A Greta Garbo Centennial Tribute

Friday, September 30, 2005

Love (1927) - Edmund Goulding - Part 1

To celebrate Greta Garbo's 100th birthday in September 18th 2005, every friday this month i will dedicate this blog to one of her Yet-To-Be Released-On-DVD movies. As i do in my other blog named : 24 Lies Per Second which is dedicated to "screen captures of old rare movies from vhs", i will focus on one of her movies in 24 frames taken from my personal collection. Before we begin, i want to thank TCMFrance for their nearly complete Garbo Retrospective in october 2004.
If you're living in the USA, be thrilled to know that Turner Classic Movies is broadcasting the same great retrospective this very september 2005 !!

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Love aka Anna Karenina is the second of the movies Garbo played with her partner/boyfriend John Gilbert. The same year they made a huge success with the famous movie newly available on DVD : Flesh And The Devil by Clarence Brown.
But after 3 movies in Hollywood Garbo was beginning to get tired of playing the same vamp that MGM forced her to act. So she refuses to play in Women Love Diamonds By Edmund Goulding which was a flop with Pauline Stark & Owen Moore.
A few months later, she succeeded over MGM, her contract was changed and she was asked to play in Tolstoï's Anna Karenina with Ricardo Cortez, her partner in Torrent. But after 6 weeks of filming, Garbo pretended to feel sick to gain time and finally obtained who she wanted for this movie. The previous director Dimitri Buchowetski was replaced by...Edmund Goulding with who she will play again in 1932 Grand Hotel.
And of course she got John Gilbert, with who she was living a famous romance at the time.

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1927 was also the year of the first talking movie. MGM didn't believe that people were interesting in hearing the actor's voice. So Garbo will do 6 other silent movies and people had to wait 3 more years in 1930 to hear her voice in one of her best movie Anna Christie (newly available on DVD).

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The year before Gilbert was supposed to marry Garbo but she left the very morning. Everyone knows that Gilbert was deeply in love with her when she wasn't that interested.
When he died of a heart attack in 1936, Garbo did not attend his funeral.

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Years later Garbo has said of him : "It's a friendship. i shall never marry...He's a gentleman, passionate. He uplifts me when i play. It is not an act, i'm living". John Bainbridge. Garbo.1955

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Garbo was only 22 when she played the mother of a 10 year old child played by Philippe De Lacy with great complicity.
He will end his career at the age of 13. Strangely in 1950 he will resurfaced as the director of The Buster Keaton Show on US TV !!

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"Special scenes were written for him and Garbo was given clear instructions not to upstage him. She therefore held back, permitted him to upstage her and smiled divinely whenever he overacted. Because he overacted most of the time, the audience was consious only of the warmth and beauty of her smile". Robert Payne. The Great Garbo. Coopersquarepress.

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"Garbo had never been more radiant. There are close-ups in the film as incandescent as any that came before or any that came afterward. They owed nothing to the nondescript screenplay and everything to the cameraman, William Daniels, who had fallen in love with her face from the moment he set eyes on it". Robert Payne. The Great Garbo. Coopersquarepress.

This was the first 29 frames i'll post of this movie.
Next monday you'll see the last 30.
In the meantime, any comments will be appreciated.


Blogger marianne said...

Houlala le coup de la voilette !... Et les quatre dernières photos...
Merci Vivian. A plus...

9:33 PM

Blogger philippe said...

pas mal hein? le coup de la voilette ?
lundi y en a des pas mal aussi, tu verras...

12:40 AM

Anonymous fanfan said...

AH ouais ça alors le coup de la voilette!!!! ouloulou!!!
moi auusi ça m'a scotché...la sélection doit pas être facile !! elles sont toutes sublimes de toute façon....
ça commence à m'énerver c'taffaire là!!!!t'es aux aguets , 24h sur 24 aux taquets!! mais comment tu fais ???
merde alors j'en ai marre moi !!!

10:19 AM

Anonymous Martin Kukuczka said...

These pictures are GREAT! PROBABLY THE BEST SO FAR! I always dreamed to see LOVE which was Garbo's first adaptation of Tolstoy's novel, directed by Edmund Goulding, a director of ultra popular GRAND HOTEL.

Some curiosities: The advertisements before the premiere of LOVE said "Garbo and Gilbert in LOVE," which was a word trick. LOVE was the second film Garbo appeared in with the leading man, the greatest love of her life, John Gilbert. The first was FLESH AND THE DEVIL released on DVD, the third one was A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS and the last one was a sound QUEEN CHRISTINA just soon before Gilbert's death in 1936. But that's the additional information.

Coming back to the pictures, Garbo looks similarly sexy as in FLESH AND THE DEVIL. Seeing the screen captures, I can also deduce that there IS a chemistry between the stars in LOVE. Fell recommended to see it.

3:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful shots. LOVE is one of my favorite silents. I think GG and John were obviously so in love during the making of it.
You should have captured my favorite scene however, when Anna rushes to Vronsky after his accident and he is holding her talking and talking and talking and she slowly pushes his head towards her and shuts his rambling with a passionate open mouthed kiss! whew! HOT!

5:24 PM

Blogger 'Ghazal' said...

Tres Bien! Exquisite!
How can set a reverse link to your enchanting blog?
(Mon blog is at


5:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot say how much I appreciate what Philippe is doing with this film. He is a true cinephile, with exceptional sensitivity to mood and scene. I cherish each visit.

Thank you Philippe...Non, merci beaucoup.

8:17 PM

Blogger Scott Lord said...

I am so glad to revisit your webpage. I was suprised then and am very pleased now.

The relation to the spectator and the film is essential to theory- film poetry does have an effect that can move the emotions of the viewer.

Greta Garbo

5:55 AM


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