Painfully slow Garbo biography is narrated in dull fashion, tracing her early years as a rather overweight young woman with teeth in need of straightening, to the young and more attractive slimmed down woman who decides to do some modeling and ends up doing film work.
What makes her a fascination for the slack-jawed admiration of men who stop dead in their tracks to stare at her, remains a mystery to me. I never found Garbo's type of beauty (thin lips, heavy-lidded eyes, mannish features) even remotely beautiful. But with great cameramen behind the lens, she eventually was discovered by MGM and brought to America.
It covers the on again/off again romance with John Gilbert--but Garbo runs hot and cold, never turning up for the double marriage ceremony supposed to take place uniting her with Gilbert. She remains an enigma then and now. No new insight into her psyche is given here--just a slow and torturous account of Garbo as the object of desire (the temptress) for many leading men. The public knew about her hot romance with Gilbert which made their films a "must see" at the time because of their screen chemistry.
"I have the amazing feeling that I've lived before. I'm a very simple person. I like the beach. I like to walk alone." These are quotes she gave in her only interview to Photoplay magazine. We never really get to know her at all. There's brief mention of her affair with a Russian woman writer and then we get to the advent of "talkies" and her talking debut in "Anna Christie." ("Give me a visky and don't be stingy, baby," she tells the waiter. "Should I serve it in a pail?" is his comeback).
The film clips at this point become more interesting. But still, it the sort of documentary that will appeal mostly to Garbo fans. Others will be less than impressed.
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