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The Films of Greta GarboReview & Appreciation Thread


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#181 papeetepatrick

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:39 AM

I admit that I like Garbo quite well in 'Two-Faced Woman' too, yiannis. After years of hearing about this 'disaster', I found her perfectly wonderful in it (although strangely Americanized; I thought she seemed to be 'morphing' into Kate Hepburn, and that that was the one film Hepburn could have done of Garbo's). I'll try 'Imitation' again at some point; I really enjoy all the Garbo films except 'Ninotchka', even though it's very well-made, but you just have to forgive me for that, since it was recently that I watched about 3 times, and that's going to have to be enough! The most strange sensation is the way when she's finally come to meet Douglas at the party--she comes across as a 'surprise senior-prom beauty from one of the lesser families' rather than the imperious goddess she usually inhabits so easily. It has to do with the film's structure that I actually find her more beautiful in the Soviet attire.

'Golden' is a good word for Delphine's voice, another friend called it sombre, listening to her beautiful spoken recording of Debussy's 'Chansons de Bilitis'. I know so little about her actually. This is touch off-topic, but I'm intrigued by her stage career, of which I know nothing; maybe you know some of what she was known for.

Yes, the other friend, who is my best friend here in New York, did follow Garbo around till she finally looked back at him and looked scared. So he stopped right then and there. There's nothing crazy about him. Then there's another friend who claimed she chased HIM around, that she was sexually attracted to him, this was such a crock, and just the kind of thing he would make up. And he was NOT nice, I just put up with him because he was funny (that's my Achilles heel, I've been told.)

#182 yiannisfrance

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:04 AM

I have to agree with you about that scene in "Ninotschka", when she comes with that white tulle décolleté gown at Café de Lutèce with Melvyn Douglas and confronts the Grande Duchess, something is wrong, for once Adrian missed a point with Garbo who for once looks less than stunning (according to the Grabo criteria for stunning), whereas she looks better as you said with her "Soviet" outfits and wonderful with the very last outfit when she visits her comrades in Istanbul.

About Delphine Seyrig, she started her theatre career in the 1950s and went on most successfully almost up to her death (I believ she died in 1990, the same year as Garbo). She was known on stage for her portrayals in Marguerite Duras plays but also other great playwrights like Tchekhov "The seagull", Tourgueniev "A month in the country", Pinter "The collection", "The lover" etc.

Regarding Garbo's encounters with her admirers, this is always an intriguguin question. I can see as you say that she might be frightened at times with people following her and I simply cannot see her being aggressive towards someone. I think your friend's attitute towards her was right since he stopped following her by the time he sensed that he was intruding and scaring her. It seems that sometimes she could even be humorous about it, as she told her walking compagnion Sam Green during their walks in New York, whenever there was a fan (she would refer to them as "customers") coming towards them she would say: "My Green I think we have a customer".

#183 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:42 AM

Maybe so, but the Daily News article makes it sound like she was still a kind of 'box office poison', because there is a real shifting of gears with 'Ninotchka' and 'Two-Faced Woman'.



Actually, I was agreeing with yiannisfrance's point she was never box office poison, not that she was never called that. It's great that you had the time to trawl through all that stuff, though, thanks for the links. :) The central point was that Garbo wasn't producing bombs and hadn't turned off the public. She had grown more remote in her appeal from the (American) public, however, hence the need to try a change.


The trouble Garbo ran into (starting around the time of Queen Christina) was that American audiences grew less and less enchanted with the historical and literary heroines she was portraying.


I think that's true. It's true, as yiannisfrance rightly points out, that Davis played in a number of costume dramas during the same period, but she was also appearing in modern dress roles and her connection with her public was very strong. She was also in a different place in her career, just reaching her peak while Garbo had been around for awhile.

Garbo liked her life the way it was, but Yiannis, don't forget that Dietrich and K. Hepburn continued well into the 40s and 50s and beyond, so Garbo could easily have as well--and none of these ladies were any picnic to work with; they were all demanding and difficult.



She could have continued, but it wouldn't necessarily have been "easy." It definitely wasn't easy for the female stars who were able to carry on into their forties and beyond. (It's off topic, but I would differ on the "demanding and difficult" part, which is often exaggerated, and when it's accurate, has a direct connection to the part about it not being easy.)



