Greta Garbo: "arguably the quintessential embodiment of Hollywood's Golden Age"
September 5, 2012 9:23 PM   Subscribe

The Flick Chick - 11 Days of Garbo: "I recently bought the Greta Garbo Signature Collection...I've been enjoying the collection so much that I've decided to dedicate the next 11 days to looking at the 11 films included in the collection: three silents, the pre-code films which helped establish her as a star who could continue into the sound age, the films made towards the end of her film career for which she is perhaps best known, and a documentary feature produced by Turner Classic Movies."

The Temptress (1926) "Garbo is very effective in the role, even though she apparently hated making the film"
Flesh and the Devil (1926) "Despite plot points you can see coming a mile away, this is an incredibly watchable film"
The Mysterious Lady (1928) "Thin on plot and characterization and heavy on melodrama, the only real reason to watch this is to look at Garbo"
Anna Christie (1930) "You can chart the progression of their relationship through the cinematography and Garbo’s wardrobe"
Mata Hari (1931) "It plays to the strengths of the Garbo image – the exotic/special character of her beauty, the mysteriousness of her nature and the sense of danger that both of those things entail"
Grand Hotel (1932) "This isn’t really a Garbo film, as such, though she shines in all of her scenes"
Queen Christina (1933) "it’s an excuse to cast Garbo as a Queen and play with the androgynous aspects of her persona"
Anna Karenina (1935) "When he goes to the train station to meet his mother, he comes face to face with Anna Karenina who is introduced in the greatest of all Garbo’s entrances (perhaps one of the great film entrances ever)"
Camille (1936) "Of all the films she made, this one was Garbo’s favourite"
Ninotchka (1939) "This is a terrific film, easily the lightest and happiest of any Garbo ever made"
Garbo (2005) "It doesn’t tell us much about Garbo’s life (we do get tidbits here and there), but instead focuses on how the Garbo legend was created and took on a life of its own"
posted by mediareport (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
More on the sort-of-lesbian-subtext in Queen Christina:

Vanishing Lesbians: Case 12: Queen Christina

Garbo developed the project with actress-writer Salka Viertel, who was rumored to be her lover, insisted that the male lead go to her former fiance and silent screen co-star John Gilbert, then ended up in a liaison with the film's director, Rouben Mamoulian...

The real Christina was a lesbian, who gave up the throne to pursue artistic studies in Italy, where she lived as a man under the name Count Dohma. Ironically, the character Garbo played in her first big film, The Saga of Gosta Berling (1924), was named Countess Dohma. The only concession to the real Christina's sexuality were some subtle hints that the film character was romantically attracted to one of her ladies in waiting and scenes of Garbo hunting and meeting with advisors dressed as a man - which only added to the star's glamour.

posted by mediareport at 9:31 PM on September 5, 2012

11 days of Garbo

But you know she just wants to be alone.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:55 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Garbo's in my "Academy of the Overrated", really.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:10 AM on September 6, 2012

Oh hell, I saw "signature collection" and immediately looked forward to a Flickr set of odd places and/or objects to which the famously reclusive actress had affixed her autograph. Was I disappointed? Yep.
posted by Mike D at 3:48 AM on September 6, 2012

Thanks for this.

Ninotchka remains one of my all time favorites and I must have watched it 20 times, if only for this line, which only Garbo could have delivered with such force:

"No one can be this happy without being punished."
posted by spitbull at 4:31 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

For sale now: Greta Garbo's waffle iron, waffle recipe included, as well as 852 other objects.
posted by iviken at 5:33 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Queen Christina is simply breathtaking.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:15 AM on September 6, 2012

I've got it scheduled for tonight, shakespeherian! Can't wait.
posted by mediareport at 6:29 AM on September 6, 2012

Thanks a lot, iviken. Up until now, I've never thought of myself as the type of person who suffers uncontrollable urges to place a bid on Greta Garbo's waffle iron. Now I know otherwise, and I have to live with that knoweldge.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 8:35 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

The costumes on Queen Christiana make me so happy, so profoundly, meltingly happy--and how she wears it, was my first childhood connection to that kind of androgyny. One of those primal scenes.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:35 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

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