A Greta Garbo Centennial Tribute

Friday, October 07, 2005

A Woman Of Affairs (1929) - 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. 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 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 !!
Starting this week, i will 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 :
Wild Orchids (1929) - The Single Standard (1929) - Romance (1930) - Inspiration (1931) - The Painted Veil (1934) - Conquest (1937) - Two-Faced Woman (1941)

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A Woman of Affairs is part of the 6 silent movies that Garbo will play after the beginning of the talkies in 1928.
It is the second movie she will do with Clarence Brown. She was only 24 and it was already her seven movie for MGM in nearly 3 years !!

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The movie was based on a novel by Michael Arden : The Green Hat which was supposed to be quite popular at the time according to Barry Paris (Garbo a biography). Garbo saw the play and wanting to play the part of Iris March, a modern woman whose husband killed himself on the wedding night. Everybody supposed that it was because of the bad conduct of his wife. At the end we learned that he was syphilitic and that she ruined her life to protect her husband's reputation.
Don't worry the Hays Office have done everything possible to make this story the most harmless possible and the most boring too !!
But there is Garbo. look at these frames !!

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"How little you know of love ?
My kind of love !!

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Yes, he jumped !

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"Garbo multiplied the Cinema's power of suggestion to infinity, and by a gaze so deep that every spectator there found what he sought, she spoke a different language to every man." Ado Kyrou. Amour-Erotisme Au Cinema. 1957.

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The famous scene where Garbo said that "one told me : i'm like that ring,
apt to fall

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The other famous scene when she embraces the flowers offered by her first lover... John Gilbert of course. One of the most poignant arias of all the silent movies according to Barry Paris (Garbo A Biography).

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"Fortune's a wanton who never stays for long and her favour does not last. She smoothes your hair back from your forehead, kisses you quickly and flits away. But Lady Sorrow takes you in her heavy heart for days and nights on end. She is in no hurry. She sits down by your bed and does her knitting." One of Garbo's favourite poem by Heinrich Heine.
(Sven Broman. Conversations With Greta Garbo)

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"This is the story of a gallant lady-a lady who was perhaps foolish and reckless beyond need-but withal a very gallant lady."
A Woman of Affairs's opening Intertitle.

"Even when Diana, Neville and David played together as children, Diana knew that she loved Nevs. But Morton, Nevs' father, did not like any Merrick. Since Nevs did not have any money, Morton sent him off to Egypt to work and also talked him out of marrying Diana before he left. Diana waited two years and then married David, who Jeffry thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread. While in Paris, David jumps to his death when the cops come after him and Diana lies about the reason for the sake of Jeffry. Of course Jeffry, who has been a drunk all his life, cuts all ties with Diana. While Nevs still loves Diana, she does not return to England for seven years - just 3 days before Nevs' wedding to Constance."
Tony Fontana @ IMDB

These frames are taken from a Broadcast on TCMFrance in october 2004.
A Woman of Affairs has been released on VHS by Warner Studios in february 1991.

bye bye now...
See you next monday for another Garbo movie : Wild Orchids (1929).
In the meantime, any comments will be appreciated.


Blogger Bix said...

One most have a strong heart to survive this beauty!

Thank you for a very good work!

7:44 PM

Anonymous Martin Kukuczka said...

This is really a great work done by you, Phillipe. A few people know this movie A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS, and it is really a pity that it has not been released on DVD yet. Nevertheless, we have a chance to see its preview on your site!

I love all of these pictures but particularly:

7 and 8 - how beautiful Garbo is, how wonderful and feminine! Today's sex bombs have nothing to be proud of by the side of such a beauty

17 and 18 - the lighting is wonderful. I dream to see the movie for the moment alone!

49 to 55 - the sequence with the flowers in hospital is outstanding. If anyone has seen the latest TCM documentary, GARBO, you must have noticed that the movie contains this moment and a 1969 footage commentary by the director of A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS, Clarence Brown. He looks at it and what is noticeable are tears in his eyes.

Bravo! Phillipe, with the screen captures from another Garbo's masterpiece, you have reminded us how great she was, how unforgettable!!!

2:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Woman of Affairs, the true coup de foudre, you just look at this extraordinary woman and actress and that's it. I think it was the film that made me love silents, just didn't know that silent movies could be so eloquent and beautiful and then I watched this one and was totally won over. Garbo in the trench coat, proud and magnificent, fragile and romantic in her frantic search for her flowers, reckless and brave in her defiance of a men's society, simply immortal.

12:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thankyou again for posting such glorious shots of the glorious Garbo.
What a great actress! The hospital scene is pure genius. And as always, Garbo is sensual and Gilbert burnt to a crisp!

5:32 PM

Blogger greg oakes said...

i love all these garbo images!! i was working on an illustration project where i needed an image specifically of a woman from 1929 believe it or not... i'm happy i found your blog!! yay! :p


9:21 AM


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