Sir William Hamilton, a widower of mature years, is British ambassador to the Court of Naples. Emma who comes for a visit with her mother wouldn't cut the grade with London society but she ... See full summary »
In the inspired Olivier concept, Shakespeare's play begins as a performance in the Globe Theatre, shifting in broad cinematic terms to an epic narrative of Henry V, who had developed from a... See full summary »
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
For the famous closing shot of Greta Garbo at the prow of the ship, director Rouben Mamoulian had wanted the camera to begin with a long shot, and then, in one unbroken take, gradually dolly in on a two-thirds close-up of Garbo's face, holding on her at the end of the shot. Unfortunately, with the camera's 48mm lens that close to the human face, pores tend to resemble craters on the surface of the moon. Borrowing on aspects of the magic lantern, Mamoulian devised a large, ruler-shaped, glass filter strip that was clear at one end, becoming increasingly more diffused along its length. With this glass filter mounted in front of the lens, as the camera moved in on Garbo, the glass strip was gradually drawn through the filter holder, beginning with the clear end, and ending with the diffused end (close-up), softening Garbo's facial features with more flattering results See more »
Christina's musket pistol did not make a cloud of smoke. See more »
I'll tell you the truth. Well, gentlemen, I have the truth as the Queen has had 12 lovers this past year. A proud dozen!
Long live the Queen!
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One of silent cinema's greatest pairings, Greta Garbo and John Gilbert starred together one last time in Queen Christina. Gilbert's career was in tatters by 1933 after a string on failures, and Laurence Olivier had already bailed from the role, but Garbo insisted on Gilbert. And he is wonderful as the Spanish envoy. He looks great and gives a sly performance with plenty of wit. This is also one of Garbo's best talkies. Together they light up the screen. This film also boasts some of the most gorgeous close ups of Garbo you've ever seen. Solid historical drama of Swedish queen who abdicates for love. Good supporting cast includes Lewis Stone, Reginald Owen, Akim Tamiroff, Ian Keith as the slimy Magnus, C. Aubrey Smith, Elizabeth Young, and David Torrence. Beautiful film with solid performances and, dare I say, very feminist in its view. Gilbert's performance in this film and Downstairs (1932) should have put him back on top. What a shame. Norma Desmond was right when she said, "They took the idols and they smashed them. The The Gilberts, the Fairbankses, the Valentinos."
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