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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>
Botched effort with fine Garbo performance and script.
This is rather a botched effort. Fitzmaurice is not a good director. He allows von Stroheim to act badly, Douglas and others to overact badly, but does turn a fascinating play into an intriguing script and give us another fine Garbo performance. She is excellent in the lead - it's a film that cried for a remake later in the forties but never got it. As a drunken cabaret singer in the initial scenes, Garbo in a blonde wig is a comic revelation. Interesting to note that von Stroheim has no accent at all, in fact he can barely read his lines, he is as talentless here as an actor as someone who has never been on stage before in his life. He even pronounced "Maria" as if it were "Mareer." Isn't that Douglas in the audience by the pillar in the initial scene? - either that or a look alike double. His character should not be present at that moment. Available on MGM/UA video.
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