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
A young girl and her father are kicked out of their house by a cruel noblewoman, and the girl's heart is broken when her sweetheart, the noblewoman's son, won't go to Paris with them. After... See full summary »
The wealthy Arden Stuart is bored in a party; after refusing the wedding proposal of Tommy Hewlett, she drives her car with her driver to a lonely place. She has one night stand with him ... See full summary »
John S. Robertson
Johnny Mack Brown
Even when Diana, Neville and David played together as children, Diana knew that she loved Nevs. But Morton, Nevs' father, did not like any Merrick. Since Nevs did not have any money, Morton sent him off to Egypt to work and also talked him out of marrying Diana before he left. Diana waited two years and then married David, who Jeffry thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread. While in Paris, David jumps to his death when the cops come after him and Diana lies about the reason for the sake of Jeffry. Of course Jeffry, who has been a drunk all his life, cuts all ties with Diana. While Nevs still loves Diana, she does not return to England for seven years - just 3 days before Nevs' wedding to Constance.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was based on a notorious novel called "The Green Hat", but the Hays Office wouldn't allow the book to be filmed because it featured the use of heroin and a man kills himself on his wedding night because he's suffering from syphilis, neither of which could be touched on at that time. MGM thought it would be a gold mine once past the censors, but by the time the title and character names had been changed and the story line altered, it bore little resemblance to the book. The bridegroom now kills himself because of his embezzling. While drinking on screen was forbidden because of Prohibition, Jeffry is hardly seen without a whiskey glass in his hand, but the fact that drink finally kills him and that the film was set in England is probably what persuaded the censors to let that by. See more »
When Diana-as-a-little-girl rides her bike into the tree, you can clearly see the cut where the little girl (with short legs and her foot off the pedal) becomes the stunt-double (with long legs and her foot on the pedal). See more »
The film's theme is honor in its various guises and how concealing the truth to preserve a dead man's honor brings misery to all concerned. The opening subtitles tell us that Garbo/Diana is a gallant lady. The viewer needs to be told this for otherwise we would conclude that her suffering as well as the suffering caused others was needlessly brought about by her foolish error in judgment.
Garbo is perfection in her shifting moods - first as a young woman in love, playful and happy with her true love, Gilbert, then when she makes that fateful mistake which she thinks brings honor to herself, and so on right up to her death 10 years later after her self-image of an honorable woman has been taken from her.
Gilbert's role is subsidiary, not sympathetic, and of all things, boring. Most surprising, he lacks fire, There's no passion in his scenes with Diana, except in a late scene in his rooms where Diana breaks through his defenses, telling him she never said "I love you" to any of the other men in her life, only to Gilbert, and that makes her virtuous in Gilbert's code of morality. The actor who does exhibit fire is the young Douglas Fairbanks Jr, whose self-loathing is redirected to a passionate hatred of his sister.
I liked Garbo's action in the reconciliation scene where she walks over to Gilbert's father with an unlit cigarette and when he strikes a match she takes out her lighter and lights it herself, thereby emphasizing that she will not bow again to his idea of honor. I also liked the director's choice of showing the widow Diana's 7-year exile in Europe through a series of newspaper photos and their captions. This expedient kept the story focused on the interactions of the main characters. And THE main character, Garbo, is so superb that the script problems make no difference to one's enjoyment of this flawed film.
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