Author Topic: Greta Garbo Tour  (Read 2961 times)

colonel_mexico

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Greta Garbo Tour
« on: August 27, 2015, 08:39:17 AM »
A small tour I'm taking that TCM did yesterday and I dvr'd to watch over the next few days.  I adore Garbo and have only really seen one film with her in it, QUEEN CHRISTINA, but she is gorgeous, funny, and such a great actress.  One of the few who survived silent to talkies.  Started off with this one...

ROMANCE 1930-  I should have written what I felt about this one when I viewed it yesterday, and the only one I didn't dvr since I was watching it before my day began.  Anyway, an interesting story with some high handed morality to boot.  A story of a clergyman from a wealthy family falling for an opera singer, who is not only out of his class, but who is a kept mistress by a much older man.  Gavin Gordon plays our minister Tom, and I'm unsure of who Gordon is and I care very little for anything he gives to this film.  Greta the great opera talent Rita Cavallini gives a useful performance, but rarely is great.  I appreciate the sentiment of this story, there are a lot of themes here, but the acting just isn't there and I just wasn't impressed with the chemistry between Rita and Tom.  There were many good lines, but as I've forgotten them all I would do this film an injustice trying to paraphrase anything.  The film does have a happy-ish ending, but very predictable.  Great singing, love the theme of loving someone you can't have, great performance by Lewis Stone as Rita's paramour/old friend (an interesting situation), but lacking overall. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 01:25:19 PM by colonel_mexico »
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Sandy

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 11:08:12 AM »
Oooh! Following!

You make me wish I had TCM, but if you find some good ones, I'll see if my library can help out. I like how you can find value, even in a mediocre movie. There's life lessons in that. :)

I have only seen Garbo in three movies, so she's a pretty big unknown to me as well.

Queen Christina
Grand Hotel
Ninotchka


Is Camille on your dvr?
"Don't be shy. You learn to fly and see the sun when day is done. If only you see."

MartinTeller

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2015, 11:47:54 AM »
I've only seen four, with very mixed results:

The Saga of Gosta Berling
Camille
Joyless Street
Ninotchka


Highly, highly recommend Gosta Berling.  One of my favorite silents.

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2015, 12:59:01 PM »
Hey guys thanks for following and the posts.

Sadly MT no THE SAGA OF GOSTA BERLING, but I will certainly endeavor to find it! I do have CAMILLE and NINOTCHKA, one good and one bad, guess I will see how they go :)

Sandy I do have CAMILLE!  Not sure when I'll get to it probably next week as I have 9 more to watch (I watched SUSAN LENOX and will be posting soon about that one shortly). 
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

MartinTeller

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2015, 01:19:37 PM »
Well, Ninotchka is a much-beloved film and my opinion is probably in the minority.  IIRC, the Filmspotting hosts (or maybe just one of them) went gaga over it.

Antares

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2015, 03:13:34 PM »
Flesh and the Devil
            
                                                           Beep! Beep!

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2015, 07:03:15 PM »
SUSAN LENOX: HER FALL AND RISE 1931-  When I realized this starred Clark Gable with Greta, I couldn't believe I had never heard of this, then I saw the film.  The beginning shows such promise with Greta as Helga an abandoned child who "will not become like her mother" and is being given to a man her uncle has chosen for her.  We aren't offered much about Helga's mother except she that 'she was without a ring', leading us to the obvious dated conclusion her mom was a harlot for having a child out of wedlock.  Helga runs away after her betrothed decides he will enjoy his bride  to be without her consent and she meets Rodney (Gable) an aspiring architect.  The story veered straight to silly at this point as he takes her in and they immediately share some port and caviar and several other silly, attempting to be romantic scenes.  It gets even sillier when Helga has to run away from her uncle who show up to Rodney's place (while Rodney is gone on business) and she winds up with some carnies on a train.  One of these carnies, a painted lady named Pansy, names Helga Susan Lenox.  Again Helga, now Susan, is tracked down by her Uncle and this time she is hidden on the train by the leader of the carnies, who then takes advantage of her.  At some point Rodney tracks Susan down, but when he finds out she has given herself to another man (though it was pretty obvious she was raped, but she never brings this up) he storms away and Susan devotes herself to being a kept woman, ending up eventually with a wealthy politician and Rodney a ruined, drunken failure.  She does try to help Rodney, but the scene doesn't make too much sense as it's part revenge, and part love?? 

The story ends up as most love stories do, but story-wise it just drives off cliff after cliff.  Toonces the cat obviously driving this Garbo/Gable vehicle that was the only film they did together.  There is potential for chemistry and you can definitely see the Rhett Butler glimpses in this performance, but the movie severely lacks in anything meaningful or romantic.

Though the final bit of dialogue did leave me wondering,

Rodney- "Every time a man comes around I'd wonder,"
Susan- "I'll make you believe in me."

Susan is obviously hinted that she is/has become a mistress to many men, and at the end she and Rodney have to be together out of the painful love they share and it made me think of something I had brought up in chat about women who cheat, men who stay with them, and the archaic idea of saving yourself for marriage.  Cheating and staying with someone who has cheated probably occurs out of senses of duty and love and/or the sakes of any children involved, I get and respect that.  I just am not sure how big of a man I would be to stay in a situation like that.  As to the other part of the food for thought, is the idea that women should be pure and saving themselves for their husband, and if they don't they are tainted in some way.  But a man is able to sow his royal oats with little to no backlash, even at times congratulatory or some type of conquest or achievement.  Silly, old notions that needs to be moved past. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 07:05:45 PM by colonel_mexico »
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2015, 07:04:15 PM »
Thanks Antares, not one of my films, but I'll be looking for that one.  I'm guessing black means good? :)
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

Sandy

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2015, 10:28:39 PM »
I know it all happened the way you said it did, but it makes me want to see it with my own eyes. Silly attempts at romance, Pansy the painted lady, help through revenge and love?, together out of the painful love they share... It's all a little hard to fathom.  :)

Toonces :D  I forgot about him.


As for cheating, without trust there really isn't a relationship at all, just false interaction. Like the lyrics,

Don't waste your breath
You've said it all
And there's nothing left


(How come one of the most angry songs in this album is one of the most beautiful? Those harmonies!)


And, regarding disparate expectations of women and men?

:P  I reject that notion too!
"Don't be shy. You learn to fly and see the sun when day is done. If only you see."

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2015, 10:39:55 PM »
The film goes off the cliff several times I tell you, Toonces!  :)
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

 

love