better. At
the same time he realises that Agafia is agitated: a word in private.

LEVIN
Is it all right?

Kitty nods, smiles gamely–it’s not like home.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
Sit down a minute.

KITTY
No–I want to see everything.

Agafia panics.

LEVIN
A moment.

Levin follows Agafia out.

INT. STAIRS, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–DAY

Agafia follows Levin up the stairs. She is outraged.

153
AGAFIA
. . . and now I’m doing kitchen maid’s
work because Nadya’s parents won’t let her
set foot in this house, and who can blame
them!–it’s indecent!

INT. GUEST BEDROOM, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–
DAY

Levin enters the small bedroom. Agafia waits outside.

Nikolai is in the bed– wasted, near death. He lies in squalor. Masha is
wiping his face. She stands up at Levin’s approach. Levin bends over Niko-
lai, presses his gaunt hand. Nikolai opens his eyes.

LEVIN
It’s me, Konstantin.

NIKOLAI
Yes, good. The doctor here is useless–get
me a doctor from Moscow.

LEVIN
Where did you go? I asked for you every-
where, when I was getting married.

Nikolai sighs and closes his eyes. Levin retreats, looks to Masha.

MASHA
(WHISPERS)
I’m sorry . . . I couldn’t leave him. I know
I’ve done wrong.

154
LEVIN
Yes. My wife . . . You can’t stay now.

Levin goes outside to Agafia and closes the door.

INT. OUTSIDE GUEST BEDROOM, POKROVSKOE,
SAME TIME– DAY

AGAFIA
I couldn’t go against Nikolai Dmitrich’s
orders . . .

LEVIN
Yes–yes . . . She’s going.

An unwelcome thought strikes Levin.

LEVIN (CONT’D)
Did the doctor see her?

Agafia nods guiltily.

INT. SITTING ROOM, POKROVSKOE–DAY

Kitty has remained. Levin, in miserable agony, is sitting holding her
hand.

LEVIN
I will nurse him with Agafia . . . The
woman will find somewhere in the village.
You won’t see her. She knows it’s impossible
for you to meet her. It is a torment to me
that I have brought you under the same roof

155
as this unfortunate . . . this fallen . . . and in
your precious, in your delicate condition . . .

Kitty detaches herself abruptly and leaves the room. He hears her going
upstairs. After a moment, he follows.

INT. OUTSIDE GUEST BEDROOM, POKROVSKOE,
SAME TIME– DAY

Kitty comes out of the Guest Bedroom.

KITTY
Good. A clean nightshirt and sheets. A
towel and a clean pail of warm water. Ask
Agafia for vinegar, and to prepare a bed
somewhere for Masha. Wait.

Kitty goes back into the room and returns at once with a chamber-pot which
she thrusts at Levin.

KITTY (CONT’D)
And bring the perfume bottle in the outside
pocket of my handbag.

She goes back into the room and doesn’t return. Levin, humbled, goes down
the stairs.

INT. GUEST ROOM, POKROVSKOE–DAY

Nikolai has been stripped. Masha washes his body. Kitty enters with her
arms full of clean linen.

156
LATER

Nikolai lies naked in clean sheets. Masha hauls him up into a sitting posi-
tion. Kitty puts a nightshirt over his head. Nikolai protests feebly.

KITTY
I’m not looking.

Masha and Kitty pull the nightshirt over his body. Kitty pulls the sheet up
over him. Masha adjusts the fresh pillow. She combs his hair (and beard).

LATER–NIGHT

Nikolai lies quietly in a neat bed in the neat room, with medicine and
water jug, etc., tidily by the bed. Masha keeps vigil by candlelight, holding
his hand, singing to him quietly.

NIKOLAI
(WHEEZING)
I’m going . . .

INT. BOYS’ ROOM, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–DAY

Levin comes into the room he shared with his brother. The room has been
abandoned for years . . . two bare beds, a washstand, a wooden chest. It
contains a jumble of books, shoes, a pair of skates.

Levin hears sleigh bells arriving.

EXT. THE HOUSE, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–DAY

The sleigh draws up, bringing a Priest.

157
INT. GUEST ROOM, POKROVSKOE–DAY

Levin, feeling out of place, is at the washstand. He notices there is a prettily
wrapped new cake of soap. He picks it up and puts it to his nose.

Masha and Kitty are kneeling by the bed. The Priest bends over Nikolai
holding up an icon in front of Nikolai’s face and murmuring the prayers.
Levin, embarrassed, puts down the soap and comes forward and kneels too.

LATER

Nikolai is at the point of death. Levin stares, torn between the mystery
and the lack of mystery, the ordinariness of the body finally wearing out.
The death rattle comes. Masha kisses the dead hand. The Priest continues
to murmur. Kitty takes hold of Masha’s hand. Levin stares into Nikolai’s
face: if this is death, what is life?

LATER

Nikolai lies dead, candles burning at his head and feet.

INT. DINING ROOM, POKROVSKOE–DAY

Levin counts money, for the services of the Priest . . . who is eating bread
and soup.

LEVIN
Thank you, Father . . . and how much . . . ?

He offers a handful of paper money.

