A Greta Garbo Centennial Tribute

Monday, October 31, 2005

Two-Faced Woman (1941) - Georges Cukor

To celebrate Greta Garbo's 100th birthday in September 18th 2005, every friday in September and in October 2005 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".
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 !!
Let's hope that Warner will release on DVD these movies some day or other in the future.

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Garbo hadn't played in two years (she played with huge success in Lubitsch's Ninotchka in 1939) when she was proposed by her friend Salka Viertel to play in Two-Faced Woman. George Cukor was chosen to direct it after having directed her successfully in Camille.
It should have been good.

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"They {the producers} wanted to make her a sweater girl, a real american type. I said 'She has created a type. If you destroy that illusion, you destroy her'." Adrian (Garbo costume designer)

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Yes Garbo was getting older but she was still charming as these shots prove it.

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"Afraid to question the intellectuals to whom she had entrusted her career, the most she could do was to whisper to Melvyn Douglas and Mercedes de Acosta: 'They're trying to kill me'."
Mark Viera's Greta Garbo A Cinematic Legacy.

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"George Cukor insisted on filming her emerging from a pool in a swimming suit and, no great bodily beauty by Hollywood standards, she loathed the scene." Melvyn Douglas

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Constance Bennett nearly steals the show with her scenes with Garbo.

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The famous Rhumba scene and la Chica Choca.
You have to see it to believe it !! but Garbo is surprisingly convincing and having fun even though this wasn't real.

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"With Garbo, the problem is to make her forget her shyness, to make her feel that everybody is for her rather than against her. That is done by keeping the atmosphere light and friendly, by laughting, telling jokes, not by standing in awe. After Garbo is loosened up, the rest is easy." George Cukor

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Two-Faced Woman had problems with censorship because of its supposedly gloryfying of adultery if you believe the catholic Legion of Decency (which i hope you don't). So scenes were cut and sometimes the movie itself was banned in cities like Boston or boycotted by catholics in cities like Los Angeles. In Omaha, a scene in which Garbo lies languorously on a divan in her husband's apartment has been termed "improper" and that portion has been deleted in screenings here.
From Mark Viera's Greta Garbo A Cinematic Legacy.

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When Garbo heard of the controversy she said quietly :
"They've dug my grave."

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One day Cukor entered her dressing room during the retakes. Garbo looked in her mirror and suddenly said :"I am old!" and she noticed to him two very fine lines running vertically from her top lip. She said :"Those lines will get deeper. I must quit."
From Mark Viera's Greta Garbo A Cinematic Legacy.

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This the last Garbo movie. She was 36, had played in 24 movies in 15 years in Hollywood. "I think that Greta's regret was more in her soul for having allowed herself to be influenced into lowering her own high standards. She said, 'I will never act in another film'." Mercedes de Acosta.

"This George Cukor romantic comedy casts Garbo as ski instructor Karin Borg Blake. She gives lessons to wealthy American playboy Larry Blake (Melvyn Douglas), and the two fall in love and marry even though Larry has a girlfriend named Griselda Vaughn (Constance Bennett) waiting for him back in New York. Returning to New York, Karin fears that Griselda will win Larry back. In an effort to foil Larry's imagined dalliance, Karin poses as her own twin sister, Katherine, hoping to get Larry to fall in love with her instead of Griselda. Larry is onto the scheme and plays along with her, pretending to fall in love with Katherine. But this infuriates Karin, who can't believe that her husband would fall in love with her sister, and she storms back to her ski resort."
Paul Brenner. All Movie Guide

These frames are taken from a Broadcast on TCMFrance in october 2004.
Two-Faced Woman has been released on VHS by Warner Studios in december 1993.

I hope you have enjoyed these 2 months of captures along Greta Garbo.
Now i will let this blog live its life as long as possible and hopefully enjoy more Garbo fans throughout the world wide web.
Thanks to anyone who kindly commented these captures here or there

- Bibliography -
Books that have helped me and worth checking if you love Greta Garbo :

Mark A. Vieira - Greta Garbo : A Cinematic Legacy - Publisher: Harry N Abrams (August 1, 2005)
Barry Paris - Garbo : A Biography - Publisher: Knopf (February 21, 1995)
Scott Reisfield, Robert Dance - Garbo : Portraits from her Private Collections - Publisher: Rizzoli (August 30, 2005)
Sven Broman - Conversations With Greta Garbo - Publisher: Viking Adult (March 24, 1992)
Raymond Durgnat / John Kobal - Greta Garbo - Publisher: Studio Vista/Dutton Vista pictureback (1965)
John Bainbridge - Greta Garbo - Publisher : Doubleday, 1955.
Robert Payne - The Great Garbo - Publisher : Coopersquarepress, 1976.
Karen Swenson - Greta Garbo: A Life Apart - Publisher: Scribner (September 16, 1997)
Klaus Sembach - Greta Garbo Photographs, 1920-1951 - Publisher: Schirmer/Mosel, 1986.
You could keep in touch with me visiting my other blog dedicated to "screen captures of old rare movies from vhs" : 24 Lies Per Second.
I hope to see you there.

bye bye now


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two Faced Woman is one of my favorite Garbo films. I adore it. I think she really showed her comedic timing well and it is amazing how she was able to portray the same woman as two totally 'differen't' women. That can't be easy acting! Garbo's genius is that she really became the character. I also thought she was very sexy and natrual.

7:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you soooo much for the screen shot, hope one day these can be made into DVD. Garbo, the best.

7:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

TWO-FACED WOMAN is a beautiful nostalgic romantic film and one of my favorite Garbo films. (I really don't understand why many people dismiss it). Garbo was a very experienced actress at this time and she is at her best in this film !!! It's very fascinating to see her in a role like this.

11:45 AM

Anonymous Deketelaere-Ciccione said...

Je suis fan de Greta Garbo.
Vos pics sont magnifique!
J'accorde beaucoup d'intéret a la photos ,comme pouvait le dire aussi W.Daniel.
Encore merci pour votre talent.


3:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can clearly see, that this film just had to be the end of her career- she could never fit into the time that should come, Garbo would never be that kind of a funny, normal "homegirl". She was just too glamourous for 1940s..And getting older, which was obvious. Legend can never get old and Garbo would never bear to be a usual human being with wrinkles and grey hair.She was not Hepburn or Davis..she was a goddess.

9:56 PM

Blogger Rita Lubitsch said...

je viens de voir, enfin ! Two-Faced Woman, I deeply love it. Thanks for your blog.

8:47 PM

Blogger  said...

Even been only 16, I truly love Greta Garbo and I've aways had, since I was a child, her name as a meaning of great talent and elegance.I didn't have the opportunity to see Two Faced Woman yet, but I enjoyed a lot Camille, Ninotchka ahd Mata Hari. I loved the pictures you've found. Visit me:
See you!

10:57 PM

Anonymous philippe said...

Of course since 2005, most of those movies have been released by Warner, i urge you to buy them.

they are great !



2:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Si quieres ésta obra de arte en fotografía o lienzo.
If you want this work of art in photography and painting


7:28 AM

Blogger Scott Lord said...

Thank you again. it was nice to revisit your webpage.

Greta Garbo

10:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Scott. you're welcome. (can't believe i did this blog 11 years ago !). Philippe

1:34 PM


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