A Greta Garbo Centennial Tribute

Monday, October 10, 2005

Wild Orchids (1929) - Sidney Franklin

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 Single Standard (1929) - Romance (1930) - Inspiration (1931) - The Painted Veil (1934) - Conquest (1937) - Two-Faced Woman (1941)

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Wild Orchids is another movie that MGM wanted to cash in on Garbo's celebrity. Another stupid love triangle, this time supposed to be in Java but looks more Thailand to me !! The fellow Garbo falls in love with is Nils Asther, a Rudolph Valentino lookalike only dumber. Unfortunately, we'll have to see him again next friday in The Single Standard released the same year.

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Is Garbo thinking of her mentor Mauritz Stiller who had to leave depressed Hollywood shortly before the Wild Orchids's shooting began ?

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I forgot to mention that the director of Wild Orchids was Sydney Franklin. An average Hollywood director. Fortunately for us, Williams Daniels was again the cinematographer on this, hence a lot of beautiful shots.

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I just love this scene. i don't know why.
maybe the feeling to catch an intimate Garbo !

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I told you Nils Asther looked dumb in this movie.
He knew a thing or two about overacting i think.

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The nightmare scene is one of the best in this movie with these sadomasochistic thoughts. Beautifully shot as you see.

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I bet you've never seen Garbo in a Javanese gown !!
It reminds me of the danse scene in Mata-Hari.

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As you see, you can't find One Garbo movie which is not worth watching.
There is always incredible shots coming from who knows where like this one.

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A very unusual scene if you choose the frames like i did to twist the plot otherwise it is just a suit fitting !!

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"What i remember most is Moje (Mauritz Stiller) warning me not to overact. We were taught just to suggest various emotional states...it was the viewer who was to be given the chance to fill it out." Garbo in Conversations with Greta Garbo a book by Sven Broman.

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"It seems that no matter how predictable or absurd a story might be Garbo by her sheer effort and magnetism could make it work."
Simon Davis an Amazon reviewer.

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Mauritz Stiller died during the shooting and Garbo locked herself at home for 2 days. MGM refused her to go back to Sweden. Instead she had to finish the movie with a director she had almost nothing in common.

"The beautiful Lili Sterling (Greta Garbo) meets up with the enchanting Prince de Gace (Nils Asther) while on a trip with her husband, John (Lewis Stone), and the two find themselves impossibly drawn to one another. However, when John begins to suspect his wife of infidelity, his jealousy could have deadly results."
Iotis Erlewine. All Movie Guide.

These frames are taken from a Broadcast on TCMFrance in october 2004.
Wild Orchids has been released on VHS by Warner Studios in june 1991.

bye bye now...
See you next friday for another Garbo movie : The Single Standard.
In the meantime, any comments will be appreciated.


Anonymous Martin Kukuczka said...

Although WILD ORCHIDS is far from being as good as A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS, these pictures contain a strong point for the film. I particularly like the pictures between 8 and 11. Doesn't Garbo look gorgeous??? Who can say "NO"? Even now, in the 21st century when we have colors, computers... Garbo is still a beauty. The dance reminds me a bit of MATA HARI scene but it is not that good.

Perhaps because WILD ORCHIDS had its sound remake of PAINTED VEIL I do not attach much importance to this film. However, Garbo is of course Garbo! Absolutely wonderful and timeless!

8:23 PM

Blogger luvsgreta said...

I agree. Garbo is gorgeous in this film. Actually I think today's beauties can't compare to any of the beauties of yesteryear's hollywood goddesses; and Garbo was max of them all.

11:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely perfect!!! Maybe usual plot, maybe more than usual director..But to see Greta in this movie is one of the best reasons why to love film, as a part of art...

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She is stunning.

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Blogger Anthony Sweet said...

@Elliot Exactly!


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