158
PRIEST
At your benevolence. It is a custom, not a
levy, Your Excellency . . . Jesus overturned
the money-tables outside the temple, but . . .

He shrugs and puts the money away, and returns to his soup.

EXT. GRAVEYARD, POKROVSKOE–DAY

The snow is almost gone. Nikolai’s grave has flowers strewn on the mound.

EXT. THE HOUSE AND YARD, POKROVSKOE–DAY

Pava’s yearling and several more calves, delirious with release, mill through the
yard with the herd, to pasture, with a Herdsman and Laska urging them on.

Masha is leaving, alone behind the Coachman. She sits quietly and doesn’t
look back. Levin and Kitty watch her drive away.

KITTY
You’re such an expert on love, Kostya . . .
why didn’t you know it when you saw it?

INT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING, SAME TIME– DAY

Lydia hurries along grand deserted hallways. She knows her way. A door
ahead of her opens and a dozen Politicians and Civil Servants carrying
portfolios cross her path, with Stremov at the centre of their unheard conver-
sation. Stremov is smiling, triumphant.

Lydia expects to see Karenin among them. She hurries on to the door they
came from.

159
INT. COMMITTEE CHAMBER, SAME TIME–DAY

When Lydia enters, Karenin, alone in the chamber, is sitting immobile,
defeated. He starts gathering his papers. Lydia comes to him. Her agitation
explained, she takes an opened letter from her bag.

LYDIA
Alexei, they’re back! Here in St. Petersburg!
She has written to me.

Karenin accepts the letter and reads it.

KARENIN
To you? . . . I think I don’t have the right to
refuse . . . It’s the boy’s birthday . . .

LYDIA
My friend . . . you would be blowing on the
embers of a fire which must be allowed to
die . . . Let me write to her.

EXT. TOY SHOP, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

Anna is looking into the display window of a toy shop. She is excited, glow-
ing. She enters the shop.

INT. VRONSKY’S FLAT, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

Returning from the toy shop with a wrapped parcel, Anna comes in. Luggage
is stacked up in the hallway and Franz is unpacking stuff in the main room.

She sees that a hand-delivered letter is waiting for her. She opens it. Anna reads
the letter. For a moment she is devastated by it–but then, furious, she tears it up.

160
EXT. KARENIN HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

It’s very early morning. The street is not awake. A hired cab brings Anna
to her former home. She is heavily veiled, and carries the wrapped parcel
from the toy shop. The cab is to wait for her. She rings the doorbell.

A sleepy Servant opens the big wooden door.

ANNA
I’m here to see Sergei Alexeyich.

The young Servant doesn’t know her. Anna steps past him, pushing money
into his hand.

INT. ENTRANCE HALL, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Kapitonich, pulling on his livery greatcoat, comes to the inner glass door
and lets Anna in. He does not recognise her.

ANNA
I have brought something for Sergei
Alexeyich.

Kapitonich scrutinises her, prepared to forestall her.

KAPITONICH
He is not up yet. Would you wish to wait?
Who shall I say . . . ?

Kapitonich peers at her and realises who she is. He steps back and bows.

KAPITONICH (CONT’D)
Please come in, Your Excellency.

161
Anna goes quickly to the stairs.

KAPITONICH (CONT’D)
Allow me to announce you. The tutor may
be there and not dressed.

Anna shakes her head and is almost running away from him. Kapitonich
gives chase.

INT. STAIRS, KARENIN’S HOUSE, SAME TIME–DAY

KAPITONICH
Please allow me!

INT. UPPER LEVEL, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–
DAY

Anna dashes past two Housemaids who gape at her, and disappears round
the corner. She’s a little mad now.

INT. UPPER STAIRS, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–
DAY

Anna, wild-eyed, climbs the stairs and meets the tutor, Vasily Lukich,
coming down, buttoning his waistcoat. Lukich is startled, not knowing her.

ANNA
I’ve come to see Sergei Alexeyich.

Kapitonich reaches these stairs, calling, “Your Excellency . . . !”

162
INT. TOP FLOOR, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–
DAY

Anna dashes for Serozha’s door and flings herself through it.

INT. “SEROZHA’S ROOM,” KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

It’s no longer Serozha’s room. A large Woman sits up in bed. She’s probably
the Cook. She cries out. Anna reels back. She looks panicked.

Kapitonich catches up, out of breath.

KAPITONICH
He’s been moved to the small sitting room.

INT. UPPER STAIRS, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–
DAY

At the bottom of the Upper Stairs, Lukich, the Housemaids and a couple of
half-dressed Footmen have their heads together. They move aside as Anna
hurries by, seeing nothing.

INT. UPPER LEVEL, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–
DAY

Kapitonich catches up with Anna at the door of the “small sitting room.”

KAPITONICH
I’ll just look in.

Anna shakes her head and walks past him, into the room.

163
INT. BEDROOM, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–DAY

The curtains are drawn closed. The room is dim. Anna sees Serozha sitting
up, yawning, his eyes closed, and falling back on the pillow. She comes to
the bed and whispers his name. Serozha raises himself on his elbow, opens
his eyes and smiles dreamily and falls forward into her arms.

