Greta Garbo (blog entry) scottlordsfi.blogspot.com
Greta Garbo (blog entry) I have heavily revised my writing on Greta Garbo, Victor Sjostrom, Danish Silent Film and Swedish Silent Film. You may have read this before, but this time it in fact is extensive. Please visit the following webpages.
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new erotic novel after divorce (blog entry) I like this blog, but my wife and i are no longer speaking and I feel the need to close it.
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photo posted 03/10
Greta Garbo talar!In the "First Interview She has Granted to any Magazine in Months", Greta Garbo in "The Swedish Sphinx Speaks" broke "her long silence" about when she would exit the silent film era, interviewed by Raplph Wheelwright in Screenland Magazine during 1929. "'I hated talking pictures when they first came out,' said Greta, stimulating a shudders guesture by way of adding emphasis to her words. 'They screeched and scratched. They were neither of the stage nor screen. Just monstrous nightmares. I thought to myself, I I have to appear in anything like that I ought to go home to Sweden and stay there. ugh! Now-' and Greta threw back her head and laughed. I am bored to death when I see a silent picture. It seems that something is lacking: life is gone when the players fail to speak their lines."
In the article Greta Garbo discussed there having had been being rapid technological developments in sound film while she had been in Sweden and mentioned her ability to fluently speak English, perhaps with little no Swedish accent. Not yet entirely completely refusing to be seen or quoted in public, she continued, "The public likes or dislikes a player solely upon what it sees of the player on the screen. I do not think a star's private life exposed in intimate detail serves any purpose than to satisfy curiosity. I am just a human being like anyone else. I resent prying into my personal affairs just as much as anyone in any other station or position rightfully resists similar intrusions.'" It was a monthly issue in which Helen Ludlam had introduced The New John Gilbert and Fashion Editor Adrain had introduced himself, authoring an article that was accompanied by one of his sketches and a photograph of himself with Greta Garbo taken three years earlier.
"Greta Garbo portrays the torments of love, but little else" was one photcaption that had accompanied Greta Garbo through the pages of fan magazines during 1930, specifically Picture Play Magazine, that had pages earlier praised sound film for having improved John Gilbert's image as a lover. Although correctly referred to a a hold-out for M.G.M, along with Lon Chaney, by author Richard Corliss, by then Greta Garbo by all accounts had made three sound tests, one from a monologue from Goethe's Faust, one a selection from Peer Gynt delivered in Swedish, and the other from Shakespeare's Hamlet, as Ophelia, the speech delivered in English. Norbert Lusk of Picture Play magazine was the film critic author Richard Corliss chose while deciding whom to select to relate the phenomenon of "The Voice: Greta Garbo's Sound films". To look at the article further and expand Corliss's quote, Lusk, who had serialized the photo plays of two reelers into fictional magazine adaptations, merely becomes perplexed by the baritone of Greta Garbo as the mystery of the Swedish Sphinx was to become more enigmatic and reach higher into the firmament reclusively. Significantly, or more significantly than is often viewed, by July of 1930, Talking Screen magazine has been added to the newsstand extra textual discourse. It read, "Gridley has fired. The Sphinx speaks! Greta Garbo has made a talkie. And the great myth of the movies- the legend of Hollywood- has received another tremendous impetus that will mean millions to M.G.M and it's sequestered Swede....according to director Clarence Brown...List to the oracle: 'I consider Greta Garbo one of the three Greta actresses the world has known, Bernhardt, Duse, and now Garbo.'" Author Herbert Cruikshank continued with his article Garbo Myth of the Movies More Amazing Than All the Mystery Stuff Is the Truth-Presented Herewith-Concerning Greta'" If not typical of the sentiment of the new adventure with sound, Talking Picture Magazine also went into publication as a proponent of the new moving, and talking, picture.
