In a masked ball in Paris, Manuel Robledo, a young Argentinian architect, meets Elena, the Marquess of Torre Blanca. Later, the young woman is rightly accused causing the misfortune and loss of wealth of Fontenoy, a man who fell for her charms. To escape social criticism, the Marquis of Torre Blanca transfers his residence to Argentina. There, Elena meets again Manuel, when he is building a river's dam. Manos Duras, a thug, harasses Elena, and when Manuel intervenes, he defies him to a whip duel. The duel is long and vicious, both men suffering many cuts on their faces and naked chests, but in the end, the thug is vanquished and humiliated. Manos Duras sets up an ambush to murder Manuel, but the Marquis of Torre Blanca is killed instead. Now, there only two men in love for Elena, the eternal temptress^ÅWritten by
When the camera crane pulls back from Fontenoy along the long banquet table prior to his suicide, the crane throws a shadow across him from the overhead studio lighting. See more »
Remember this of me - there were tears in my eyes when I said - 'I love you!'
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In 2005, Turner Entertainment Co. copyrighted a version with a new musical score composed by Michael Picton. It was first broadcast on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on 30 January 2005 and ran 105 minutes. See more »
For Greta Garbo's second film under her new MGM contract the studio went back to the same source that they got for her first film with them Torrent. Vicente Blasco Ibanez offered up another of his novels for Garbo, The Temptress. Greta's got a whole lot of the men panting after her in this one.
Blasco Ibanez also gave us the slightly more familiar Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse and Blood And Sand which served Rudolph Valentino well during the silent era. Garbo's character of Elena has a lot of similarity with Dona Sol in Blood And Sand. It ends a lot worse for Elena than for Dona Sol.
Garbo is married to Armand Kaliz who is not above peddling his wife's charms to get ahead. Right now she's got the wealthiest banker in Paris Marc McDermott in tow, but he means nothing to here but a cash cow for the husband. Who she really likes after meeting him at a costume party is Antonio Moreno, an engineer from Argentina who is looking for investors in a dam he wants to build.
After McDermott commits suicide when he's facing ruin and names Garbo as the one responsible, to escape until the notoriety dies down Garbo and Kaliz go to the Argentine Pampas and visit with Moreno. The local bully and bandit leader Roy D'Arcy takes one look at her and likes her and knows she's available in the right conditions. That sets up all the action for the remainder of the film.
Garbo's performance in The Temptress certainly assured her of a long career which was only briefly interrupted by the coming of sound where MGM took superb care to see that their investment transitioned smoothly. She is seductive and alluring in The Temptress like she was never before or since, even in her torrid film with John Gilbert Flesh And The Devil or in Mata Hari which calls for seductive and alluring like it calls for breathing.
Moreno was one of the first players to be known as Latin Lovers and he was about ending his career in those roles and would be transitioning to character parts. Roy D'Arcy as the bandit chief registers the best after Garbo. He had that Snidely Whiplash thing down pat and the silent screen certainly called for those overacted gestures. His career would continue in sound, but not as successfully. His duel with the whips with Moreno is as savage an encounter between hero and villain as you'll ever see on film.
The Temptress after over 80 years holds up well. For Garbo fans everywhere.
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