SEROZHA
Mama.

ANNA
Oh, my dear little boy.

SEROZHA
I knew you would come. Today is my
birthday.

Serozha rubs his face on her neck, falls back on the pillow, only half awake
and going back to sleep. Anna looks at him avidly, touching his forearms,
his shoulders, the hair over his ears. She can’t stop her own tears. He comes
awake.

SEROZHA (CONT’D)
Are you crying?

ANNA
I won’t cry. It’s time for you to get dressed.
And I almost forgot your present, look . . .
open it . . .

Serozha takes off her hat.

SEROZHA
You don’t want that . . . Let me see.

164
Serozha tears open the package, lifts the lid of the cardboard box and finds
a puppet, a beautifully dressed marionette.

SEROZHA (CONT’D)
Oh, he’s grand!

INT. UPPER LEVEL, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME TIME–
DAY

Korney, the Valet, among others, has joined the “conference” and is blaming
Kapitonich.

KORNEY
It’s your fault for letting her in!–you
should be sacked.

KAPITONICH
Oh yes, you would have sent her packing!
Ten years I’ve been keeping the door and
the mistress was always kind to me. You
should stick to stealing the master’s clothes.

LUKICH
I’ve had enough of this–it’s my job to get
the boy out of bed before His Excellency
comes . . .

INT. SEROZHA’S ROOM, KARENIN HOUSE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Lukich cautiously opens the door. He sees mother and son working the pup-
pet and laughing quietly. Lukich backs off. Anna looks round to see the
door closing.

165
ANNA
Darling Kutik, Maman can’t stay . . .

Serozha clings to Anna.

SEROZHA
Don’t go!–he’s not coming yet.

ANNA
Yes, I must, and you must love Papa–
he’s better than I am. When you’re
grown-up . . .

SEROZHA
No one in the whole world is better than
you.

Anna hugs him.

INT. OUTSIDE SEROZHA’S ROOM, KARENIN HOUSE,
SAME TIME– DAY

The Servants in a huddle look round at the sound of a door, and approach-
ing footsteps round a blind corner.

There is no one in view when Karenin comes around the corner. The Ser-
vants have vanished. He goes to Serozha’s door. Anna comes out.

He stops, astonished. Anna looks at him boldly, then pulls down her veil.
Karenin bows. Anna walks past him.

166
INT. VRONSKY’S FLAT, ST. PETERSBURG–DAY

Anna comes “home” from Karenin’s house. The visit has changed her. She
sits down in her hat and coat. Annushka comes in.

ANNA
Where’s Anya?

ANNUSHKA
She’s still asleep. Should I take your coat?

Anna shakes her head.

ANNUSHKA (CONT’D)
Are you feeling unwell, Madame?

ANNA
I’m not sleeping.

ANNUSHKA
I can send out for something.

Anna nods.

LATER

Twilight. Anna appears not to have moved. The baby is heard crying in
another room. Anna’s face remains set, but she reacts on hearing Vronsky
coming in.

VRONSKY
Why are you in the dark?

He turns on a gaslight.

167
VRONSKY (CONT’D)
Yashvin is going to call . . . you remember him.
(about her clothes)
Are you going out?

ANNA
To where? To whom?

VRONSKY
What’s the matter?

ANNA
I didn’t know what happened to you.

VRONSKY
But I told you yesterday . . . My brother . . .

ANNA
Does it take all day for you to meet your
brother? Does he need you more than I do?

Vronsky sits next to her and puts his arms round her.

VRONSKY
What’s happened?

Anna shakes her head.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
Well . . . Alexander agreed to everything.
Mother’s house in Moscow will go to him,
and the country estate will be our new
home . . . as soon as the divorce . . . Karenin
hasn’t answered your letter yet?

Anna shakes her head. She stands up at last and takes off her hat.

168
INT. VRONSKY’S FLAT, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

Yashvin is a welcome visitor.

YASHVIN
It’s wonderful to have you both returned.

ANNA
How good you are to come. You’re the very
first person to call on me since our return.

Yashvin gets the point of that. He is embarrassed.

ANNA (CONT’D)
I received a note from Princess Betsy asking
me if I’d call on her between six-thirty and
eight. Or was it seven?

Yashvin got the point of that, too.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Alas, between six-thirty and seven is just
when I’m unable to see her!

YASHVIN
But perhaps you’ll meet at the opera tonight?

ANNA
I would love to be there if I could get a box.

YASHVIN
(BOWS)
Madame, your box is number four! You’ll
find me there with Princess Myagkaya. Will
you come, Vronsky?

169
Vronsky shakes his head. Yashvin kisses Anna’s hand.

ANNA
I see why . . . Alexei is so fond of you.

Yashvin laughs and bows himself out.

VRONSKY
You know you can’t go to the theatre?

ANNA
Annushka!

VRONSKY
For heaven’s sake–

Annushka comes.

ANNA
A bath. I’ll come in and choose a dress.

Annushka goes.

VRONSKY
Anna–I implore you–don’t you know . . . ?

ANNA
I’m not ashamed of who I am or what I’ve
done: are you ashamed for me? Why do
you keep a room at the hotel? Aren’t we
together? Have you changed towards me?

