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Erich von Stroheim
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>
Most Greta Garbo fans rank this as her finest work--and it probably is. Not only is she highly competent in the title role, but the supporting cast shines just as brightly--everyone from Laura Hope Crewes to Henry Daniell to Lionel Barrymore. And Robert Taylor is the ideal romantic hero at the peak of his darkly handsome good looks. He and Garbo make a wonderful pair.
George Cukor's direction is full of richly observed details of behavior, never flinching from the occasional coarseness of the characters. All of the technical work is above reproach and those familiar with the story of the Lady of the Camelias will not be disappointed. Lionel Barrymore makes a brief but effective appearance midway through the film. His scene with Garbo is delicately played and gives added credence to Garbo's nobility in letting her lover go.
Biggest drawback is the film's pace--some editing may have helped--but the final result is still impressive.
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