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Queen Christina (1933)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 9 February 1934 (USA)
Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.

Director:

Rouben Mamoulian

Writers:

H.M. Harwood (screen play), Salka Viertel (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Christina
John Gilbert ... Antonio
Ian Keith ... Magnus
Lewis Stone ... Oxenstierna
Elizabeth Young ... Ebba
C. Aubrey Smith ... Aage
Reginald Owen ... Charles
Georges Renavent Georges Renavent ... French Ambassador
David Torrence ... Archbishop
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... General (as Gustav Von Seyffertitz)
Ferdinand Munier Ferdinand Munier ... Innkeeper
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Storyline

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 Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Triumphant Return To The Screen!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Königin Christine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,114,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$767,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,843,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The jeweled gown that Christina wears when she formally receives Antonio at court has survived. The exhibit "Hollywood Costume" curated by Deborah Nadoolman, which was installed at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2012 and later the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles in 2014, featured the gown. See more »

Goofs

There is snow on the ground when Christina leaves the palace for the last time, yet there is no snow in the hills where Antonio and Magnus meet to duel nor is there snow at the docks where Christina boards her ship. See more »

Quotes

Oxenstierna: The sword has made Sweden great, your majesty!
Christina: Yes, but do we not exult it too much, Chancellor?
Oxenstierna: You cannot remake the world, your majesty.
Christina: Why not? Look, Chancellor, the philosophers remake it. The artists remake it. The scientists remake it. Now, why not we - we the power? The people follow blindly, the generals lead them to destruction. Will they not follow us? We'll lead them beyond themselves - where there is grace and beauty and gaiety and freedom!
Oxenstierna: Europe is an armed camp, your majesty. ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Close to the Enemy: Episode #1.4 (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Garbo at her peak
22 June 2002 | by ms94801See all my reviews

I'm in the middle of "Wednesday Night is Greta Garbo Night" on TCM, and I am as happy as the proverbial pig. A whole month of Garbo -- 27 films! 1927-1941!!! Needless to say, I rushed right off to Target to stock up on blank videocassettes! I'm the King of the World! The dream of a lifetime fulfilled!

"Queen Christina" is merely one of Garbo's greatest performances, but it's second to none. She imbues the role of the conflicted Swedish monarch with majesty and vulnerability, and also embodies the clarity, determination, assurance, and style of a great ruler. This Christina is no silly Mary Queen of Scots, thoughtlessly throwing everything away for love, and sowing the seeds of her own destruction. Garbo's queen sacrifices power for a man, true, but only because she understands that she can't have both and must have love, that Sweden will still flourish without her, and that to fulfill her deepest needs as a human being she must accept the inevitable cost. She is a lover of the arts, a reader of great books, curious about the entire world and thirsty to drink at the well of experience. She is a bohemian, and there's little satisfaction for her in wielding great power while being denied the opportunity to live fully.

Whether this is an accurate portayal of the historical person is really beside the point. "Queen Christina" is an MGM costume spectacular with MGM's biggest star. And Lord, is she gorgeous!

Watching John Gilbert as Antonio makes me wonder why he didn't last for long in talking pictures. His hairstyle here makes him look a bit goofy, but he's a handsome guy and his speaking voice is perfectly adequate. He doesn't come close to Garbo in charisma -- who does? He handles the role quite well, and the mutual affection of the pair is palpable.

At least one poster has questioned whether the implied homoeroticism of several scenes in this film really exists -- the kiss between the queen and her lady-in-waiting, the "No Chancellor...I shall die a bachelor" line, the reaction of Antonio's servant about him staying in bed all day with "the other gentleman." S/he is wrong -- it's definitely there. But I think Ruben Mamoulian was just having a little fun with Christina's "masculine" eccentricity to add some spice to the story. She was hailed as a "king" at her coronation, and a king she endeavored to be.

Some viewers might find "Queen Christina" dated. It's terribly romantic in the style of the 1930s, and if you can't buy into that you might have problems. Also, there's the characteristic cliche of all the old MGM period films dealing with royalty -- the ceremonial entrance of nobles into the court, accompanied by fanfares and stately music. I counted four of those in this movie -- oh, well, it goes with the genre.

And that final scene? It really is unforgettable!


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