A Greta Garbo Centennial Tribute

Friday, October 21, 2005

Inspiration (1931) - Clarence Brown

To celebrate Greta Garbo's 100th birthday in September 18th 2005, every friday in September i have dedicated this blog to one of her Yet-To-Be Released-On-DVD movies from the MGM period 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 now keep on focusing on one of her movies in several frames taken from my personal collection. Before we begin, i want to thank TCMFrance for their nearly complete Garbo Retrospective in october 2004 without who i would never have the priviledge to own this collection. If you're living in the USA, Turner Classic Movies has broadcasted the same retrospective in september 2005 !!
I will now capture a new Garbo movie twice a week : every friday & every monday. These are all the MGM Yet-To-Be Released-On-DVD movies that's left for me to capture :
The Painted Veil (1934) - Conquest (1937) - Two-Faced Woman (1941)

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As Romance, the previous movie, has been a success in terms of profit (287 000 dollars), greedy MGM decided to make Romance II aka Inspiration with the same director Clarence Brown.
As long as people are buying it, why would you bother ?
So in 24 months, Garbo will play in 6 movies !!

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"Temperamentally Garbo is no different today than when she first walked in front of my camera. She is shy and timid, and evidently devoid of false illusions. She is warm and sincere, an actress who believes in her work and strives her utmost to portray a role successfully. She does not merely come on the set to do a day's work. She is a creative personality."
Williams Daniels, Garbo's cinematographer.
(in Greta Garbo-A Cinematic Legacy. Mark Viera)

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The movie is based on a book by Alphonse Daudet titled Sapho.
Don't worry nothing immoral !! Just the story of a notorious courtesan who is kept by many wealthy patrons but whose one real love is a jealous young engineer. You think you've heard it before ?

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"I didn't create a 'Garbo face'. I just did portraits of her i would have done for any star. My lighting of her was determined by the requirements of a scene. I Din't, as some say i did, keep one side of the face light and the other dark. But i always did try to make the camera peer into her eyes, to see what was there."
Williams Daniels, Garbo's cinematographer.
(in Greta Garbo-A Cinematic Legacy. Mark Viera)

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I love this scene where Garbo is posing for a parisian painter.
Echoes of her acting days seems to surfaced.

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Garbo is supposed to have said about this movie that she didn't like her role, she often complain about her lines, sometimes refused to say them. Basically she didn't like the conception of the woman she played.

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I like the part of the movie when she is walking in the streets of paris, lonely and forsaken. The camera seemed to have caught her out of surprise accentuating her vulnerability.

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It was only 2 years before that Robert Montgomery had appeared uncredited in The Single Standard, his first movie.
And now he is the leading men in a Garbo movie after playing with Norma Shearer or Joan Crawford.

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Now in 1931 Garbo was facing the rivalry of Marlene Dietrich who was marketed as Paramount's answer to Garbo and just succeeded in her first Hollywood movie : Morocco.

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PLOT
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"It is a tale like CAMILLE. Young student falls for woman of the world and is repelled by learning of her past, rejects her, takes her back, rejects her.... you get the picture. Garbo is completely believable as a top Parisian artist's model and completely at home, although bored, with her life at the top of society amidst her artistic friends and their loose morals. Suddenly she is fascinated by this innocent. She finally gives up her life for him and sinks into poverty, only to be rescued by him and set up in a house of her own. Ironically, he intends to marry and keep her on the side - so much for his pure moral ethic of earlier."
Arne Andersen @IMDB

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NOTES
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These frames are taken from a Broadcast on TCMFrance in october 2004.
Inspiration has been released on VHS by Warner Studios in december 1993.

bye bye now...
See you next monday for another Garbo movie : The Painted Veil (1934).
In the meantime, any comments will be appreciated.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Garbo Fan said...

I have not seen this movie, but after seeing these pictures i am totally encouraged to look for it. Although INSPIRATION is one of Garbo's least popular films, it also has something to offer. What I mean by "something" is really a lot - Garbo's performance. She looks as beautiful as in most of her films and her acting style is noticeable in most of the screen captures.

ROMANCE is great, INSPIRATION is great! Everything with garbo is great because she is there! GOOD JOB, PHILLIPE! Thanks

3:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

INSPIRATION is one of my favorite Garbo films. It's a real gem. I love the story and the early 1930's setting, and Garbo is amazing in this film. Highly reccommended !!
Phillipe, thank you ! Paul

11:26 AM

 
Anonymous amber frascino said...

do you know who else is inspired by Greta Garbo and if so post it on your web

10:47 PM

 

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