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Arthur Hausner <email@example.com>
The film is based on a story by John Colton called "Heat". That was the original name of the film. But, the name was changed when studio heads realized that it would not be the best campaign to have posters and advertisements inviting movie-goers to come see: "Greta Garbo in 'Heat'". See more »
Garbo excels in exotic love triangle romance...no spoken dialog...
Although there is a fine background score and many sound effects throughout, neither GRETA GARBO, LEWIS STONE nor NILS ASTHER speak a word of dialog in this MGM film directed by Sidney Franklin during the dawn of sound films.
With the use of the usual title cards for the spoken words and some excellent emoting from the three stars, the viewer becomes absorbed in what is essentially a handsomely produced love triangle set aboard a cruise ship heading for Java. Even as early as 1929, MGM's glossy production values are evident.
Garbo is the restless wife of the middle-aged Lewis Stone when she first sets eyes on princely Nils Esther aboard ship, fascinated as she watches him brutally whip a slave. When fascination turns to disgust, she rebuffs his advances when he has an opportunity in Java to be alone with her while her husband goes on a hunting trip. Predictably, she is soon under his spell and that's when the plot begins to turn.
Stone is adept at portraying the husband's emotions when he believes his wife unfaithful and Nils Asther is so perfectly cast that I wish he'd made more American films in the future rather than return to his native Sweden. As for Garbo, she has never looked more beautiful nor more youthful before her features matured.
Although the plot is a simple one, there's enough interest in the trio to assure attention until the final shot.
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