#184 Quiggin

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 02:48 PM

Interesting about Delphine Seyrig. I'm trying to imagine Garbo in "Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" - three days in the routines of a homemaker which go slightly and slightlier out of kilter - which Seyrig did so brilliantly.

Below is a photograph of Seyrig at Coenties Slip. She was married to Jack Youngerman and then lived with group of artists which included Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Indiana. The group was living in cold-water abandoned sail lofts and ships chandleries and were trying to distance themselves from the influences of the Eighth Street abstract expressonist scene [I'm paraphrasing from the lovely 1993 Pace Gallery catalog]. Youngerman compared them to Godard's "Band of Outsiders." Kelley said Seyrig was a civilizing influence. Antonioni and Monica Vitti paid a visit about the time "L'Avventura" was being released, interested in meeting a group of artists.

A variant of the famous photograph by Hans Namuth of them all on a rooftop - if you scroll up:

Nos 3-5 Coenties Slip

Regarding ""Ninotchka," I think I prefer its successor, "Silk Stockings," which has been discussed here before - with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse and scene stealing Peter Lorre.

#185 miliosr

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 05:27 PM

It definitely wasn't easy for the female stars who were able to carry on into their forties and beyond.

While it's possible for audiences today to lament what might have been had Garbo continued to work after World War II, it is also possible to rejoice that she didn't have to reduce herself in any way. For instance, she never went the "horror hag" route in the 1960s that was brought to us by Crawford and Davis. (And I say that as someone who admires Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? as a taut thriller and not as camp.) Luckily for Garbo (and for us), we were spared her versions of Hush, Hush . . . Sweet Charlotte and Straightjacket and Die! Die! My Darling.

#186 papeetepatrick

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 06:40 PM

Regarding ""Ninotchka," I think I prefer its successor, "Silk Stockings," which has been discussed here before - with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse and scene stealing Peter Lorre.


So do I, easily. Coincidentally, my Garbo-fan friend was here today, and I was talking with him about our thread here, and I said the same thing, but with big emphasis on Janis Paige, who was so delicious with that song 'Glorious Technicolor, Breathtaking Cinemascope and Stereophonic Sound'. Totally love her, and think she should have re-created her B'way 'Pajama Game' role, because Doris Day was not good in it IMO.

But mainly, the idea was that a totally silly and inane concept is okay for a musical comedy sometimes, and doesn't work elsewhere. A musical in those days mainly needed good numbers, and you couldn't miss with that cast.

Thanks for the photo and material on Delphine. I did see 'Pull My Daisy', which I think would have been just the time, with Allen Ginsberg, and didn't Burroughs even make a cameo appearance in that? Amazing she was with those people, then the next thing she does is 3 episodes of 'Pete and Gladys' sitcom, and suddenly is 'a' in 'Marienbad'.

While it's possible for audiences today to lament what might have been had Garbo continued to work after World War II, it is also possible to rejoice that she didn't have to reduce herself in any way. For instance, she never went the "horror hag" route in the 1960s that was brought to us by Crawford and Davis. (And I say that as someone who admires Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? as a taut thriller and not as camp.) Luckily for Garbo (and for us), we were spared her versions of Hush, Hush . . . Sweet Charlotte and Straightjacket and Die! Die! My Darling.


But even if you think Crawford and Davis 'reduced' themselves in this way (so did Olivia de Havilland, with 'Hush Hush..' and 'Lady in a Cage'), Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn didn't suffer this fate at all as they aged, so Garbo certainly wouldn't have gone that route either. I actually have nothing against 'Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte', although I am not mad for 'Straitjacket' (despite Diane Baker's usual charisma) and 'I Saw What You Did', but even that pales beside a week of 'Secret
Storm' in 1968. Ms. Crawford definitely had a screw loose. So I happen to like Bette Davis's 'horror hag' work (and fabulous in 'Where Love Has Gone' too, as well as 'Widow Fortune' in the TV movie of Tom Tryon's 'Dark Secret of Harvest Home'), but Miss Crawford's considerably less. 'Die! Die! My Darling!' is one of the best titles I ever heard, though, esp. since the movie is sort of an extension of 'A day without Tallulah is like a month in the country'.

