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
Greta Garbo initially requested that Laurence Olivier play the male lead, Don Antonio, since she was impressed by his performance in Westward Passage (1932). In July 1933, the press announced that Olivier would take the part. However, when they did the rehearsals in August, Garbo and Olivier had no chemistry, and he was released, although MGM Studios honored his negotiated salary of $1,500 a week for four weeks minimum. Garbo requested that John Gilbert be cast in the role instead. See more »
In the famous final shot, the wind blowing Garbo's hair is moving in the opposite direction from the wind that is powering the ship's sails. This was no doubt deliberate, as to have done it correctly would have meant her hair would be blowing across her face. See more »
This war is expensive.
The parliament clamors for more war.
They clamor for a Swedish marriage for your majesty. They clamor for an heir of Swedish blood!
In short, Chancellor, they clamor.
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Elements. The elements of this: a strong face, a forward manner, a love story. Political intrigue, simple compared to the rest.
A male lover who isn't up to the job at all, a bad actor playing a bad actor.
Some costumes and grand sets. Before the code so we get some honesty in bodies.
What makes this interesting is how the thing was visually assembled.
The year before, Garbo had played a ballet dancer. Here she was but the ballet was one of assembly. This director was crazy about the superposition of layers. Three examples.
Our heroine is pacing back and forth in her chamber. She goes to the left where the frame is stopped by a piece of furniture in the foreground, so goes right and turns again and stops, this time perfectly in front of a candlestick that indicates her mood.
She has just made love, probably for the first time. Its been days, and she moves around the room to "remember" it, but we can see parts of the room merging with her. She stops in front of a painting and the curves of the painting match her face and are aligned with her face perfectly as if her face painted them, or the other way around.
She has just abdicated and removed her crown. Yet the crown on the seatback behind her remains "on" her head.
These and scores of others. Marvelous, how the face paints the film.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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