14 user 6 critic

Romance (1930)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 26 August 1930 (USA)
Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »


Clarence Brown


Edward Sheldon (from the play by), Bess Meredyth (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Rita Cavallini
Lewis Stone ... Cornelius Van Tuyl
Gavin Gordon ... Tom Armstrong
Elliott Nugent ... Harry
Florence Lake ... Susan Van Tuyl
Clara Blandick ... Abigail Armstrong
Henry Armetta ... Beppo
Mathilde Comont ... Vannucci
Rina De Liguoro ... Nina (as Countess De Rina)


Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of Rita and himself. Rita was an Opera Star singing in New York who was at a party given by Cornelius. Armstrong was a 28 year old rector. He fell for Rita when he saw her and after six weeks he wanted to marry her. Naive as he was, he thought that all of Rita's "relationships" were in the distant past, but Rita lives for the moment and knows that she can never marry Armstrong. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Such a love story as you've never seen---Such heights of pure magic as never obtained even by gorgeous Garbo! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Lindsey Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - September 9, 1930) See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Favorite film of writer-comedian-director Carl Reiner. See more »


Tom Armstrong: Then it is true!
Madame Rita Cavallini: Oh-no-no.
Tom Armstrong: Will you swear it!
Madame Rita Cavallini: Why, yes.
Tom Armstrong: Then, put your hand on my mother's testament.
See more »

Alternate Versions

MGM also issued this movie as a silent, but little details are known. See more »


Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.30 (1956) See more »


Annie Laurie
(1834-5) (uncredited)
Written by Lady Scott
Played on piano by Greta Garbo
Sung by Gavin Gordon
Reprised in score at the end
See more »

User Reviews

Dull romance
28 February 2020 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Greta Garbo was always mesmerising in looks and in acting ability which leaves me in a dazzle every time when seeing any of her films. Not every film was great, a few like 'Romance' not even good, but she always transcended her material and made it better than deserved. Lewis Stone, in one of seven collaborations with Garbo, was always interesting to watch and with the right material Clarence Brown was a sympathetic director without being one of the greats in my mind.

'Romance' was Garbo's second talkie and while she comes off well, as does Stone, she and he were well above what they are given here (though they do the best they can with it). One of her weaker early talkies and a lesser early effort. Same goes for Stone. 'Romance' doesn't see Brown on form either. It was nominated for two Oscars/Academy Awards, Best Actress and Best Director, both puzzling in my humble opinion and am saying this with a heavy heart.

Both Garbo and Stone, as said, are not bad at all. Garbo's presence is magical and she gives a sincere performance. Stone is distinguished and has the film's most interesting character. They have nice chemistry which is far more interesting and makes much more sense than that between Garbo and Gavin Gordon.

Production values are high in quality and not too primitive, beautifully photographed and the interiors and costumes don't look too stage-bound. William Axt's music score doesn't get over-bearing and is quite lush.

However, the script is far too talky, which makes it feel very stagy and the talk itself is not engaging or natural in the least. While the story does nothing with a premise that was a stretch to begin with, it badly drags frequently, is incredibly flimsy (not enough content and the content never comes to life) and some of it is even more of a stretch than the premise itself. Brown's direction is undistinguished at best, he has been far more engaging and accomodating in other films of his.

Didn't believe in the chemistry between Garbo and Gordon for a second, there is no spark at all between them, no charm and the not explored enough relationship between Garbo and Stone rings true far more. It doesn't help that Gordon is incredibly weak in his role, the character is a dull one and Gordon makes him even more dreary and personality-void. The ending is hokey and felt last minute throw in. Nothing memorable about the rest of the cast.

On the whole, watchable for curiosity and completest sake but look elsewhere if you want Garbo especially done justice. 5/10

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Release Date:

26 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Romantik See more »


Box Office


$496,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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