#187 canbelto

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:04 PM

But even if you think Crawford and Davis 'reduced' themselves in this way (so did Olivia de Havilland, with 'Hush Hush..' and 'Lady in a Cage'), Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn didn't suffer this fate at all as they aged, so Garbo certainly wouldn't have gone that route either. I actually have nothing against 'Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte', although I am not mad for 'Straitjacket' (despite Diane Baker's usual charisma) and 'I Saw What You Did', but even that pales beside a week of 'Secret
Storm' in 1968. Ms. Crawford definitely had a screw loose. So I happen to like Bette Davis's 'horror hag' work (and fabulous in 'Where Love Has Gone' too, as well as 'Widow Fortune' in the TV movie of Tom Tryon's 'Dark Secret of Harvest Home'), but Miss Crawford's considerably less. 'Die! Die! My Darling!' is one of the best titles I ever heard, though, esp. since the movie is sort of an extension of 'A day without Tallulah is like a month in the country'.


Yes but Dietrich and Hepburn were of a different feather from Garbo. They were also exceptions rather than the rule. Maybe because they never, even when they were young, fresh and beautiful went for the traditional romantic leading role type roles. Hepburn in particular had a brittle, eccentric quality to her acting that can and does age very well. Garbo occasionally showed streaks of a more idiosyncratic side (her wearing pants as Queen Christina) but her role was that of the romantic leading woman. It's hard for actresses who play romantic leading women to "age well" into matriarchs, eccentrics, character roles, horror films, TV, or walk-ons in musicals and whatnot.

There's also another factor. Dietrich and Hepburn were independent and had a strong will, but they also were well-connected, well-liked by moguls, directors, the Hollywood press. The Hollywood press kept silent about Hepburn's personal life for years, even if it had such potentially embarrassing instances as her cleaning up Spencer Tracy's messes (literally) at hotels or bars. Even then their careers had dry spots. The difference was the ability of Hepburn to keep a close circle of connections ready at hand to give her the parts. But many actresses just aren't able to maintain the connections well, for whatever reason. Garbo was one of them. I dunno, I felt like Garbo had the career she wanted, lived the life she wanted, and she never embarrassed herself.

I don't worship Garbo but I certainly don't think less of her for ending her career early.

#188 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:26 PM

The difference was the ability of Hepburn to keep a close circle of connections ready at hand to give her the parts.


I suspect Hepburn was kept on at MGM primarily because of her offscreen role in keeping him on an even keel. Her pictures without him at the studio, after The Philadelphia Story, were not much to write home about.

"Ninotchka" I would rate more highly than "Silk Stockings" because it boasts a beautiful performance by Garbo to watch, which in itself redeems almost everything, and lacks the dismal "Ritz Roll and Rock." Charisse isn't awful - at least it's a role where she's supposed to be wooden -- but it's a depressing effort over all even if Porter did come through with "All of You" and it is nice to see Janis Paige get a good opportunity.

I admit that I like Garbo quite well in 'Two-Faced Woman' too, yiannis. After years of hearing about this 'disaster', I found her perfectly wonderful in it (although strangely Americanized; I thought she seemed to be 'morphing' into Kate Hepburn, and that that was the one film Hepburn could have done of Garbo's).


I like her in it, too. I think anyone who sees it will be surprised at how good Garbo is, even though the material isn't her thing.

#189 yiannisfrance

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 08:04 AM

Since we have discussed Camille and while expecting Ninotschka coming next, I thought it would be interesting to talk about Conquest (we can also talk about other Garbo films as well), known in Europe as Marie Walewska which was Garbo’s next film after her immortal Dame aux Camelias.

Conquest is interesting for many reasons. This was to be the star’s final collaboration with Clarence Brown who directed her in 7 films. It was also her last dramatic part, her swan song to the great tragic romantic heroines which made her famous before her two final comedies.
It was also the first and last time that Garbo made a film with French romantic male lead Charles Boyer who must have the record of appearing next to almost every single great star and actress in Hollywood and France (with a few exceptions of course. His list of female partners is impressive. Besides Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn. Ingrid Bergman, Claudette Colbert, Margaret Sullavan, Barbara Stanwyck, Irene Dunne, Rita Hayworth, Laureen Bacall, Arletty, Lillian Gish, Jean Harlow, Michele Morgan, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Danielle Darrieux etc). Sadly Boyer despite his illustrious career is a figure almost and unjustly forgotten in his native France.

