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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 »
Christina signs some reports, moves a stack to her right, then hands a stack to the treasurer. The first stack disappeared. See more »
You are very pretty, Elsa. Are you also good?
When I do not like a man, yes.
That's a true virtue.
The basis of all morality in a sentence.
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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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