On Disc

at Amazon

An original documentary from Turner Classic Movies, narrated by Julie Christie


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A compelling account of Juan Pujol, an extraordinary Spanish double agent during WWII who helped change the course of history.

Director: Edmon Roch
Stars: Rupert Allason, José Antonio Escoriza, Aline Griffith
Universal Horror (TV Movie 1998)
Documentary | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A documentary examining the early days of horror films, particularly those crafted at Universal Studios during the 1930s.

Director: Kevin Brownlow
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Christopher Adamson, John Augur
Garbo (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Nifty little melodrama about garbage collectors, or "garbos" in Australian slang.

Director: Ron Cobb
Stars: Stephen Kearney, Neill Gladwin, Max Cullen
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Frank Powell, Grace Henderson, James Kirkwood
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A chemist carries out a bizarre experiment with his own head.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Winstanley (1975)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Winstanley explores the attempt by Gerrard Winstanley who formed 'The Diggers' and with a group of followers attempted to form a small farming community in one of the first proto-Communist attempts at collective agriculture.

Director: Kevin Brownlow
Stars: Miles Halliwell, Jerome Willis, Terry Higgins
Drama | Fantasy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1940, the Nazis invade Britain and transform it into a fascist state where some Britons collaborate and others resist.

Directors: Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo
Stars: Pauline Murray, Sebastian Shaw, Bart Allison
Hollywood (TV Mini-Series 1980)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

The definitive documentary about the American silent film industry.

Stars: James Mason, Viola Dana, Byron Haskin
A vizsga (2011)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

1957, Budapest. A young defense officer's loyalty is tested by his mentor in a highly deceptive spy game.

Director: Péter Bergendy
Stars: Zsolt Nagy, János Kulka, Péter Scherer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Winstanley 1976 ; Re edit for widescreen of the film exec produced and funded by singer songwriter John Lennon.

Director: Kevin Brownlow


Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Herself (archive footage)
Himself - Interviewee
Karen Swenson ...
Herself - Interviewee
Himself - Interviewee
Barry Paris ...
Himself - Interviewee
Gray Reisfield ...
Herself - Interviewee
Gwendolyn (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Mimi Pollak ...
Herself - 1993 interview (archive footage) (as Mimi Pollack)
Derek Reisfield ...
Himself - Interviewee
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Daniel Selznick ...
Himself - Interviewee
Himself - Interviewee


An original documentary from Turner Classic Movies, narrated by Julie Christie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

character name in title | See All (1) »





Release Date:

6 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Greta Garbo - Einsamkeit einer Diva  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Credited cast members following narrator Julie Christie are identified by a graphic or by other cast members. See more »


Features The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Wonderful tribute to one of the most magnificent actresses ever, Greta Garbo
18 September 2005 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

"One of the most celebrated people in the world

desperate not to be recognized..."

The very beginning of the latest documentary about Garbo that was released on TCM just before her 100th birthday calls viewers' attention to the personality of this great actress. To understand her more profoundly, the director of the documentary, Kevin Brownlow, aims at detailed exploration of Garbo's life, her wonderful but short screen career as well as her later lonely life. Furthermore, the whole movie is supplied with wonderful music by Carl Davies. I have asked my American friends to copy this film from TCM for me and I do not regret. Having seen Steve Cole's GRETA GARBO-A LONE STAR and some of the other minor documentaries, I must admit that GARBO is the best made biographical film about the Swedish beauty so far.

The whole documentary is not sensational but rather aims at presenting Garbo as someone full of contradictions and melancholies. Among a lot of interviews with the people in the film, I particularly liked the one with Mimi Pollak, Garbo's friend from youth, Gray Reisfield, Garbo's niece, Derek and Scott Reisfield, Garbo's great-nephews, and Sam Green, Garbo's companion during later years of her life. They wonderfully managed to get the gist of who Garbo really was - a Swede with Swedish upbringing brought at the age of 20 to a totally different world - Hollywood. She was gentle, humorous, and very independent. Daniel Selznick, the grandson of Louis B. Mayer mentions the fact that Garbo could never adapt to the life and manners promoted within MGM family. Joseph Newman recalls the day on which Garbo first arrived in Hollywood and mentions the difficulties she had to cope with. As a result, we do not get a "glorified picture" of how well everything went but a very realistic look at Garbo's experience abroad. Near the end of the documentary, the viewers are showed the most private thing from Garbo's life, her huge New York apartment with a number of antiques and lovely works of art that she gathered while traveling with friends.

The documentary is also supplied with a wide range of original archives. While watching the film, I could not believe my eyes what a wonderful use TCM producers made of these materials and how perfectly they fit to the documentary. From a number of Garbo's pictures taken in Sweden before 1925, you will see plenty of footages with Irving Thalberg, Mauritz Stiller, George Cukor as well as clips from all of the movies Garbo made in America and earlier in Europe. A lot of people mention the cinematographer, William H. Daniels, who made a perfect use of lighting and beautifully photographed Garbo. But the interest reaches its peak when Clarence Brown appears on screen in the 1969 interview footage and comments on the movies and Garbo's intuitive abilities of acting. He was Garbo's favorite director and cast her in 7 of his films. While he comments, we see footages from his films, particularly FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926) and A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS (1928) where Garbo played by the side of the greatest love of her life, John Gilbert. Therefore, the archives that you will see in GARBO are hard or even impossible to find elsewhere. I was totally amazed.

Except for aforementioned factors, the documentary is worth seeing thanks to a lot of interesting facts postulated by various people interviewed. Barry Paris, Garbo's biographer, creates a link between Garbo and the audiences of that time; Daniel Selznick concentrates on Garbo - MGM relations; Leatrice Fountain, John Gilbert's daughter, says a lot about Garbo-Gilbert love; actor James Karen refers to the wide and ambiguous presentation of human psyche that Garbo created in her films, which was not that popular among all people. Yet, Mark Vieira, a photographer, recalls Garbo's friend Salka Viertel and her impact on Garbo's films, particularly German version of ANNA Christie and Mamoulian's QUEEN Christina.

If that is not enough, the end of the documentary will absolutely surprise you... It shows the last professional footage of Garbo that was taken in 1949, 8 years after she retired from screen. Although she looks gorgeous in it, the studio did not want her any longer. The footage became known as late as after her 1990 death. What governed the decision to let down the greatest cinema star remains undiscovered...

The TCM production, GARBO, is a magnificent biography that makes a tribute to Greta Garbo, probably one of the very few actresses that a lot of viewers of the 21st century still admire and appreciate... an actress that was born to play. It is, if not a must see, a highly recommended documentary for all open minded people. 10/10!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: