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An attractive woman going by the name Marguerite lives in Paris and is a courtesan, kept by the rich aristocrat Baron de Varville. When the handsome young Armand sees her for the first time, he immediately falls in love. Camille is not so easy as to fall for his charms immediately. She lives a comfortable life, after all. As she comes to have feelings for him, Armand's father intervenes asking her not to cast a shadow on his son's future prospects and she agrees. In her greatest time of need however, the loving Armand returns to her. Written by
Garbo's finest performance in a classic film romance
This is arguably the finest romantic film ever made and it contains Garbo's finest performance (resulting in her third Oscar nom - she should have won - and a NY Film Critics Best Actress Award). She is luminous, able to suggest great inner strength while projecting a fragility that is touching. Her death scene alone is the finest in the history of the cinema - one can feel the weakness, the tentative holding on to life only to see her beloved once again. The film is full of small moments of flawless acting, in her glances, in the tone and inflection of her voice, and in her delicate movements. Great Greta!!!
MGM has lavishly produced the film. The cinematography, art direction and costume design are lavish and exceptionally beautiful. The supporting performances from Lionel Barrymore (touchingly noble) and Laura Hope Crewes (lewd and coarse - a revelation to those who only know her Aunt Pittypat in GWTW) to Maureen O'Sullivan (sweet and virginal) are exemplary. Only Robert Taylor is not up to the job - he is a poor actor here - but he IS gorgeous and we can forgive Garbo her mad infatuation with his Armand.
A classic film if there ever was one. Don't miss it.
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