VRONSKY
It’s because I love you and care about you.

170
ANNA
If that’s the case, I don’t know why you
aren’t coming with me.

VRONSKY
That would make it worse.

ANNA
You’re afraid. Well, I’m not.

INT. OPERA HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

Before the performance, the stairs, galleries and corridors, giving access
to the stalls and boxes, are crowded with the town’s highest society. And
Anna, at her most beautiful, is magically cleaving through it. Awareness
of her presence is like a contagion, and yet everyone manages not to catch her
eye . . . so while all around her there are people impeding each other with
greetings, Anna’s path opens before her.

She knows what is happening. It shocks her but her eyes barely show it.
The spell is broken by Princess Myagkaya (she of the 85 kopek sauce) who
hails her.

PRINCESS MYAGKAYA
Anna . . . !

She picks up on the surrounding effect of this, and rubs it in with mischief,
taking Anna’s arm.

princess myagkaya (cont’d)
Something has done you good–you look
wonderful.

171
INT. VRONSKY’S FLAT, ST PETERSBURG–NIGHT

Vronsky sits and broods. Angrily, he changes his mind. He jumps up call-
ing for Franz.

EXT. OPERA HOUSE, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

Vronsky’s cab draws up outside the brightly lit, deserted opera house. He
alights.

INT. STAIRS, GALLERY, OPERA HOUSE–NIGHT

Vronsky comes up the stairs. The place is deserted, apart from Atten-
dants . . . one of whom takes Vronsky’s cloak and gives him a token.

INT. ANNA’S BOX, OPERA HOUSE, SAME TIME–
NIGHT

On stage, Act One is just ending, and the curtain falls. The applause gives
way to chatter.

PRINCESS MYAGKAYA
Should we visit or stay put?

Anna sees Vronsky entering on the side-aisle below. He looks up at the
boxes, seeking her. She turns away.

ANNA
Stay put.

Princess Myagkaya has engaged the attention of Stremov in the neighbour-
ing box.

172
PRINCESS MYAGKAYA
Minister! Congratulations. Come in for a
moment.

But Stremov only bows coldly and turns away. Yashvin notes this and
begins to chew his moustache anxiously. Anna’s neighbour on the other side,
a meek husband of a battle-axe, admires her openly.

Anna sees that Vronsky has stopped to talk to Countess Vronsky and the
Princesses Sorokina. The young Princess seems animated by Vronsky, who
bows himself away.

Princess Myagkaya sees where Anna is looking.

princess myagkaya (cont’d)
Princess Sorokina and her daughter, they’re
from Moscow, neighbours of Countess Vron-
sky, quite well off, no sons, she’s a widow.

Anna gives her a smiling but wounded look.

princess myagkaya (cont’d)
My dear, I’m a sales catalogue.

INT. OPERA HOUSE, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Vronsky meets Alexander in the aisle and greets him.

VRONSKY
You’ll come up to see us afterwards . . . ?

ALEXANDER
Talk to Varya.

173
Alexander indicates his seat to Vronsky. Vronsky sits by Varya.

VRONSKY
Will you call on Anna?

VARYA
Oh, Alexei . . . I’m fond of you . . . but . . .

VRONSKY
For God’s sake, Anna isn’t a criminal!

VARYA
I’d call on her if she’d only broken the law.
But she broke the rules.

Vronsky is angry and offended. He gets up, bows to Varya. When he looks
up, he sees Betsy beckoning to him from her box.

INT. ANNA’S BOX, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Anna watches Vronsky, sees him acknowledge Betsy’s summons.

PRINCESS MYAGKAYA
Who has made the decor? Haven’t we got
a programme? Colonel, would you be so
kind . . . ?

YASHVIN
Of course.

Anna’s neighbour, emboldened, offers her his programme.

174
NEIGHBOUR
Please . . . I would be honoured if you would
take mine . . .

ANNA
Thank you, how very . . .

The Neighbour’s Wife, catching this, reacts as though electrocuted.

INT. BETSY’S BOX, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Princess Betsy is smoking. Prince Tverskoy is examining an ancient book.
Vronsky enters the box. He bows to the Prince, and kisses Betsy’s hand.

PRINCE TVERSKOY
Catullus, printed in Venice, 1501 . . .
remarkable.

A grovelling House Manager appears in their midst, to tell Betsy she can’t
smoke in the box.

HOUSE MANAGER
(BOWING)
A thousand apologies, Princess, but . . .

Princess Betsy blows smoke and hands the cigarette, in its holder, to a figure
standing quietly in the shadowy corner of the box: Makhotin. Makhotin
takes the cigarette from the holder, crushes it in his left palm. He feels
humiliated . . . but that’s love. The House Manger bows and leaves.

VRONSKY
Captain Makhotin . . .

The Angry Wife’s voice cuts through the audience chatter.

175
WIFE’S VOICE
It’s a disgrace! Take me home!

Vronsky turns round to look. He sees the Husband trying to calm his Wife.

WIFE
Fetch my cloak!

Vronsky sees Anna looking straight ahead. Yashvin is eating his moustache.

INT. ANNA’S BOX, SAME TIME–NIGHT

The scene next door is a social catastrophe for Anna, but she is riding it.
Princess Myagkaya takes her hand. Yashvin shrinks into his corner, morti-
fied. The whole opera house is becoming aware of the “scandal.” The Angry
Wife has raised her voice.

INT. NEIGHBOUR’S BOX, SAME TIME–NIGHT

WIFE
What are we coming to?

The Husband has succeeded in putting his wife’s cloak over her shoulders.
Her exit line is for the benefit of the entire audience.

WIFE (CONT’D)
Is this the opera house or a–or a French
music hall– ?!

The Wife and her Husband leave the box.

176
INT. BETSY’S OPERA BOX, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Vronsky is tormented. He moves to leave the box.

BETSY
(SARCASTIC)
Yes, why don’t you? Rescue her and put
your seal on the fiasco.

Vronsky knows it and is trapped.

BETSY (CONT’D)
Alexei . . . you see why she must divorce.
Marriage will solve everything. When will
it be?

VRONSKY
As far as I’m concerned, she’s my wife.

BETSY
But, as you saw, she isn’t.

VRONSKY
We’re going to Moscow, and then to my
place in the country.

BETSY
That sounds like a good idea.

VRONSKY
But for a day or two, Anna will be at home,
at my flat.

Betsy shrugs.

177
VRONSKY (CONT’D)
(PAUSE)
Then, I’ll say goodbye now.

INT. VRONSKY’S FLAT, ST. PETERSBURG–NIGHT

Angry and upset, Anna sweeps into the flat in her opera cloak. Vronsky
follows her in.

ANNA
. . . you had an excellent night! Does your
mother want you to marry the widow or the
child?

VRONSKY
Either one.

ANNA
Don’t make a joke of it. If you loved me, you
would have locked me in to stop me going.

She throws aside her cloak and goes into the bedroom.

INT. BEDROOM, VRONSKY FLAT, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Annushka, asleep in a chair, waiting loyally, wakes up.

ANNA
Go to bed.

Vronsky comes in as Annushka goes out. He comes to Anna and puts his
arms round her.

178
VRONSKY
Yes, it was my fault.

ANNA
I won’t sleep.

VRONSKY
I know how to make you sleep.

LATER–IN BED

Vronsky makes love to Anna but it’s not working for her. Her eyes stray
around. By the bed is a carafe of water, an empty glass and a pharmacy
bottle as dark as ink, with a handwritten label.

EXT. MOSCOW–DAY

High summer. Heat and dust.

INT. TEA SHOP, MOSCOW–DAY

Anna, with some dainty shopping by her, is taking tea in a genteel cafe. Her
eye is caught by a mother and son at another table. The boy is a “Serozha.”
Anna misses her son acutely in that moment.

Then Dolly enters the tea shop. Anna’s heart lifts for a moment and she
is about to greet her, but then realises that Dolly is one of a trio of “society
ladies,” and Anna lowers her head. When she sneaks a look, she catches
one of the ladies whispering to the others. Anna realises that she has been
recognised by a stranger, and is notorious. She “hides” in her purse, finding
money to leave on the table so that she can escape. A sound makes her look
up and she sees that Dolly has sat down opposite her.

179
DOLLY
Anna . . . I am very glad to see you. Are you
well? How is your little one?

Anna nods, words won’t come.

DOLLY (CONT’D)
Stiva wanted to invite you and Count Vron-
sky to the house but it’s impossible . . .

ANNA
I understand.

DOLLY
No, no–you don’t. Kitty and her husband
are with us. She’s in Moscow to have the baby.

ANNA
Kitty . . . ? Oh, tell her how pleased I am . . . !

DOLLY
Perhaps I’ll wait a year or two.
(she gulps a laugh)
Oh . . . love!

ANNA
Yes . . . love! Don’t you disapprove of me for
what I’ve done?

DOLLY
No. I wish I’d done the same. But no one
asked me! Well . . . I wouldn’t have been
brave enough.
(she blinks tears)
Stiva, you know . . . he doesn’t change . . .
like all men, I suppose.

180
She doesn’t notice her tactlessness but it lands on Anna, who manages a
smile.

EXT. GRAND HOTEL, MOSCOW–NIGHT

INT. HOTEL SUITE, MOSCOW–NIGHT

Anna, in a nightdress, is awake in the night, staring out of the grand
window of a grand hotel, smoking.

INT. HOTEL BEDROOM, SAME TIME–NIGHT

Anna comes back to bed. Vronsky is asleep. She unstops a pharmacy bottle
(a different one) and pours a draught mixed with water.

INT. BEDROOM, MOSCOW HOTEL–DAY

Anna sleeps alone in the bed. Annushka, after a tap on the door, comes in
cautiously, worried.

ANNUSHKA
Madame . . . Madame . . .

Anna sits up.

ANNUSHKA (CONT’D)
Are you ill?

ANNA
What time is it? Is Anya up?

181
ANNUSHKA
It’s afternoon, Madame.

ANNA
I’m all right. It’s all right.
(PAUSE)
Get them to bring up all our trunks and
travel cases. We’ve been here long enough.