But back to Conquest. This film was also the first important film with Garbo in the US which lost a lot of money at the box office. It also cost a lot of money, mainly due to the eternal rewrites of the script and a series of scriptwriters who worked on the script.
The film focuses on the love affair between Napoleon and his Polish mistress Marie Walewska with whom he had a son who would later become an important figure in political affairs in France.

The opening scene with the Cossacks invading the residence of the Walewskis is impressively filmed and Garbo looks radiant and youthful as she descends the stairs to affront the invaders next to her older husband the count Walewski.
There is a wonderful, quiet quality in Garbo’s performance in this film which is particularly appealing. A simple, deep, generous warmth which Garbo radiates throughout the film. Her beauty is dazzling and she conveys a touching spiritual quality in her look and beautiful, melodious voice, whose sadness and quiet pathos makes one think of Chopin’s nocturnes.

Her first meeting with Napoleon in the snow is magical and Boyer rises to the challenge of his Divine co-star. The two actors are quite contrasted, she quiet and poetic, he full of energy and Gallic charm, but they click together. Apparently the two actors knew each other at Salka Viertel’s (cho collaborated in the script for Conquest) salon who was Garbo’s best friend and they got on marvellously well during filming.
There is a wonderful and moving moment after Garbo as Walewska is forced to sleep with Napoleon, in order to save her country. She returns at home and confronts her husband. “I came back to hear my sentence Anastase”, murmurs Garbo with a tragic resignation before sinking to the floor awaiting her sentence. One thinks of this scene as a summary of all those tragic romantic heroines she played cast out from society as her Anna Karenina, both in the silent and talking version (when she confronts her husband after her stolen visit for her son’s birthday) and Garbo has that miraculous quality of conveying doom and fatalism which is breathtaking.

When convinced of Napoleon’s love and hers for him, her abandon at the scene of the balcony is exquisite. “I shall never long for spring again” says Garbo in such a poetic melodious way as she quietly and gently abandons herself in Boyer’s arms.
Before this scene we also have a wonderful confrontation between Boyer and the marvelous Russian actress Maria Ouspenskaya with whom he plays cards and they have quite fight as she finds him cheating. The lady has lost her memory and remembers nothing for the last forty years so she ignores who Napoleon is.

One of the most memorable scenes in the film occurs when Napoleo’s mother played by Dame May Witty visits Marie in her apartment in Paris and the latter announces her that she is expecting a Napoleon’s child. What joy and quiet wisdom we find in Garbo’s voice as she announces the news to Napoleon’s mother.

And what a contrast when from this scene we go to the next scene with Garbo and Boyer in Vienna when she, filled with joy goes to announce him that she is expecting his child and just stops abruptly as he announces her that he will marry Marie Louise, in order to assure his dynasty. Garbo sinks to the floor, struck with sorrow and deception, a deception and sadness which has more to do with her realizing that Napoleon is no longer the patriotic figure she loves but an ambitious politician willing to sacrifice everything for his ambition. But she still loves him and that quiet eternal love of hers still burns for the rest of the film.
Boyer is magnificent as Napoleon and his interacting with Garbo is magical. Many people do not like this film since Garbo has a less showy part than let us say her precedent roles like Camille, Christina or Karenina. But there is a lot to treasure and an indescribable moving, spiritual quality about her acting and beauty which personally I find most appealing. Also worthy of note, this film was not photographed by her favourite cameraman William Daniels but by Karl Freund.

The film was recently released on DVD from the Warner Bros Archives.

#190 papeetepatrick

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 10:54 AM

It was also the first and last time that Garbo made a film with French romantic male lead Charles Boyer who must have the record of appearing next to almost every single great star and actress in Hollywood and France (with a few exceptions of course. His list of female partners is impressive. Besides Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn. Ingrid Bergman, Claudette Colbert, Margaret Sullavan, Barbara Stanwyck, Irene Dunne, Rita Hayworth, Laureen Bacall, Arletty, Lillian Gish, Jean Harlow, Michele Morgan, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Danielle Darrieux etc). Sadly Boyer despite his illustrious career is a figure almost and unjustly forgotten in his native France.


I liked 'Conquest', but don't have time to write about it at the moment. But was struck by your 'Boyer record'. I had figured this out on my own as well. You've added some I hadn't known and left out a few that I'll now add, from having started watching the 1962 'Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' last night. So we'd include the stunning Ingrid Thulin and also Yvette Mimieux as well. This had originally been a flop, and I never wanted to see it until we were talking about 'Gilda' and Glenn Ford recently. Ford I now appreciate much more than I used to, primarily because of 'Gilda', but also because of Lang's 'The Big Heat'. I'd thought of him as bland before. And a Wiki piece I just read described all the perceived problems of this, but what startled me was the chemistry between Ford and Thulin is very strong and convincing, and while Thulin is a vision (I always thought she was the most beautiful of the Bergman actresses, but never thought I'd watch this, it sounded like an anomaly), Ford is fit and sexy, and looks marvelous in suits. In fact, that he's playing Charles Boyer's SON is much less credible than his affair with Thulin, as is his having Nazi cousins with names like Heinrich.

So will just quickly say that I thought Boyer was marvelous in 'Conquest', but I usually like him. I had liked Garbo too, and she looks spectacular in it. This was one of her best matches of leading men, and Boyer was indeed a consummate actor; I'm surprised to hear he's not remembered much there. Someone told me that since Gilbert Becaud died in 2001, there's been mo mention of him to speak of (although this friend goes to Paris a lot he lives in Lausanne, but I think he'd know.) Of course, that's more recent, but there's been a lot of discussion I've heard over decades about the different ways of valuing performing artists, particularly contrasting the U.S. and France: In the former, it's pretty much understood that you have to keep producing and getting out work, and the latter, one can coast on one's past laurels and be celebrated for years. Or that's the stereotype, and those are, of course, often applicable. Sorry to veer off the the film for the moment, but I did remember when I, too, counted up as many of the ladies Boyer had appeared with, and I had started with 'who had worked with Garbo, Dietrich, and K. Hepburn?' He was the only one.

#191 yiannisfrance

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:46 PM

Yes, your are right about Boyer, I honestly think he was one of her very best film partners with regards to acting ability and this shows in the film. I would add John Barrymore in Grand Hotel and also the marvelous Henry Daniel in Camille. Amd I also hugely enjoy her partnership with Gable in Susan Lennox. Strange but sizzling.

It was almost impossible to include all of Boyers prestigious female stars, but I am glad you mentioned Ingrid Thulin. There was also Jane Fonda.

One of his best films in my mind was Mayerling opposite the young Danielle Darrieux. He was perfect in the part of Rudolphe who commits suicide with his mistress Marie Vetsera. The irony of the sort is that Boyer himself commited suicide after the death of his wife British actress Pat paterson in 1978 I believe.

Boyer was fond of telling a story about his meeting and marriage Pat, it was around 1933. He said that he had to thank Garbo for his marriage to his wife Pat. He had a date with Pat and they were supposed to go and see Queen Christina with Garbo which opened nationwide. When they arrived at the cinema. it was sold out, so they decided to get married instead.

Its is sad but true about Boyer and France. People barely mention him here, besides maybe in Ophuls film Madame De with Danielle Darrieux. This is unjust as he was one of the best and most charming leading men in Hollywood and his impressive list of leading actresses certainly says a lot to this subject. I remember at his centennial , I was at his birthplace at Figeac, at the south west of France, and was at a small phto shop whrere the owner was paying a private tribute to Boyer with the screening in French of Conquest and he was lamenting that there was not a single tribute in France to celebrate Boyer's centennial.

Also true what you have mentioned about the extraordinary Gilbert Becaud one of France's greatest singers. Almost mo one mentions him today and yet he contributed immensely in popular culture and the music scene in France for decades,

#192 dirac

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:00 PM

Yes, your are right about Boyer, I honestly think he was one of her very best film partners with regards to acting ability and this shows in the film. I would add John Barrymore in Grand Hotel and also the marvelous Henry Daniel in Camille. Amd I also hugely enjoy her partnership with Gable in Susan Lennox. Strange but sizzling.


Very true, yiannisfrance, and thank you for that wonderful post in tribute to Boyer. Conquest is mostly DOA for this viewer but it's nice to see GG acting with one of her peers in the profession. I feel the same way about Garbo and Gable.

#193 yiannisfrance

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 02:40 AM

I am glad you like Boyer. Besides "Conquest" and "Mayerling", I also found him marvellous in several other films like": Gaslight" with Ingrid Bergman, "All this and heaven too" with Bette Davis, "Lilliom" by Fritz Lang, "Madame De" by Max Ophuls opposite Danielle Darrieux, "Love Affair" with Irenne Dunne etc. On the other hand, not fond of his partnership with Dietrich in "The Garden of Allah" (the two stars deserved better material, the film is too kitsch and never believeable on a dramatic level).

