Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »
Budapest bar entertainer Zara is a discontented alcoholic who is pursued by many men but lives with novelist Carl Salter. A strange man (Tony) shows up on Salter's estate claiming that Zara... See full summary »
Erich von Stroheim
While at a ski lodge, Larry Blake sees instructor Karin Borg and decides to sign up for private lessons. The next thing he knows, she is Mrs. Blake. When he announces that he is going back ... See full summary »
Marguerite is a courtesan in Paris. She falls deeply in love with a young man of promise, Armand Duval. When Armand's father begs her not to ruin his hope of a career and position by marrying Armand, she acquiesces and leaves her lover. However, when poverty and terminal illness overwhelm her, Marguerite discovers that Armand has not lost his love for her. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Future two-time Oscar-winning director Fred Zinneman was an uncredited assistant to George Cukor, helping him on camera angles and visual concepts. Zinneman explained, " In 1936, long after I had worked with Busby Berkeley and Gregg Toland, I was again out of a job, and through the good offices of a friend, I was introduced to Cukor, who very kindly asked me to help him with camera angles and visual concepts in the making of a film starring Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor entitled "Camille." Actually my function on the film was rather limited. While it was a most interesting and valuable experience for me, I do not see how it could have been of much value to George. Since then we have occasionally met socially on very friendly terms, and, needless to say, I have enormous respect for George and for his work; but our professional association was not renewed, as I was signed by MGM to direct short subjects after "Camille" in 1937. See more »
Prudence raises her left hand to her cigar, but removes it from her mouth with the right hand. See more »
When one may not have long to live, why shouldn't one have fancies?
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This film further proves that the assembly-line system of Hollywood studios back then should also be taken seriously in terms of artistry. Just because movies were produced run-of-the-mill doesn't mean that they weren't paid critical attention to by their makers. The usual impression on studio-era Hollywood is: take a formulaic narrative style, maybe adapt a stage play for the screen, blend in a handful of stars from the stable and the films rake in the profit at the box office. Not quite, that's the easy perception. George Cukor, another of those versatile directors, made it apparent with Camille that filmmaking as an art may still flourish despite (and even within) certain parameters. Camille is beautiful, in so many respects. And it's not just because of Greta Garbo.
Sure, the acting is amazing, the casting is perfect. Garbo is luminous, mysterious, cruel, and weak at the same time. Robert Taylor surrenders himself to be the heartbreakingly young and vulnerable Armand. Henry Daniell's coldness and sadism is utterly human and familiar. The others are just plain wonderful. The writing contains so much wit and humor, devotion and pain - but it never overstates anything. The rapport and tensions between lovers, friends, and enemies are palpable and consistent. The actions flow so naturally, just like every scene, that checking for historical inconsistencies seem far beside the point.
There is so much that I love about Camille that it's hard to enumerate them all, but with every little discovery comes the realization that this is "but" a studio production, so it makes the experience more exquisite. Camille is a gentle, poignant romantic movie that, like Garbo, takes its place delicately and self-effacingly in the history of American cinema, but makes itself indelible in the heart and mind of the lovelorn individual viewer.
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