INT. HOTEL SUITE, MOSCOW–DAY

Vronsky comes in, noting the empty trunks and cases stacked up. Anna
comes from her room to greet him. She is making an effort to be pleasant,
but she looks excited, febrile.

ANNA
I had an inspiration. Why do we have to
wait here? Why can’t we wait in the coun-
try? I don’t want to hear any more about a
divorce, or think about it.

VRONSKY
Good! I’m bored here. When should we go?

ANNA
If I bore you here, I’ll bore you in the
country.

VRONSKY
I didn’t say you bore me. Moscow bores me.
When should we go? . . . Tomorrow?

But Anna’s mood has turned.

182
ANNA
I can’t be ready by tomorrow.

VRONSKY
The day after, then.

ANNA
If you like.

VRONSKY
No, wait. That’s Sunday. I have to see
Maman.

ANNA
That’s twenty minutes away in the train–
you could go to see her tomorrow–or was
it that you wanted to spend Sunday with
Princess Sorokina?

VRONSKY
Please don’t spoil everything. I can’t see
Maman tomorrow because she won’t have
read the papers she has to sign. Oh, and
then there’s the bank . . . But we can leave
on Tuesday.

ANNA
In that case, let’s not bother. I’ll leave on
Sunday or not at all.

VRONSKY
That’s absurd!

183
ANNA
It’s absurd to you because you have no
understanding for my life here.

VRONSKY
Anna . . . Anna . . .

ANNA
You’ve stopped loving me. You’ve given
up everything for me, and it’s turned you
against me. Why lie about it?

VRONSKY
Stop. I put off our departure for a day or
two, and you tell me I don’t love you.

ANNA
Because I’ve been living off your love and
there’s none left, so this is over! Finished.

She leaves him, slamming the door.

INT. BEDROOM, HOTEL, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna comes in and lies down on the bed, closes her eyes, sits up, pours a
dose from the medicine bottle by the bed, and lies down. Vronsky comes in.
He takes her hand.

ANNA
I’m sorry. I don’t mind when we go.

VRONSKY
I’ll telegraph Maman. We’ll go on Sunday.
I’ll do anything you want.

184
ANNA
You should leave me.

VRONSKY
I don’t want to. I love you.

ANNA
Why?

VRONSKY
You can’t ask why about love.

INT. DINING ROOM, HOTEL SUITE–DAY

Anna comes straight from bed. She is drugged and shaky. The room is
empty but there is a coffee tray on the table. Anna feels the coffeepot and
pours herself a cup.

INT. STUDY, HOTEL SUITE–DAY

Vronsky is at his desk. Anna enters with her coffee. Vronsky is reading a
telegram. Seeing her enter, he puts the telegram under his papers.

VRONSKY
So–will you be all packed? I’ll be out
today making the arrangements.

ANNA
Is that your way of telling me you’ll be at
your mother’s with that simpering little
princess?

185
VRONSKY
No. I’ll be with my lawyers. I’m waiting for
some documents. Then I’m having dinner
to say goodbye to old comrades.

ANNA
Well, I know what that means.

VRONSKY
My God, this is unendurable.

He controls himself.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
I can invite them here if you like.

ANNA
Thank you, but if I’m not fit to dine in soci-
ety, I won’t eat with the band. Who was the
telegram from?

Vronsky retrieves the telegram and hands it to her.

VRONSKY
I didn’t show it to you, because Stiva keeps
telegraphing what we already know. Kare-
nin promises nothing, but will consider . . .

Anna tosses the telegram aside unread.

ANNA
I told you I don’t care about the divorce, so
why hide the telegram? What else do you
hide from me?

186
VRONSKY
I hide nothing from you.

ANNA
Why do you care about the divorce?
What has it got to do with us loving each
other?

VRONSKY
Until we’re married, our daughter is legally
Karenin’s. I care about it because we need to
be free to marry.

ANNA
You’re perfectly free to marry anyone your
mother wants.

VRONSKY
But we aren’t talking about–

ANNA
Yes, we are, and, by the way, compared to
your mother I’m the Virgin Mary.

Vronsky is silent with anger. He gets up and goes out, returning with his
hat in his hand.

VRONSKY
Is there anything you wish to say to me?

She remains silent. He leaves again. She lights a cigarette.

187
EXT. HOTEL BUILDING, SAME TIME–DAY

The Sorokina Coach draws up outside the door. The coach with its crest
and the Coachman’s livery (a bright yellow cockade) are highly distinctive.

INT. HOTEL SUITE, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna, with her cup of coffee, comes in and looks down from the window.

ANNA’S POV–

Vronsky, hat in hand, at the coach window, accepts a large envelope from a
lilac-gloved hand. He bows. With a wave of the hand and a flash of golden
hair, the coach pulls away. Vronsky goes back inside.

INT. STUDY, HOTEL SUITE, SAME TIME–DAY

With the envelope, Vronsky comes in. Anna is as he left her, the cigarette
stubbed out.

ANNA
So it’s the child.

VRONSKY
She brought papers from Maman.

He hesitates, thinking she is about to speak.

