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Erich von Stroheim
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Queen Christina of Sweden is a dominant European ruler in the 17th century, and has never thought of romance. However, she accidentally and secretly falls in love with an emissary from Spain, even though a marriage between the two seems out of the question. Written by
Lawrence Grant is in studio records/casting call lists as a cast member, but he did not appear or was not identifiable in the movie. C. Henry Gordon was announced as a cast member, and Edward Cooper was listed as a cast member in a contemporary Hollywood Reporter news item, but neither appeared to be in the film. However, recognition of actors was difficult because of period makeup. See more »
In the 1600s, in a remote, snowbound, humble inn, Garbo is eating grapes and fruit that would not have been available even in the major, more southern cities like Paris. See more »
[on the street protests about her private life]
Evidently my people, who are said to love me, do not wish me to be happy.
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This is a movie with several good points, but "Queen Christina" is most of all notable for the outstanding performance by the great Greta Garbo, in a role that is perfect for her. There are good settings and a good story, with the rest of the cast also mostly performing well, but Garbo's terrific performance grabs the viewer's attention and holds it for the entire film.
The story is very loosely based on the historical Queen Christina, who ruled Sweden in the mid-1600's. The historical character was interesting in her own right, but the movie adds a clandestine love affair with a Spanish ambassador that serves as a catalyst for questions about Christina's identity, duty, and perspective. It's a fine character study that makes ideal material for Garbo, and she is thoroughly convincing when portraying the queen's dilemmas, desires, and decisions. While the historical context is important, many of the things that the queen agonizes over are also timeless concerns, making the portrayal even more memorable. The story itself is also good, with a memorable climax.
This is a fine classic, recommended not only for those who enjoy older films, but also for anyone who can appreciate a great performance by a great actress.
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