IMDb > As You Desire Me (1932)
As You Desire Me
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As You Desire Me (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Luigi Pirandello (play)
Gene Markey (adaptation)
View company contact information for As You Desire Me on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 May 1932 (USA) See more »
You don't need us to tell you not to miss this film. You couldn't be kept away!
Budapest bar entertainer Zara is a discontented alcoholic who is pursued by many men but lives with novelist Carl Salter... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Greta Garbo ... Zara aka Maria

Melvyn Douglas ... Count Bruno Varelli

Erich von Stroheim ... Carl Salter

Owen Moore ... Tony Boffie

Hedda Hopper ... Ines Montari
Rafaela Ottiano ... Lena
Warburton Gamble ... Baron
Albert Conti ... Captain

William Ricciardi ... Pietro

Roland Varno ... Albert
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Reginald Barlow ... Dr. Reinhardt (uncredited)
Max Barwyn ... Cafe Headwaiter (uncredited)

Edmund Breese ... Friar (uncredited)
George Davis ... Salter's Butler (uncredited)
William Orlamond ... Waiter (uncredited)

Nella Walker ... Lucia Marco (uncredited)

Directed by
George Fitzmaurice (uncredited)
Writing credits
Luigi Pirandello (play "Come Tuo Mi Voi")

Gene Markey (adaptation and dialogue)

Produced by
George Fitzmaurice .... producer
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
William Axt (uncredited)
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels  (as William Daniels)
Film Editing by
George Hively 
Casting by
Benjamin Thau (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cullen Tate .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
James Brock .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Milton Brown .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
70 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Did You Know?

Pirandello's play "Come tu mi vuoi", written by late 1929 premiered in Milan's Teatro de Filodrammatici on 18 February 1930.See more »
Baron:Get rid of these other swine.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Divine Garbo (1990) (TV)See more »
Bei der Weinlese in TokaSee more »


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, 10 November 2012
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

AS YOU DESIRE ME (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1932), directed by George Fitzmaurice, taken from the play by Luigi Pirandello, stars Greta Garbo in what may be considered atypical role from her formula material. Aside from this being her shortest Hollywood feature film (70 minutes), and the only one where, early into the story, sports a short platinum haircut, here she plays an amnesic woman searching for her identity. Another interesting aspect to this nearly forgotten melodrama is the casting of the youthful Melvyn Douglas and veteran actor/ director Erich Von Stroheim as her co-stars.

The plot opens in Budapest (Hungary), 1925, in a café where the sultry Zara (Greta Garbo) sings (off screen dubbing) to the beer drinking patrons. As Zara entertains her guests, Albert (Roland Varno), a college student; The Baron (Albert Conti) and a Captain (Warburton Gamble) in her dressing room with a drinking party, she is soon approached by a man (Owen Moore) calling out to her by the name of "Maria." After closing the door on him, Zara later returns home, accompanied by her male admirers where they make the acquaintance with her live-in lover, famous novelist Carl Salter (Erich Von Stroheim). Moments following their departure, Tony reappears, explaining the reason for his visit. He tells Zara and Carl of being an artist who painted a portrait of Maria, whom he recognizes as Zara. Maria is said to be an Italian countess and wife of his very best friend, Count Bruno Varelli, who, ten years ago during the World War, mysteriously disappeared following an invasion and destruction of her home by drunken Austrian soldiers. Having no recollection of those missing years and being amnesic herself, Zara, thinking she could be that woman, leaves with Tony against the protests of the possessive Carl, trying to hold her at gunpoint . Upon her arrival with Tony by train to Florence (Italy), Zara, having transformed herself to physically resemble the missing countess, is reunited with her grief-stricken husband, Bruno (Melvyn Douglas), now an officer in the Italian Army, and her loyal servants (Rafaela Ottiano and William Riccardi). Aside from having restored their home to the way it was, Bruno makes every effort in helping "Maria" regain her memory. Though "Maria" strongly doubts herself being the countess, her strong resemblance and happy greeting the great dane, Rex, a family dog, proves otherwise. Things become more complex upon the arrival of Carl Salter, a psychiatrist (Reginald Barlow) and an amnesic veiled woman who's been a patient at his sanitarium since the time of Countess Maria's disappearance, causing more doubt for all.

Following the pattern of Garbo's romantic sounding movie titles as LOVE (1927), ROMANCE (1930) and INSPIRATION (1931), AS YOU DESIRE ME (lifted from the Garbo line, "Take me and make me as you desire me") is less a love story and more of a mix of riddle and mystery. Appearing more theatrical mostly towards the end, it proved more interesting through spoken words rather than by its actions. The basic premise of AS YOU DESIRE ME was used to better advantage in ANASTASIA (20th Century-Fox, 1956) that earned Ingrid Bergman an Academy Award as Best Actress. Though not a remake, themes of this nature where amnesic victim becomes someone else, makes good storytelling, and guessing from the viewer's part all worth while.

Garbo's initial entrance dressed in black tight slacks and blonde wig is somewhat unbecoming to her screen personality but makes up for it during its second half, looking more like the traditional Garbo, a woman of mystery. Von Stroheim, quite menacing, as usual, nearly steals the show from his leading players, while Melvyn Douglas, early in his career, makes a satisfactory husband, though far from convincing as an Italian. Douglas would work with Garbo again in comedies, NINOTCHKA (1939) and TWO-FACED WOMAN (1941), the latter which marked the end to Garbo's movie career.

Though AS YOU DESIRE ME could have been a little longer by developing its characters to a little further extent, as it appears, it's fine the way it is, even with limited underscoring. Among the members of the cast is Hedda Hopper, future Hollywood columnist, playing Maria's sister, Ines, and Edmund Breese as the Friar. Distributed to video cassette in 1990, AS YOU DESIRE ME turns up from time to time on Turner Classic Movies cable channel. (***)

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