VRONSKY (CONT’D)
Anna?

She stays silent. He leaves.

188
INT. BEDROOM, HOTEL SUITE, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna finds Annushka filling several half-filled cases.

ANNA
Unpack everything. We’re not going.

She lies down on the bed. Annushka would like to comfort her.

ANNUSHKA
Anna Arkadyeva . . .

ANNA
When Count Vronsky comes back, tell
him . . . I don’t want to be disturbed.

INT. BEDROOM, HOTEL SUITE–NIGHT

Anna is listening for Vronsky’s return. She hears him come in. She hears
him approach. Then she hears Annushka’s voice, then Vronsky’s voice. She
waits in suspense, disappointed as Vronsky’s steps retreat.

INT. STUDY, HOTEL SUITE–NIGHT

Anna, holding a candle-lamp, finds Vronsky asleep on the couch. She hesi-
tates, but turns away.

INT. BEDROOM, HOTEL SUITE–DAY

Anna wakes. She re-collects herself. She looks at the bedside clock. In a sud-
den hurry she leaves the bed and the bedroom.

189
INT. OUTSIDE THE BEDROOM, HOTEL SUITE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Anna finds Annushka waiting.

ANNA
Count Vronsky . . . ?

ANNUSHKA
He went out early, to the stables, he said.

Anna collapses on a chair and weeps.

ANNA
Oh, Annushka . . . I should have
died. Do you remember?

ANNUSHKA
Don’t take it to heart, Anna Arkadyeva . . .

ANNA
I’ve made him hate me.

INT. CLOSE (HOTEL)–DAY

Anna’s hand writes in a hurry: “I’m to blame. Come home. I’m
frightened.”

INT. HOTEL SUITE, SAME TIME–DAY

Anna seals the note and gives it to Annushka.

190
ANNA
Tell Michael to hurry.

Annushka runs out with the note.

INT. HOTEL SUITE–DAY

Anna is keeping watch at the window . . . and is rewarded by the return-
ing coach. She hurries out.

INT. STAIRS, HOTEL–DAY

Anna looks down into the entrance hall. Michael, the Coachman, comes in
and comes up the stairs to her. She sees that he is holding her note.

MICHAEL
Count Vronsky had already left, Your Excel-
lency. He took a cab to the station . . . to the
Countess.

INT. LOCAL TRAIN–DAY

Anna clutches her red bag to her, sitting among passengers.

Anna looks about her. Across the carriage she sees through the window that
her train is overtaking another passenger train on the next line.

She looks at the windows of the other train “going by” . . . seeing the pas-
sengers inside.

Unexpectedly, she seems to see a Man who might be Vronsky sitting opposite
a laughing Woman who might be Princess Sorokina.

191
Anna’s body jerks involuntarily. She half rises. The image, however, is
brief and is borne away, as her own train goes by, accelerating. The win-
dows opposite pick up speed as she leaves them behind–

And then she has the same illusion again– a “Vronsky” and a “Sorokina”
glimpsed in the other train and snatched away in the instant.

Now she stands up and goes to the opposite window, where the windows
of the other train are flashing by in the (anachronistic) manner of pro-
jected film-frames, and she sees “Vronskys” and “Sorokinas” flashing by at
gathering speed. And then the train has gone and there’s nothing going by
but the view.

Anna collapses into the nearest seat.

EXT. LOCAL STATION, SAME TIME–DAY

The train arrives at a small station.

Anna steps down from the train. The platform is well populated by people
waiting to board the train or to meet the arriving passengers. There is an
energy about the people– shouting, laughter, movement. Porters shout for
custom. A couple of Young Men seem to be laughing rudely directly at her,
but they pass by, ignoring her.

Anna pauses, bewildered, lost, not knowing what to do next.

She sees the Sorokina Coachman on the platform, recognising his distinctive
livery, a cockade in his hat.

ANNA
Are you waiting for the Princess Sorokina?

192
COACHMAN
No, Your Excellency, both princesses are at
the house of Countess Vronsky. I’m waiting
FOR HIM–

Anna turns back, agitated, expecting Vronsky to appear, but what comes
is a Footman carrying three hatboxes and a large box from a dress shop.

Anna walks away, along the platform, impeded by people going by her,
aware that some are staring at her as she passes. A Boy selling drinks grins
at her. A little group of Ladies and Children meeting a bespectacled man
off the train are laughing and chattering but fall silent and look at her. She
increases her pace. She hurries away towards the far end of the platform.
Beyond her, a goods train is slowly approaching. Between her and the train,
two Maidservants are walking towards her. They turn their heads to look
at her, remarking on her dress.

MAIDSERVANT
Look at that lace on her . . .

There is a rough bench near the end of the platform. Anna reaches it and
sits down. The two girls turn again to look back at her, and are struck
by the sight of Anna sitting alone in profile. The goods train reaches her
and the first wagon goes past her. The two girls stop and watch, vaguely
puzzled by her.

As they watch, the beautiful woman on the bench gets up and walks the
few steps to the edge of the wooden platform and into the path of the train,
disappearing from view between the wheels of one of the wagons.

