9 user 4 critic

Romance (1930)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 26 August 1930 (USA)
Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »




(from the play by), (dialogue continuity) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Anna Christie I (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
The Kiss (1929)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Anders Randolf
Susan Lenox (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Fleeing her cruel uncle and an arranged marriage Susan Lenox falls in love with a kind stranger but circumstances force her to become a woman of easy virtue.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Hersholt
Conquest (1937)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Polish countess becomes Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress at the urging of Polish leaders, who feel she could influence him to make Poland independent.

Directors: Clarence Brown, Gustav Machatý
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Boyer, Reginald Owen
Love (1927)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A married woman compromises her social standing and family life when she falls for a young officer.

Directors: Edmund Goulding, John Gilbert
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, George Fawcett
Inspiration (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Yvonne is a beautiful model who loves frequenting the Parisian bohemian life, because she loves hobnobbing with artists.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Montgomery, Lewis Stone
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A wife neglected by her husband, a medical researcher in China, falls in love with a dashing diplomatic attaché.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Greta Garbo, Herbert Marshall, George Brent
Camille (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore
Mata Hari (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Lionel Barrymore
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An attractive Russian spy seduces an Austrian officer in order to get some important plans, but when she actually falls in love with him, both of them are placed in a dangerous situation.

Director: Fred Niblo
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Gustav von Seyffertitz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When two childhood sweethearts are kept from marrying, misery ensues.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lewis Stone


Complete credited cast:
Rita Cavallini
Cornelius Van Tuyl
Tom Armstrong
Susan Van Tuyl
Abigail Armstrong
Rina De Liguoro ...
Nina (as Countess De Rina)


Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of Rita and himself. Rita was an Opera Star singing in New York who was at a party given by Cornelius. Armstrong was a 28 year old rector. He fell for Rita when he saw her and after six weeks he wanted to marry her. Naive as he was, he thought that all of Rita's "relationships" were in the distant past, but Rita lives for the moment and knows that she can never marry Armstrong. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Romantik  »

Box Office


$496,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original play opened in New York on 10 February 1913. See more »


Madame Rita Cavallini: You would want me to stop singing and live in this horrible New York? The most disagreeable place I ever saw. Oh no, my friend, I wouldn't marry him. That would be the biggest mistake.
See more »


Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.30 (1956) See more »


Liebestraum No. 3 (A Dream of Love)
(1850) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Liszt
Played on piano by Greta Garbo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Romance with Grateful Rita, ROMANCE with Great Greta
24 January 2010 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

Although Greta Garbo in her 17 year-long Hollywood career (1925-1941) made 7 movies with the director Clarence Brown, the ones that have remained popular till our modern era of technical effects and shallow actions are only three: FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926), ANNA Christie (1930) and ANNA KARENINA (1935). Indeed, those movies deserve appreciation since each of them carries something special deeply associated with certain moments in both MGM's history and Garbo's career. Yet, the early talkie that Garbo made soon after her introduction to sound is almost a forgotten, yet a very beautiful movie, ROMANCE (1930).

It is a film loosely based on the life of the opera singer Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944), a film in which, perhaps, not much happens, yet the one that warmed my heart on a frosty winter day. It offers everything that may be considered subtle, genuine, touching and beautiful, everything that may supply us with an affectionate journey into the old days of cinema when the cast were a true elite of artists.

Garbo was Oscar nominated for this role in 1930 along with her role of Anna Christie, but, unfortunately lost to Norma Shearer, another female star of the time whose role in "The Divorcée" occurred to be a smashing success. As an opera diva, Signora Cavallini, you may find Garbo a bit unconvincing due to her looks that purely stress a beautiful gentle woman than a "well built" opera singer. Although Signora Cavalieri might have been an exception from the stereotype, Garbo is the least convincing as opera diva. Besides, for some people, she may occur a bit overemotional due to her lines being said with the utmost dramatization. Therefore, when you look at those certain flaws and inaccuracies, one would expect a failure rather than a success. However, that was never the case with great Greta!

When you watch Garbo carefully and trust her as a viewer, you will experience something wonderful that only Garbo had. She knew the very moment when to call viewers' attention, when to change the mood and highlight desirable emotions and you get rid of all possible doubts. What is left is a pure admiration. This skill that Garbo had is something that still touches us and proves the fact that her acting was something of a genius, something you never get bored with. She had that combination of dignity and a very humane, affectionate attitude. If you decide to see ROMANCE, pay attention to the growing feelings and changing emotions that Garbo beautifully depicts. Also, her witty moments with a pet monkey and the final moment when she stands upright at the fireplace are an absolute must see. It is possible to express with words only to a certain degree but you will never describe her unless you see her. The Garbo we find here is also a great job by cinematographer William Daniels who photographed the Swedish beauty as no one else could have ever done and the subtle direction by Clarence Brown, Garbo's favorite director. It is important to state here that these were the people, except for Salka Viertel of course, whom Garbo really trusted.

Garbo's leading man is, for the only time, Gordon Gavin. He is not bad as bishop Tom Armstrong who opens a little box with a perfume of romance before a young inexperienced man, Harry, who seeks advice in a desperate situation. The scenes of Gavin and Garbo are quite stagy, there is hardly any chemistry between them; yet some moments are worth attention. For instance, don't skip the sentimental moment when Tom shows Rita the souvenirs from his childhood days that his mother kept and cherished so much. This affectionate kiss...it was for the sweet boy in the picture, not for Tom... Sweet as it may seem, the both characters have something timeless in common: both of them find the first and true love and are so grateful to each other.

I think that a mention should be made of an exceptional actor, such a characteristic mainstay in Garbo's films, Lewis Stone. Again, he does a splendid job here as Cornelius, an elegant 51 year-old man who appears to be so experienced, who seems to have lived his life and thinks that life is so simple when one is 28... How practical he appears to be when he leaves Rita with no other choice: either Tom's happiness or heartbreak. Terrific portrayal!

ROMANCE is an underrated must see as yet another example of how charming the cinema was in the good old days. Don't lose it, dear viewer, whoever you are and whatever your movie preferences are. ROMANCE is something that can warm your heart, make your day as a story of the greatest thing in the world with the greatest queen of MGM. Don't lose it for you'll not regret.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: