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Lillie Sterling comes with her husband, John, on a business trip to Java, expecting a second honeymoon. On the ship, she witnesses Javanese Prince De Gace mercilessly whipping a servant and shrinks in horror from the sight. When John is befriended by the Prince, who is very attracted to Lillie, she tries to have little to do with him. During a conversation in their room, John is called away to answer a wire, and the Prince steals a kiss in his absence, for which she slaps him. So she is understandably upset when John accepts the Prince's invitation to stay at his plantation in Java when he promised to arrange a tiger hunt. She tries to dissuade John from going, but John says he always wanted to shoot a tiger and she is being unreasonable. Once at the plantation, John is too busy to pay much attention to Lillie, and when he is away, the Prince tries to seduce her. Lillie flees in tears after another kiss, afraid of her own emotions. Finally, she embraces the Prince when he tries again,... Written by
Arthur Hausner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During production Greta Garbo's friend and mentor, Mauritz Stiller, died in Sweden. Devastated by his death, Garbo traveled to Sweden incognito to mourn his death. Her secretive travel plans were quickly foiled when she was recognized on the voyage. See more »
Garbo excels in exotic love triangle romance...no spoken dialog...
Although there is a fine background score and many sound effects throughout, neither GRETA GARBO, LEWIS STONE nor NILS ASTHER speak a word of dialog in this MGM film directed by Sidney Franklin during the dawn of sound films.
With the use of the usual title cards for the spoken words and some excellent emoting from the three stars, the viewer becomes absorbed in what is essentially a handsomely produced love triangle set aboard a cruise ship heading for Java. Even as early as 1929, MGM's glossy production values are evident.
Garbo is the restless wife of the middle-aged Lewis Stone when she first sets eyes on princely Nils Esther aboard ship, fascinated as she watches him brutally whip a slave. When fascination turns to disgust, she rebuffs his advances when he has an opportunity in Java to be alone with her while her husband goes on a hunting trip. Predictably, she is soon under his spell and that's when the plot begins to turn.
Stone is adept at portraying the husband's emotions when he believes his wife unfaithful and Nils Asther is so perfectly cast that I wish he'd made more American films in the future rather than return to his native Sweden. As for Garbo, she has never looked more beautiful nor more youthful before her features matured.
Although the plot is a simple one, there's enough interest in the trio to assure attention until the final shot.
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