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In Czarist Russia, Anna Karenina falls in love with the dashing military officer Count Vronsky and abandons her husband and child to become Vronsky's mistress. Tragedy ensues when Vronsky ... See full summary »
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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
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 »
The stagecoach wheel is shown bouncing out of a hole before it gets stuck. See more »
It's all a question of climate. You cannot serenade a woman in a snowstorm. All the graces in the art of love - elaborate approches that will make the game amusing - can only be practiced in those countries that quiver in the heat of the sun.
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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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