GARBO!

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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Garbomaniac
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GARBO!

Post by Garbomaniac »

No other star EVER created the FERVOR of Greta Garbo! From the moment she appeared on the screen in 1925 to her retirement in 1941, she WAS the epitome of STARDOM. Her films were the mainstay of MGM. She manipulated her image, characters, and colleagues like no other star.

Personally she is my GODDESS. She is in my thoughts daily. She is a role model of independence and stubbornness. She was alone, and liked it. Until the end, she had few regrets, maintained her draw, and made the top five of the American Film Institute's all time greats along with both Hepburns, Bergman, and Davis! She was, in a word, MAGNIFICENT.

What are your opinions, good or bad, of THE DIVINE GARBO?

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Vecchiolarry
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Post by Vecchiolarry »

Hey James,

Well, you certainly are a Garbo Maniac, that's for sure!!! Nothing wrong with that and I mean it in the best sense......

I have not seen many of her movies - "Camille", "Ninotchka", "Mata Hari" and "Anna Karenina" only. I thought that the entrance scene at the railway station in all that steam was the most magnificant entrance to a movie ever. The only other ones are Bette Davis shooting the hell out of her lover in "The Letter"; and Lana Turner appearing out of her coach shadows in "The Three Muskateers".......

Ramon Novarro spoke very well of her and said that she sometimes shared her pot of tea with him... I guess she wasn't as aloof with him as others....

As I tend to champion more the character actors & actresses in the movies, she isn't really one of my favourites (not animated enough) but I will defend your right to adore her to the end.
I would put Paulette Goddard above her as a favourite of mine..... I liked "Kitty" better than "Anna Karenina"!!

Surely if the young kids of today could or would view stars like Greta Garbo, then I sure they wouldn't idolize the crap pile we are inflicted with today.....

Larry
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Post by Garbomaniac »

Hi, Larry. You are such a gentleman. I didn't think I would get ANY responses on this thread since there are so many mixed opinions of Garbo, Garbo vs. Dietrich, and Garbo's acting ability. But, I should have known you would comment.

I am mixed on whether I like her silent period better than her talkies. She was younger and more beautiful, but I am so thankful she made it into talkies, too. Usually when I watch her films, which of course is often, I usually end up watching a silent or one of her earlier talkies. Naturally, I really like her three later costume talkies: Anna Karenina, Camille, and Conquest. But, Anna is so depressing that I much prefer watching the silent version for some reason. Maybe because I don't have to hear her pleading voice. And, Conquest was such a huge failure it is kinda hard to watch, but it does have Boyer as Napoleon, and he was as good or better than Herbert Lom!

Garbo in Romance, her second talkie.

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Post by stuart.uk »

James

My favourite Garbo film is Queen Christina. Didn't she look great in was it 16th Century male fashions.

For yrs I assumed it was her idea to retire after the bombing of Two Faced Woman, but there's a suggestion MGM wanted her out because she was European and WW2 was on. If that's the case, it was a dumb thing to do. It didn't do Ingrid Bergmen any harm at the likes of Warner Brothers where she did Casablanca. Of the two, I would say I prefer Ingrid, as she seemed more approachable to her audience, compared to Greta's mystic. However, I do wonder if Greta might have got European roles like Elsa in Casablanca if she'd been available, as at the time she was a bigger star than Ingrid

PS Garbo in colour. That would have been a Wow!

I do think it was a crying shame Greta made her last movie at age 36, though you could argue that added to her magic. However, she kept her looks as she got older, so there was no pratical reason why she couldn't have played romantic leads right up till the 1960s. In fact could she have played IMO Ingrid's best role in The Yellow Rolls Royce. I think she could have, just as well as her fellow Swedish Nightingale, despite the fact she was 11-yrs-older.
Last edited by stuart.uk on January 30th, 2009, 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by moira finnie »

Nice photos, Garbomaniac, but please, my friend, let's keep them under 500 x 500. I had to shrink that last color one of GG down to within those limits. These are great photos, and you are most generous to share them but we don't want to overburden our little site, do we?

Please see here for more guidance on photo posting here on the SSO. The thread explains that there are editing capabilities on all photo sharing sites, such as Photobucket, Picasa, etc. Drop me a PM if you would like more help, please.Thanks.
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Post by Garbomaniac »

GOLLY, moira! I did it again? Sheez, and I work so hard to get them sized on photoshop! PLEASE know if I do it, it is not because I am deliberately careless; I really don't know what went wrong. I suppose I will just have to make them really small instead of trying to come close to the 500x500. Again, my apologies.
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Post by moira finnie »

G-maniac, I don't think that you're doing it deliberately. I know it can happen inadvertently. I've found that different image sharing sites have sometimes odd ways of editing the photo. Thanks for being so conscientious. I'll try to jump in and help when I can. Here's an unusual color photo of Garbo that I particularly liked from 1945 after her retirement. Maybe you will enjoy it too.
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Post by Garbomaniac »

Stuart, yes there is truth in what you say. When Garbo decided to leave, she went to Mayer, and it was a mutual agreement that she should leave. He gave her a check to hold her over until after the war, but she refused it saying she didn't earn it. Both, of them, however, did expect her to return sometime later in the future. Garbo was obsessed by her appearance. There is one story of a party guest accidentally walking in on her in the ladies room at some soiree. Garbo was bent over the sink running her fingers over the lines in her face, bemoaning the onset of "maturity." I am concinced that she eventally never returned due to her insecurity about her looks.

