4 user 1 critic

The Silent Lovers (1980)

Follows the arrival of Greta Garbo in Hollywood, and her ill fated affair with fellow star John Gilbert.


John Erman


Garson Kanin (novel), William Hanley (teleplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Keith ... Mauritz Stiller
Barry Bostwick ... John Gilbert
Harold Gould ... Louis B. Mayer
John Rubinstein ... Irving Thalberg
James Olson ... Victor Seastrom
Barney Martin ... Eddie Mannix
Audra Lindley ... Laura Hope Crews
Mackenzie Phillips ... Lillian Gish
Kristina Wayborn ... Greta Garbo
Joseph Hacker ... King Vidor
Cecilia Hart ... Norma Shearer
Kerry McGrath Kerry McGrath ... Eleanor Boardman
Hank Garrett ... Clarence Brown
Thaao Penghlis ... Antonio Moreno
Frederick Combs Frederick Combs ... Howard Strickling


Follows the arrival of Greta Garbo in Hollywood, and her ill fated affair with fellow star John Gilbert.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »









Release Date:

20 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moviola: The Silent Lovers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Louis B. Mayer: If I thought actors were gonna have to talk, I would've stayed in the junk business!
See more »


References The Jazz Singer (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

A wonderful re-creation of Greta Garbo
20 November 2017 | by stateoftheunionSee all my reviews

As with the other reviewer here, I first saw this made for TV movie when it came out in the early eighties, and had never seen it since, till finally I found it online last night. I loved it the first time as part of the Moviola series of three made for TV movies based on the novel Moviola by Garson Kanin. But I loved it even more finally getting to see it again.

Garbo has always held a certain fascination for me, and believe me Kristina Wayborn's Garbo is a treasure to behold. Though understated, Miss Wayborn is totally luminous as Garbo, and completely owns the part. I have no idea if Garbo herself ever saw this, but I feel sure she would have been proud of the way Kristina Wayborn portrayed her.

What really surprises me is that Miss Wayborn did not herself go on to have a great career after playing such a wonderful part. I don't know, maybe she was born in the wrong era, but I can't help thinking she would have been a major star today.

The rest of the cast of The Silent Lovers are in the main, good, especially Barry Bostwick as John Gilbert, Harold Gould as L. B. Mayer, and John Rubinstein as the ill-fated boy wonder, Irving Thalberg.

If you do get to see The Silent Lovers, I doubt you will be disappointed. It's worth seeing alone for Kristina Wayborn's magnificent re-creation of Greta Garbo.

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