"Greta Garbo will have Charles Bickford as leading man in Clarence Brown's production of Anna Christie for M.G.M. and not John Gilbert as was first reported." After announcing the coming of a new Greta Garbo film, Motion Picture News printed an extensive series of advertisements by Metro Goldwyn Mayer on the new season of film. "Greta Garbo will appear in two all talking and one silent picture" appeared above the full page advertisement in Motion Picture News paid for by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. It ran below, "Greta Garbo in Anna Christie. Her first All-Talking picture! There's a title that will blaze mightily from marquees all over this broad land in the coming season. Greta Garbo, the divine beauty talking to her vast public!..In addition to the All-Talking picture Anna Christie, Greta Garbo will appear in a second All-Talking Drama, title shortly to be announced. This second speaking role for Miss Garbo is a vividly colorful characterization uniquely suited for her extraordinary beauty and talents. It will also be a silent production." "Garbo talar!!" was the title decided upon for the webpage authored by Louise Lagerstrom of the Swedish Film Institute. If it does seem more post-climatic than anti-climatic, actor John Barrymore had literally tried it first in an earlier film with synchronization, Pickford and Fairbanks both leaving their individual projects to co-star together shortly thereafter; Picture Play magazine speculated, "The Garbo Voice. What will it sound like? The Whole World waits to her the Swedish enchantress for the first time in Anna Christie." And yet, while audiences were waiting not all movie theaters were available for sound film and M.G.M divided their advertisement into a "Summary 16 Pictures Available for Theatres Without Installation: Greta Garbo, the flaming orchid whose seductive personality has made her an audience draw will appear in one silent picture, title of which is to be announced." While John Gilbert was scheduled to appear in his first sound picture Olympia, "Olympia:Title to Be Changed", Redemption, an adaptation of Tolstoy was being advertised as "A Fred Niblo Production, Screenplay by Dorothy Farnum". Before continuing to its advertisement of films "For Wired Houses", it included, "Lon Chaney in three thrilling silent pictures, the first Bugle Sounds. Titles of two more Lon Chaney silent pictures to be announced." Early during 1929, M.G.M. advertised Greta Garbo in Wild Orchids, "Sound or Silent", her having been assigned to "the most gripping story she's ever appeared in", and John Gilbert in Thirst "Equipped for Silent or Sound". Fred Niblo, introduced by a photo of Dorothy Sebastian in front of a microphone while filming one of her "new style scree tests, one for voice and one for photographic qualities", was attributed with having written the articles Crashing the Soundgates for Screenland magazine during 1929. The silent film director Niblo, noted in the photcaption for having directed Ben Hur, wrote, "Breaking into the talkie racket raises the ratio two thousand to one." Beneath them was a septagonal portrait of Greta Garbo. Motion Picture News reported in July of 1929 that Greta Garbo was in rehearsals for Anna Christie, "her first talker". Picture Play magazine awaited the film, "At the very height of the talkie excitement, M.G.M. risked Garbo in an all silent picture in The Single Standard. It was a hit. Following her experiment in dialogue with Anna Christie, she may return to the silent fold, and I for one will not mourn. Garbo is a shadow. She suggests mystery, a mystery that has been in silence. What then will the spoken, tangible thought have to do with this peculiar appear? An out of character voice will ruin Garbo. She must speak as she looks- soft, alluring, and yet with a huskiness which her sophistication suggests...Always a good actress, Lilyan Tashman's throaty contralto has increased her prestige and emphasized her individuality. The talkie has given Conrad Nagel a new lease on popularity."
In 1930, Katherine Albert penned the article Is Jack Gilbert Through for Photoplay Magazine. She outlined Jack Gilbert's power of script approval, notifying audiences that his first sound film, Redemption had been "shelved by the studio." and that she wondered if it would ever be shown in theaters. The article reviewed his performance as having been "nervous", "too highkeyed and "sel-conscious". In the same issue, Photoplay released stills from Anna Christie, "This Clarence Brown filming of the O'Neil play for M.G.M. is eagerly awaited by Garbo fans everywhere. Garbo's first talkie is bound to be one of the sensations of the next few months."
Greta Garbo eludes, Greta Garbo evades"There are many things in your heart you can never tell a person. They are you. Your joys and sorrows- and you can never, never tell them. It is not right that you should tell them. You cheapen yourself, the inside of yourself when you tell them."