Another story is that after the failure of the funding of "The Duchess de Langeais" with the European backers, she retreated permenantly. She has been quoted as saying at the time, "Nobody wants Garbo, anymore," or something to that effect. She had never had to go out and promote herself. She was used to having everything she requested handed to her, and when the backers decided the whole project was too much of a risk, she retreated forever behind her mystery.

Like you said, it was a shame. Funny, I never thought of Garbo as Ilsa. She would have been around 37 to Bergman's 30, which may or may not have made a difference. Bogey and Garbo would have been a SMASH! And, again, I agree with you about the Yellow Rolls Royce. Another role many people have suggested she could have played was My Cousin Rachel, which went to Oliva DeHavilland. But, I wonder if she would have found that role to her liking. She once said, "No mothers, and no murders." That is why she turned down the role in The Paradine Case. I have often wondered if she would have done the role in Gaslight. It would have been great to see her slowly driven mad! After all, she "suffered" like no one else!
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Post by Garbomaniac »

Wow, moira! That pic is great! I have never seen it before, believe it or not. I have hundreds of pics of her. I saved it to My Pictures right away and turned it longways. She still looked fantastic. It is in her eyes. I can see the lines she saw when she looked in the mirror, but I don't think audiences would have minded. After all, most of her admirers grew up with her and were apporximately her age. So, they might have felt even closer to her than she believed they would. I especially like the black mink. I always wished she had done the Blackglama ads, but of course that was out of the question! Ha!

And, thanks for the assistance now and then. You're a pal!

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Post by Vecchiolarry »

Hi James & Moira,

If this picture is from 1945, then she would have been 40.
She could have easily been filmed with all the makeup and lighting and camera tricks available. She could have looked 21......

Marlene Dietrich filmed into the 60's when she was 60 and so did Merle Oberon. even Lana and Ava in the 80's (in their 60's)... They all still hold their claims as beauties....

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Post by moira finnie »

Hi James & Larry,
I hope you both had a chance to see the Kevin Brownlow & Christopher Bird documentary made in 2005 for TCM called Garbo. Including interviews with many biographers, friends and relatives, as well as an exclusive look at her beautiful New York apartment it brought her to life as a person much more than any other doc I've seen. Best of all, and most heartbreaking, was the inclusion of a film test done at the behest of William Wanger's would-be backers for a film called the Ducheses de Langeais that was never made. Knowing that Garbo had been away from the cameras for most of the decade, they filmed her to show that her beauty was still intact. The silent footage shows her in the late '40s, in her own clothes, laughing and posing for the camera. I don't think she was ever more beautiful or natural looking than I've seen her in those few minutes.

Garbo (2005) shows up on TCM from time to time, though it doesn't seem to be commercially available just yet. It should be!
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Post by Garbomaniac »

Yes, moria, I have it. I taped it off of some channel, probably TCM. I have everything Garbo I can lay my hands on. I even obtained, at great expense, the original 1932 Vanity Fair magazine with with Covarrubias' caricature of Greta on the cover. I saw it years ago and eventually found it and BOUGHT it; hang the price!

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Post by stuart.uk »

James

She was hounded by photograhers all her life, particulary one who was relentless and with somewhat bad taste caught her with a shot just days before she died at 84.

I've seen photo's of Garbo in the 60s and she's still beautiful, though I think women as a rule get more attractive with age, adding character to their looks. It's funny how you say she was obsessed by her looks, as of camera, she often wore unflattering clothes, as if she didn't give a hoot what people thought.

The only problem with her playing Gerta in The Yellow Rolls Royce would be the 24-yr-old Omar Sharif. Ingrid at 49 pulled it off brilliantly, despite the 24-yr age difference between them. Do you think she could still have played leading lady to the youthful Sharif, or would we need a slighly older Yul Brynner, or an actor like that. Either way I think she would have been great as action heroine Gerta Millet. That said, it's my favourite Ingrid role, so we can't have it both ways Lol.

According to my information, there's a ten-yr-age gap between Greta and Ingrid, which would have made her 37/38 to Bergman's 27. However, IMO the age difference wouldn't have mattered a hoot in Casablanca.

I could be wrong, but looking at the more mature photo's of Greta, there seems to be an older Kate Hepburn quailty about them.
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Post by Ann Harding »

moirafinnie wrote:Garbo (2005) shows up on TCM from time to time, though it doesn't seem to be commercially available just yet. It should be!
Actually, this documentary is available on DVD. It's part of the DVD set Greta Garbo Collection from TCM/Warner. You can even find it separately on Amazon. :wink:

I just want to share with you the Disney version of Garbo I got in a vintage magazine:
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Post by moira finnie »

That's interesting about the dvd. You'd think that there would be more info about it on the internet. When I did a quick search hoping that it was on dvd, I came up empty.

This documentary is just one more example of Kevin Brownlow and company's excellence. The man is an international treasure!
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