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...
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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>
This film is almost forgotten but remains one of the most unusual in Garbo's career. It was daring to use a Pirandello play (what remains of it) and the stylistic inconsistencies are actually absolutely right for the theme that nothing is what it seems (but could be, if we so desired it). Compare it to "Two faced Woman" ten years later, also with Douglas and also about confusions of identity. You will see how much better is the earlier film and how much more beautiful Garbo was, even in a fright wig. George Fitzmaurice was a talented director with a great sense of style. Like most early sound films you have to see a good copy. Much of what we see now is just a travesty of the original and makes it very hard to appreciate its real quality.
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