An attractive woman going by the name Marguerite lives in Paris and is a courtesan, kept by the rich aristocrat Baron de Varville. When the handsome young Armand sees her for the first time, he immediately falls in love. Camille is not so easy as to fall for his charms immediately. She lives a comfortable life, after all. As she comes to have feelings for him, Armand's father intervenes asking her not to cast a shadow on his son's future prospects and she agrees. In her greatest time of need however, the loving Armand returns to her.Written by
The only memento of Hollywood kept by Greta Garbo was a pair of Adrian-designed kid gloves from this film. White leather, they were beaded with an ivy leaf pattern that spelled out her initials "G.G." over and over. See more »
When Marguerite and Armand look at the chateau, there is a large tree behind Armand. In the next shot from the opposite angle, there is no such tree, it the most obvious indication that the two angles are of different sets. See more »
Alexander Dumas fils, the author of "La dame aux camelias", created a powerful novel that has been made into an opera, "La Traviata", as well as a play and this film just titled "Camille". The story of Marguerite Gautier, the famous Parisian courtesan has moved audiences since it first came out in France.
George Cukor seems to have been the obvious choice for directing this adaptation of the book. Mr. Cukor had a great eye for detail, as well as for guiding his female stars into performances that defined a lot of careers in the movies. He was not strange to working with the divine Ms. Garbo, and their collaboration in this film seems to have been a match made in heaven.
The film clearly belongs to Greta Garbo who, as Marguerite Gautier, runs away with the film. This seems to be a role tailor-made for the star. It's without a doubt one of her best screen portrayals. Ms. Garbo clearly understood this woman, who is tormented into resigning the man she loved when his father comes to her to ask the famous courtesan to have pity on his family and to let the young man go free.
The selection of Robert Taylor to play Armand Duval was a coup for the studio and for the production. Mr. Taylor, who went to be one of the favorite stars at MGM exuded charm and seems to have had no problems playing opposite Greta Garbo. In fact, Robert Taylor contribution to the film is enormous.
This film has always been a perennial favorite among fans of Greta Garbo. We remember seeing it at MOMA with a rapt crowd that applauded so loud at the end of the screening for what seemed to be forever.
The supporting cast is excellent as anything that was assembled by MGM. Lionel Barrymore is seen as Monsieur Duval, Armand's father who pleads with Marguerite to let his son go. Henry Daniell plays the Baron de Varville with great style.
William Daniels was the cinematographer. He clearly understood how to photograph Ms. Garbo and he is at his best in this film. The great art direction by Cedric Gibbons shows what this man was capable of doing. The screen play shows such names as James Hilton, Zoe Akins and Frances Marion among the writers.
"Camille" is a film that will live forever thanks to the luminous Greta Garbo and the inspired direction of George Cukor.
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