Silent Film actress Greta GarboWhile waiting for the release of Anna Christie (Brown/Feyder, 1930), Picture Play magazine included a portrait of Greta Garbo taken by Clarence Sinclair Bull. Edwin Shallelert wrote, "Greta Garbo has gone to the extreme when exacting it within the studio itself...Greta Garbo has pursued the same phantom. The ordinary news gatherer, and the majority of the extraordinary, are not permitted on her set. It is told that once even some of her countrymen of the press came to visit and were ritzed, or felt they were." New Movie magazine devoted a page to Greta Garbo's first sound film, "Elsewhere in this issue Herbert Howe refers to Greta Garbo as the Hollywood Sphinx. But the Sphinx speaks in her next Metro Goldwyn picture, a new talkie version of Eugene O'Neil's Anna Christie once done by Blanche Sweet. Clarence Brown is introducing the Swedish Star to the microphone." The magazine also featured a portrait of Garbo dressed for tennis captioned, "The exotic Swedish star plays a great game of tennis. This isn't a posed sport picture. It's the real thing." Motion Picture News reviewed the film during 1929, "Her work is a sensation. Garbo has an exceptional talking voice, recording with a rich mellowness that exactly conveys her personality. A fine delivery of lines coupled with a splendid performance classes her among the finest of dramatic actresses...Clarence brown handled his direction with a deft hand that sustains the fullest interest in dramatic movement. His work is superb and the individual characterizations are particularly fine, with a small cast of four principals presenting sterling performances." It added, "Just as audiences repeat for Garbo in silent form, it is predicted the will do the same in her talker productions." "She was not pleased with the Anna Christie, writes John Bainbridge about a film that Garbo had first seen in the company of director Jacques Feyder and Wilhelm Sorensen, "'Isn't it terrible?' she whispered to them time and again as the picture unfolded. 'Whoever saw Swedes act like that?'" Although she apparently left early during the screening she visited actress Marie Dressler the following day with Chrysanthemums. Sorensen, after appearing in the refilming reversed their position, or emotion rather, "Garbo thinks this is one of the best pictures she has ever made, and she gives most of the credit to Jacques Feyder." Greta Garbo had worked out dialogue changes with the director during her second filming of Anna Christie. The character played by Dressler would in the second film be reenacted by Salka Viertel, who became, along with Mercedes de Acosta, one of Greta Garbo's more devoted companions during the period of early sound film, Feyder having returned to Europe after making the film, as had Hanson and Sjostrom. Garbo, who without entirely disappearing as though mysteriously, purportedly was travelling under the name of Gussie Berger, would infrequently be seen with Lilyan Tashman. After retiring from film, Garbo would later register at hotels as Mrs Harriet Brown. The magazine Hollywood Filmograph traced the early stardom of the entrance of Greta Garbo into sound film during 1930. It reported, "Niblo had planned to film Red Dust with Greta Garbo, but Romance was put on schedule ahead of this, so he will direct the Haines picture first, then Red Dust, according to present plans." It followed with the heading "Garbo in a new talkie", which read, "Forsaking the Swedish accent of Anna Christie for Italian dialect and garbed in crinolines in place of sweaters and oilskins, Greta Garbo has started work on her second talking picture. Romance, an adaptation of the famous stageplay...Clarence Brown, who filmed Garbo's first talkie for Metro Goldwyn Mayer, is directing." Hollywood Filmograph then alluded to Garbo's then next film, "Greta Garbo will be seen in at least three productions during the coming season, the first of which will be Red Dust. This is based on William Collison's story and presents the magnetic Swedish star as a Parisian." It later reported, "Fred Niblo, having just completed directing Easy Going starring William Haines at M.G.M., is right now preparing to direct Greta Garbo in her next story Red River which Fred De Grease is writing and adapting for the screen." Motion Picture News during 1930 echoed with a similar report on Red Dust, "M.G.M is preparing Red River as Greta Garbo's next talker following her current picture Romance. Fred Niblo is to direct upon finishing Easy Going. Red River is an original by Fred De Greasac and was formally known as Red Dust." With this was also, "M.G.M switches Niblo from Red Dust to Haines film- Fred Noblo will direct William Haines in the latter's next film for M.G.M, N original titled Easy Going...Niblo was originally scheduled to direct Red Dust with an all star cast but this has been postponed to follow the Haines picture so that Greta Garbo can take the starring