Budapest bar entertainer Zara is a discontented alcoholic who is pursued by many men but lives with novelist Carl Salter. A strange man (Tony) shows up on Salter's estate claiming that Zara... See full summary »
Budapest bar entertainer Zara is a discontented alcoholic who is pursued by many men but lives with novelist Carl Salter. A strange man (Tony) shows up on Salter's estate claiming that Zara is actually Maria, the wife of his close friend Bruno. Maria, Tony claims, had her memory destroyed during a World War I invasion ten years ago. Zara doesn't remember but leaves with Tony to Salter's dismay. Bruno, now an officer in the Italian army, tries to coax Maria's memory back on his large estate. No one is really sure if Zara is Maria, and when Salter shows up with a mental case that he claims is the real Maria, everyone on Bruno's estate is desperately searching for the truth. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A pretty good story, but poorly executed. Greta Garbo plays Zara, the loose living mistress of a famous novelist, who may also be the long lost wife of a wealthy Italian officer. The question of who she is for real is complicated by the fact that Zara cannot remember anything beyond the last ten years of her life. The story is interesting, but it wasn't handled well enough to also be engaging. Nothing is ever done to create any real suspense. Garbo gives a better performance here than she did in Anna Christie, but she still falls back on her silent screen style overacting whenever the script calls for any real drama. The best thing about the movie is probably Erich Von Stroheim, who gives an excellent supporting performance as Salter, the novelist who is determined not to give up his mistress. It would have made a terrific Hitchcock film.
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