As for Gable, the more I watch "Susan Lennox" the more I love the film and the couple Garbo-Gable in it. Not too many people mention this among their top preferences in the Garbo or Gable filmography, which is unfair, but as far as I am concerned it is one of my very favorites for both stars.

#194 papeetepatrick

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:21 AM

I am glad you like Boyer. Besides "Conquest" and "Mayerling", I also found him marvellous in several other films like": Gaslight" with Ingrid Bergman, "All this and heaven too" with Bette Davis, "Lilliom" by Fritz Lang, "Madame De" by Max Ophuls opposite Danielle Darrieux, "Love Affair" with Irenne Dunne etc. On the other hand, not fond of his partnership with Dietrich in "The Garden of Allah" (the two stars deserved better material, the film is too kitsch and never believeable on a dramatic level).

As for Gable, the more I watch "Susan Lennox" the more I love the film and the couple Garbo-Gable in it. Not too many people mention this among their top preferences in the Garbo or Gable filmography, which is unfair, but as far as I am concerned it is one of my very favorites for both stars.



'Liliom' is a beautiful movie, and Boyer really looks young and virile in it. Madeleine Ozeray is fragile, birdlike and exquisite, and there's a lovely small appearance by Antonin Artaud as 'le remouler' (the 'grinder'). I hadn't thought of 'Gaslight' the other day, but yes, he is excellent in that, and so is Miss Bergman (her other Oscar-winner, 'Anastasia', is boring to me). I think 'Liliom' is much better than 'Carousel', the musical version, although I've heard Molnar said he liked it.

I think people aren't so fond of 'Susan Lennox' because it is so unusual and exotic--that doesn't always mean popular.

You're right about 'The Garden of Allah', which is hideous, as is another Dietrich film 'Kismet', which left me in disbelief. I believe Dietrich said at one time when the film was featured on TV in the late 70s or early 80s that Garden of Allah was the favourite of her pictures 'because I was never more beautiful', which makes it totally worthwhile to me, as I think Marlene has the best sense of humour of all the stars (except maybe Ava Gardner.) The things she said about Loretta Young and Joan Crawford are just outrageous, but they crack me up, and I like many of her films a great deal. She's admired Garbo and K. Hepburn hugely, but that was about it of female stars she had a good word for.

#195 yiannisfrance

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 02:03 AM

I almost forgot about "Kismet". That was a big joke! Horrible, worse than "The garden of Allah".

With regards to Dietrich, I always liked her. I admire the star, the personality, I respect her contribution, I like her songs. I would never consider her as one of the greatest actresses in films, but on the other hand I think this is not what matters with Dietrich. She was this huge star who knew how to do "her thing" in films, on stage when singing. She was this striking personality who goes through the decades and despite the marks and passage of time she touchingly reminds audiences what memories used to be about. It is touching to see or hear Dietrich singing in the 1960s or 1970s. Even with her limited voice, with some whispers she makes people think of Berlin before the war, the "Blue Angel" (I am not crazy about this film), her contribution during the war, Lili Marlene etc.

From her films my favorite is the Billy Wilder "Witness for the prosecution" based on Agatha Christie and starring the great Charles Laughton. In that film she is absolutely marvellous in a "double" role. I also liked her in Lubitsch's "Angel", Borzage's "Desire" opposite Cooper and "Morocco" by Strenberg once again with Cooper. Not crazy though about "The scarlett empress" or "The Devil is A Woman" and "Blonde Venus" although I can understand that people watch these films and enjoy them for various reasons.

Yes, her remarks are often outrageous byt funny too. Poor Loretta Young. I do not know what got into Dietrich with Loretta Young.

I never considered her to be Garbo's "riva"l, although one can understand why people kept comparing them and trying to put one against the other (which is absurd since there is place for both of them and they are totally different both as actresses and personalities). I think what Dietrich loved above all was the cabaret, the idea of singing and seducing her audiences, this is whay she was always nostalgic about her Berlin years as a cabaret singer and the war years when she entertained the allied troops. Garbo would never go and seduce her admirers in person, she was this artist of genious whose's seduction and genious would touch the audience only when she performed a part and through the camera lens.


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