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
Many people found Greta Garbo's process as an actress inscrutable, though no one questioned it because the results spoke for themselves. Her habit was to work out a performance ahead of time in private as much as possible. Too many eyes on her in front of the camera made her uneasy. As George Cukor once explained, "[Garbo] said that when she was acting she had some sort of an ideal picture in her mind - something she was creating - and she never saw the rushes because she was always disappointed in what she saw. But she said while she was acting she could imagine certain things and if she saw people just off the set staring at her, she felt like an ass, like somebody with a lot of paint on her face making faces. It stopped her imagination." See more »
Prudence raises her left hand to her cigar, but removes it from her mouth with the right hand. See more »
The luminous Greta Garbo in one of her best remembered roles. In this she is the tragic heroine who is dabbling with fate with Robert Taylor (who seems to be wearing more make-up than Greta!) while moving towards the inevitable weepie conclusion.
Certainly Garbo was best in these kind of other-worldly roles, in another place and time, than she was in the few contemporary features she attempted. Not a great actress, but a beautiful woman and a true star who the camera clearly loved. Taylor would move out of romances and musicals into more typically heroic roles by the end of the 1930s, but he's a good romantic lead here.
And I mustn't forget the pleasure of seeing Henry Daniell, one of Hollywood's greatest villains.
Filmed with the commonplace MGM gloss of the time, Camille' delivers on all levels - if you're looking for an escapist, teary, film with lots of close-ups and a nice slow pace. It belongs square in that first decade of the talkies and this sort of thing fell out of fashion after the Second World War.
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