[For 9 minute surviving fragment] Lucian, a soldier in Paris, is to ship out for Algiers at 9 that evening. He stops by for a last meal with his love, Marianne. He may be worried that when ... See full summary »
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Robert Z. Leonard
[For 9 minute surviving fragment] Lucian, a soldier in Paris, is to ship out for Algiers at 9 that evening. He stops by for a last meal with his love, Marianne. He may be worried that when he leaves she will find another soldier to love. They argue then embrace and, when the clock strikes midnight, he is still in her arms. Is desertion in the cards? Can the relationship survive the military demands and a soldier's obligations? Written by
THE DIVINE WOMAN by Victor Sjostrom is the only film with Greta Garbo that is mainly lost. As a few reviewers already mentioned, only one short reel survived, was found in Moscow archive in 1993 and is now part of the Garbo DVD collection. According to this reel, one can infer that in THE DIVINE WOMAN, Greta Garbo was as young and sexy as in FLESH AND THE DEVIL, as delicate as in THE MYSTERIOUS LADY and as overwhelmingly beautiful as in A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS. Besides, there is something more that is not so visible in her earlier films.
There are a few factors that prove this movie must have been significant for Garbo as an actress and as a person:
the director, Victor Sjostrom, a Swede, famous for a popular silent
THE WIND (1928) with Lilian Gish and Lars Hanson. He was the director whom Garbo highly respected. He was not that critical in her life as Mauritz Stiller, but he also had an impact on her career in Hollywood. Moreover, THE DIVINE WOMAN is the one and only film she made with Sjostrom.
it is another, this time the third, movie in which Garbo plays by the
side of an aforementioned Swedish actor, Lars Hanson. Before, she worked with him on the set of SAGA OF GOSTA BERLING (1925) by Stiller and an unforgettable FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926) by Brown.
THE DIVINE WOMAN was one of the first movies where Garbo was given a
different, a more ambitious role than a shy Countess Dohma in TORRENT (1926) or a vamp Elena in THE TEMPTRESS (1926). This movie, though not that significant as FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926) started a more complex portrayal of characters by Garbo and allowed her for a wider choice.
It is a great pity that so little of it has survived. Nevertheless, some people would probably say that better something than nothing at all. True! At least this "something" proves again what a divine actress she was.
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