A young girl and her father are kicked out of their house by a cruel noblewoman, and the girl's heart is broken when her sweetheart, the noblewoman's son, won't go to Paris with them. After...
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A young girl and her father are kicked out of their house by a cruel noblewoman, and the girl's heart is broken when her sweetheart, the noblewoman's son, won't go to Paris with them. After becoming an opera star in Paris, the girl returns to her homeland and finds her romance with the nobleman rekindled. Written by
It is remarkable that short of some 60 minutes of The Divine Woman, Greta Garbo's entire career and filmography has survived for our enjoyment. Torrent, her first American film after two feature-length European films, is remarkably impressionable. Now for the first time seen on the DVD release from Warner Bros. (it's previous availability consisted of a piecemeal ten parts on You Tube), her first MGM vehicle is absolutely stunning! The MGM back lot sets are resplendent of old Spanish countryside, Monta Bell's direction is brilliant, and Garbo's technique- from subtle gestures to facial expressions in closeups are very much in evidence. In yet another great Ibanez novel adapted to the screen, the heroine is a Spanish girl of a poor family who is spurned by a rich lover and runs off to Paris to pursue a career as an operatic singer. She subsequently returns to her small Spanish town a famous diva. In essence a story of the conflict of romantic love versus cultural duty and societal trappings. There are many great scenes. There is one erotic shot in particular in which leading man Ricardo Cortez lays in the lap of Garbo that clearly provided the inspiration for the now legendary love scene with Garbo and John Gilbert in Flesh and the Devil. The exteriors during the flood scene rival those shot in The Temptress. Altogether, great casting, tremendous special effects and an actress who captivated the movie-going public then as now make for an early work in the development of a film icon that surprises and delights. Where I had once thought it merely hinted at an astounding talent yet to come, Torrent shows clearly that by 1927 Garbo was already delivering the goods.
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