An actress, a director, and a writer are asked to help revive the career of ruthless Hollywood studio bigwig Jonathan Shields. However, all three are reluctant because they have all been used and betrayed by him in the past.
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>
The only memento of Hollywood kept by Greta Garbo was a pair of Adrian-designed kid gloves from this film. White leather, they were beaded with an ivy leaf pattern than spelled out her initials "G.G." over and over. See more »
In the final scene, in closeup, as Armand helps the dying Marguerite from her bed, she has a woolen bed jacket around her shoulders. When the scene cuts to the long shot as she stands up, it has vanished and she is just wearing her nightgown. See more »
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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