Queen Christina of Sweden is a dominant European ruler in the 17th century, and has never thought of romance. However, she accidentally and secretly falls in love with an emissary from Spain, even though a marriage between the two seems out of the question.Written by
An unlikely pre-Code film, as few historical dramas made their way into this genre, but co-scenarist Salka Viertel embroidered covert, historically-based lesbianism into the script, from Christina's mannish personal dress code to her wariness of marriage, determining to "die a bachelor." More overt is the Queen's relationship with Ebba, her lady in waiting. In their introductory exchange, following a passionate kiss on the mouth, Ebba begs for time alone with her, leading Christina to promise an extended vacation together ("just the two of us") as soon as matters of state allow. All of these scenes were prominently featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995). See more »
Christina signs some reports, moves a stack to her right, then hands a stack to the treasurer. The first stack disappeared. See more »
After watching this classic once again last night after several years, I have to say that this is a masterpiece. Rouben Mamoulian was one of the most stylish directors of the classic Hollywood era, and he has imbued this film with many unforgettable moments. Of course, his efforts are greatly complemented by some screen goddess called Greta Garbo! I did not watch any of his famous silent films which actually developed her screen persona, but her famous '30s talkie performances in this film, together with those in Anna Karenina and Camille are more than enough for me to land her in my top 10 favourite performers of all time. Her screen allure is something which cannot be properly described in words. So sensual, touching and strangely contemporary and not a bit dated after all these years. Her famous scenes in this film, all classics in their own rights, shows us an actor in strict command of her art, mastered by effortlessly opening her inner self to the camera and letting her radiant charisma take over the audience. Whether scrolling the inn room she spent her happiest days with her lover to memorize its details, addressing an angry crowd of citizens with a firm stance or in that undescribably moving final shot, staring enigmatically at a future of loneliness and hard-earned freedom, she is pure movie magic destined to enchant many generations long after she has left these mortal shores. Immensely aided by Herbert Stothart's original score and William Daniels's lush photography, Queen Christina is a true delight. Enjoy.
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