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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
Greta Garbo initially requested that Laurence Olivier play the lead, Don Antonio, since she was impressed by his performance in Westward Passage (1932). In July 1933, the press announced that Olivier would take the part. However, when they did the rehearsals in August, Garbo and Olivier had no chemistry, and he was released, although MGM Studios honored his negotiated salary of $1,500 a week for four weeks minimum. Garbo requested that John Gilbert be cast in the role instead. See more »
Christina's musket pistol did not make a cloud of smoke. See more »
Exceptional Garbo performance in fine film biography
Although it is short on fact and large on fiction this beautiful biographical film of Sweden's Queen is a marvelous vehicle on its own, quite aside from containing one of Garbo's finest performances, second only to her Marguerite Gauthier in CAMILLE. She is strong, yet delicate in her portrayal of Christina. There are subtle undertones of lesbian tendencies and her scenes with John Gilbert are pulsating with true feeling for the man, though he is woefully inadequate as an actor opposite her. Her abdication scene is a classic, her movement about the inn room where she and her lover met, touching everything for memory's sake is another classic scene (exceptionally composed and lit) and her final close-up is yet another. This is a solid drama and a solid romance. Overlooked at the time of its release, it is now considered one of her finest films, exceptionally directed by master Rouben Mamoulian. Do not miss this one - a true cinema classic.
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