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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Greta Garbo

GRETA GARBO (1905-1990), born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, epitomized the word "Star" during Hollywood's Golden Age. While not outgoing, she was not a recluse either, having a close circle of friends until her death.

Grand Hotel (1932)
Haven't you seen Grand Hotel (1932)? Garbo's ballerina Grusenskaya falls for fallen aristocrat John Barrymore. Garbo's performance is haunting and this is where she uttered the classic line, "I want to be alone." Superb!

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Ninotchka (1939) Here Garbo is the polar opposite of her character in Grand Hotel. She is a hard-nosed Commissar slowly seduced by capitalism in this wonderful comedy.
Camille (1936) Here Garbo is another tragic heroine, a glamorous courtesan succumbing to consumption. An incredibly handsome Robert Taylor is her conquest.
Queen Christina (1933) Her final scene is haunting as she looks beyond the camera. She said director Rouben Mamoulian told her to "think of nothing." Beautiful.
Anna Christie (1930) Garbo Talks!! Her first sound film, and what a doozy. It's directed by Clarence Brown from a play by Eugene O'Neill.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Wed, Oct 12 2005 / 13:53:38 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1929 Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role: ROMANCE
1929 Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role: ANNA CHRISTIE
1937 Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role: CAMILLE
1939 Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role: NINOTCHKA
1954 Honorary and Other Awards , for her unforgettable screen performances. Winner presented a Statuette.


  • I had only heard of Garbo until about 3 years ago ... mainly just the "I VANT to be ALONE" parodies of her, really. The few still photos I had seen hadn't particularly moved me.

    Once I saw her on screen, though, absolutely melted. It took 2 films (Ninotchka & Grand Hotel) for me to totally, fall head-over-heels in love with Garbo. There's just something about her that you can't explain ... a certain charisma, for lack of a better word. Whatever it is, it comes right through the movie camera lens like magic.

    I LOVE Grand Hotel for many reasons. I also argue against those who claim Greta was over-the-top in her role.


    By Blogger MarkMyWord, at Mon Oct 17, 04:54:00 PM PDT  

  • That's so interesting MarkMyWord. I had the exact same experience. I knew nothing about Garbo except that line, "I vant to be alone." And it was three years ago that I finally watched Ninotchka. I loved that movie! Then I watched her in Grand Hotel. I watched Camille after that. It was then, I finally understood why others had found her so captivating. She's wonderful! I truly had been missing something. Isn't it nice when we finally get with the program?

    By Anonymous Elizabeth Van Cleve, at Tue Oct 18, 03:00:00 PM PDT