EXT. (POKROVSKOE)–DAY

CLOSE–A SCYTHE CUTS A SWATHE THROUGH
STANDING HAY.

193
EXT. RAILS–THE RED HANDBAG

–lying separate against a rail, is clipped by a rolling train-wheel and
knocked aside, spilling its contents . . .

EXT. (POKROVSKOE)–DAY

A scythe cuts a swathe through standing hay.

EXT. HAYFIELD, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–DAY

It’s nearly the last of the hay. The scythe is being swung by Theodore,
known from last year. He is one of a dozen Mowers. Levin is among them,
wielding his scythe. They have almost reached the end of the field, where the
last of the hay is being pitchforked up on to the last piled cart. Theodore’s
daughter-in-law, now visibly pregnant, is still adept with a pitchfork.

It’s a lowering thundery day at the end of summer.

LEVIN
I’ll be buying in feed before winter’s over.

THEODORE
(SCYTHING)
Well, you don’t press people hard, but you
live rightly, for your soul, not your belly.

LEVIN
My soul! What’s that? I know what my
belly is. How do we know what’s rightly?
I believe in reason.

194
THEODORE
Reason? And was it reason that made you
chose a wife?

LEVIN
(PAUSE)
No.

THEODORE
You’re a great one for reasoning, Konstantin
Dmitrich, but what’s rightly is outside your
mathematic–that’s what’s rightly about it!

This stops Levin’s scythe. He is illumined.

Theodore swings the scythe again. Levin walks away, gives his scythe to a
Labourer by the cart, and keeps walking. He quickens his pace.

EXT. POKROVSKOE–DAY

The first drops of rain, few and heavy, arrive.

EXT. HOUSE AND PORCH, POKROVSKOE, SAME
TIME–DAY

Cries of alarm and laughter burst from a Mushrooming Party approaching
the house. Children run ahead, the adults walk faster, then run, helping
with baby carriages and picking up small children and baskets of mush-
rooms . . . urged on from the porch by Agafia.

Levin, coming from the hay field, joins the rout.

195
The grown-ups are: Levin, Oblonsky, Dolly, the Oblonsky Nurse, Prince
and Princess Shcherbatsky.

The children are: Tanya, Grisha, Masha, Lili and Vasili. Dolly carries
her youngest. The children are eighteen months older than when we first
saw them.

PORCH

The heavens open as everyone gets under cover.

LEVIN
Where’s Ekaterina Alexandrovna?

AGAFIA
It’s all right, the mistress is giving Mitya
his bath.

It is evident from her tone that Kitty and Agafia have made it up long ago.

INT. NURSERY, POKROVSKOE, SAME TIME–DAY

Rain on the window and on the roof. The rain is so loud that it is the
foreground sound in the scene; and the dialogue, while we can pick it out
without difficulty, is the background sound.

Levin enters, wet.

Dmitri (Mitya), two months old, is lying on his back in a basin, supported
by Kitty’s palm under his head. Kitty squeezes a sponge over his body,
which he likes.

196
LEVIN
I came looking for you . . . I understood
something . . .

KITTY
And what was that?

Kitty lifts Mitya onto a towel on her lap, wraps him and gives him to
Levin, who is enchanted by him.

LEVIN
He smiled at me.

KITTY
(UNCONSCIOUSLY ABSURD)
He’s very advanced for his age.

She picks up her rings to replace them on her fingers.

KITTY (CONT’D)
What did you understand?

But the baby starts to yell for the breast. Kitty starts to undo her blouse.

Levin shakes his head: he’ll tell her some other time, or maybe not.

EXT. PORCH, POKROVSKOE–NIGHT

The storm has passed. Everything drips.

Oblonsky comes from inside and lights a cigar. Indistinctly seen and heard
through the window, the Mushrooming Party occupies the dining room.
Oblonsky smokes thoughtfully, melancholy.

197
EXT. FLOWERING MEADOW–DAY

SPRINGTIME

Baby Anya, old enough to stagger on her feet, wavers through wild flowers
half her height. She falls over, almost disappearing.

This is being watched, with a mixture more pleasure than pain, by Kar-
enin. He is in early retirement, sitting with a book in a garden seat, dressed
comfortably under a straw hat. There is the SOUND OVER of people
playing croquet.

Serozha, aged ten, enters his view, going to Anya to haul her upright, and
keeping hold of her hand as she staggers on. Karenin’s pleasure increases
slightly.

OVER this, the growing SOUND of a battlefield.

EXT. BATTLEFIELD (BALKANS)–DAY

CLOSE

Vronsky, in an unfamiliar uniform, sabre pointing forward, is mounted at
full gallop with the SOUND of the charge all around him in the smoke and
noise of guns. Something heavy and invisible with its own SOUND–like
the flap of an awning–takes him from his horse into the air and gone,
leaving spouts of blood poised for an instant in the smoke.

EXT. FLOWERING MEADOW, AS BEFORE

NATURAL SOUND

198
Serozha picks up Anya like a parcel under his arm and walks on with her
towards the indistinct figures of Croquet Players strolling in the heat haze,
a couple of parasols held aloft.

FADE TO BLACK.




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