Directed by George Cukor. US. 1936. NR. 108 minutes. Warner Bros. DVD.
Sun., February 5, 2012
Though nominated for this, one of the most seminal roles in her career, Greta Garbo did not receive an Oscar for this stunning exercise in romantic melodrama. (Hard to believe that this uber-star never received any Academy Awards for her acting, though she did get a career award, many years after she retired.) This beautifully and luxuriantly photographed film shows MGM at its most glamorous, and Garbo at her most radiant, as she portrays a courtesan who sacrifices her all for love. (Her final scene, and how expressively she uses her eyes to convey what is going on for her, is still considered to be one of the most moving pieces of acting in film history.) With a supporting cast that includes a young Robert Taylor (almost as beautiful as Garbo!), Lionel Barrymore, and Henry Daniell, this film truly deserves its status as one of the most romantic movies ever made. (Bill Roth)