assignment in Red Dust." The magazine later reverted to the title having had been being Red Dust and it having been based on a story by Wilson Collison, but it also carried an advertisement from M.G.M. itself, which read, "Greta Garbo in Red Dust" which claimed it would be Greta Garbo's third sound film. "The most unusual part she has ever played. On a Chinese rubber plantation her past in Paris is forgotten- gorgeous Greta Garbo gives the talking screen a performance such as you've never witnessed. This stageplay by Wilson Collison has the power of Sadie Thompson. It's going to be one of the year's greatest." The New Movie Magazine during 1930 looked at Garbo in regard to fashion. "The glamorous Garbo, away from the studio, affects dull tweeds and flat heel shoes. No expensive wardrobe for Miss Garbo. Yet she is Hollywood's most lavish purchaser of lovely lingerie. She spends thousands every year on fancy underthings. Above the photo of Garbo was a caption reading, "Spend between $5,000 and $25,000 on clothes." It continued pages later, "For evening Garbo is magnificent...She goes so little to social functions that one can do little speculating as to the number of outfits shew has, but the writer has seen a magnificent ermine wrap, with white fox trimming and several elaborate white satin, white lace, white chiffon, and white moiree gowns that could not cost less than three hundred dollars a piece." Within months the magazine added, "She wore a tan beret and a tan overcoat with a high collar and a pair of horn rimmed glasses. As time goes on the great Garbo seems to become more and more like a hermit." Another item read, "Greta Garbo loves spaghetti and never eats in the studio lunch room. Three years later the magazine interviewed the make-up girl at M.G.M., Lillian Rosini, "Greta Garbo has never used anything but the thinnest dusting of flesh-coloured powder, rather pinkish, and pale lip-rouge; nothing on her eyes at all. And by they way if I get anymore letters asking me if Garbo's eyelashes are artificial, I'll scream...I've been making her up for nine years...I ought to know her lashes are real.
Advertisements sent by M.G.M. itself to Motion Picture News during 1930 relied upon the theme expressed on the cover of Exhibitors herald World, which almost comicly announced, "Greta Garbo talks again in Romance. Its her greatest"; after acknowledging the fame that Garbo had acquired by returning to the screen in a sound film, it depended on the recognition of her as an investment and it was discernably giving her press of its own, "Already the word comes out of Hollywood that Miss Garbo's new Talking picture Romance is destined to overshadow Anna Christie by far. There's no figure in all studioland whose screen activities are of such widespread interest. Long before a Greta Garbo attraction reaches the screen the magazines of the nation are heralding its approach, the public is breathless with anticipation. Its nice to have a Greta Garbo under contract to your theater. In 1930-31, the first of her three vehicles will Red Dust." Motion Picture Classic during 1930 noted in "Garbo at her best" that "It is probable that her latest and greatest photoplay, Romance marks the zenith of Greta Garbo's career. Garbo plumbs new dramatic depths. She adds new charm to her attractions, and is very much the star of the production...The selection of Gavin Gordon is less fortunate, but the shadow of the great Garbo softens the glare of his defects." Directed by Clarence Brown, the screenplay to the film was written by Bess Meredyth and Edwin Justus Mayer. Richard Corliss saw "recognizable curtain lines" that were to almost harken back to the proscenium arc of "filmed theater" during the cinema of attractions, deeming the blocking of the film playlike, "It was as if Clarence Brown, the admirable technician, had died with the coming of sound, and most of his later films were directed not by his spirit, but by his shade. The result is a feature-length series of static two shots, of statuesque poses instead of felt guestures." The portrait of Greta Garbo in costume from the set of Romance published in Motion Picture magazine was photographed by George Hurrell. Adela Rogers St. Johns, writing in New Movie magazine gave a portrait of Greta Garbo that veers from her being a recluse in The Heart of Garbo, How the Plight of her Leading Man Touched the Sympathies of the Star Who Walks Alone, Gavin Gordon went to Hollywood because he found out that Garbo lived and made pictures in the distant land of which he had heard so much." A still of them in the film Romance accompanies the article with the explanation of how Garbo insisted that he be in the cast and that she sent him roses, it quoting the actor, "'And she helped me through those scenes so wonderfully.' he said,'She didn't think of herself and how it would be for her. She was so kindly, she always made it possible for me to do each scene.'"