Release of the movie was delayed because of a lawsuit Pathé brought against MGM. Although the novel by Alphonse Daudet was in public domain in the USA, it was still under copyright protection in Europe. Pathé won the lawsuit. See more »
Many (perhaps too many) of Garbo's films are rated primarily on the basis of her performance, with everything else secondary. This is most unfortunate, since MGM - very much to their credit - did not arrange her pictures primarily as star vehicles: the leading men and supporting players are usually strong performers. Considering the fairly large number of pictures in which she starred, her performances do not encompass a wide variety of characterizations: she is typically a woman who has loved well but not wisely (and probably too often), a worldly and world-weary femme fatale preoccupied with the futility of searching for real happiness, yet finding no viable alternative in the life she knows.
This is once again her character in "Inspiration," a relatively obscure Garbo film which compares very favorably with the later and much better-known "Camille." The stories have much in common, as do her performances. While "Camille" obviously had a considerably larger budget, resulting in more impressive production values, the dramatic values in "Inspiration" are at least equal to those of the other.
Of particular note: Garbo, dismissed by her lover, huddles in a storefront, waiting for him to pass on a dark, rainy day - finally emerging when she spots him, only to be rejected once again - without a word - with nothing more than a curt shake of the head as he walks on.
And Lewis Stone, having ended the liason with his young, despairing mistress in an upper apartment, descends the staircase, pauses ever so briefly at the building entrance to note her lifeless body now crumpled on the sidewalk, and continues on his way.
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