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Queen Christina (1933)

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Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.

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(screen play), (screen play), 8 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Antonio
Ian Keith ...
...
Elizabeth Young ...
...
Aage
...
Georges Renavent ...
French Ambassador
David Torrence ...
Archbishop
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
General (as Gustav Von Seyffertitz)
Ferdinand Munier ...
Innkeeper
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Storyline

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 Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 February 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Königin Christine  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,114,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The stagecoach wheel is shown bouncing out of a hole before it gets stuck. See more »

Quotes

Queen Christina: I have quite a collection of royal portraits. My suitors usually come in oil. And I've kept them - because I love a good painting.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Titanic (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Garbo at her peak
22 June 2002 | by (Richmond, CA) – See all my reviews

I'm in the middle of "Wednesday Night is Greta Garbo Night" on TCM, and I am as happy as the proverbial pig. A whole month of Garbo -- 27 films! 1927-1941!!! Needless to say, I rushed right off to Target to stock up on blank videocassettes! I'm the King of the World! The dream of a lifetime fulfilled!

"Queen Christina" is merely one of Garbo's greatest performances, but it's second to none. She imbues the role of the conflicted Swedish monarch with majesty and vulnerability, and also embodies the clarity, determination, assurance, and style of a great ruler. This Christina is no silly Mary Queen of Scots, thoughtlessly throwing everything away for love, and sowing the seeds of her own destruction. Garbo's queen sacrifices power for a man, true, but only because she understands that she can't have both and must have love, that Sweden will still flourish without her, and that to fulfill her deepest needs as a human being she must accept the inevitable cost. She is a lover of the arts, a reader of great books, curious about the entire world and thirsty to drink at the well of experience. She is a bohemian, and there's little satisfaction for her in wielding great power while being denied the opportunity to live fully.

Whether this is an accurate portayal of the historical person is really beside the point. "Queen Christina" is an MGM costume spectacular with MGM's biggest star. And Lord, is she gorgeous!

Watching John Gilbert as Antonio makes me wonder why he didn't last for long in talking pictures. His hairstyle here makes him look a bit goofy, but he's a handsome guy and his speaking voice is perfectly adequate. He doesn't come close to Garbo in charisma -- who does? He handles the role quite well, and the mutual affection of the pair is palpable.

At least one poster has questioned whether the implied homoeroticism of several scenes in this film really exists -- the kiss between the queen and her lady-in-waiting, the "No Chancellor...I shall die a bachelor" line, the reaction of Antonio's servant about him staying in bed all day with "the other gentleman." S/he is wrong -- it's definitely there. But I think Ruben Mamoulian was just having a little fun with Christina's "masculine" eccentricity to add some spice to the story. She was hailed as a "king" at her coronation, and a king she endeavored to be.

Some viewers might find "Queen Christina" dated. It's terribly romantic in the style of the 1930s, and if you can't buy into that you might have problems. Also, there's the characteristic cliche of all the old MGM period films dealing with royalty -- the ceremonial entrance of nobles into the court, accompanied by fanfares and stately music. I counted four of those in this movie -- oh, well, it goes with the genre.

And that final scene? It really is unforgettable!


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