|THE INTERNATIONAL SILENT MOVIE|
1905 - 1990
Greta Garbo went down in film history as the goddess and she became a myth unparallelled and perhaps the greatest star of cinema.
The life of the fascinating personality began in 1905, when Greta Gustafson was born in a poverty quarter in Stockholm. Whe was the youngest of three children.
When her father died in 1919, Greta Gustafson worked in a department
store where she finally got the chance to appear in a promotion film. From
then on she made the decision to become an actress.
Greta Gustafson made her film debut with "Herr och fru Stockholm" in 1920, it followed "En Lyckoriddare" (21) - where also her sister Alva Gustafson (1903-1926) appeared in a small role, "Konsum Stockholm Promo" (21) and finally "Luffarpetter - Peter der Landstreicher" (22). Still there were no signs for a future star, she still was a sweet teenager like countless other starletts too. But this should change soon.
The famous Swedish director Mauritz Stiller (1883-1928) went up to Greta in 1922 and became a sponsor of sorts. Greta played a role in his movie "Gösta Berlings Saga" (24) and with it she found first attention. This success inspired her and she wished a bigger part. Mauritz Stiller recommended her to change her name into the international more current name Greta Garbo - the foundation of a incomparable career was laid.
Stiller find her a place in Germany where she acted under the direction
of Georg Wilhelm Pabst (1885-1967) in the movie "Die freudlose Gasse" (25)
at super star Asta Nielsen's (1883-1972) side,
who also came from Sweden.
So it happened that Greta Garbo went to the New World in 1925 together with Mauritz Stiller, without knowledge of languages and depended on a interpreter.
M-G-M assigned Greta Garbo in the film "Torrent" at Ricardo Cortez's
(1899-1977) side and the audience reacted positive on the charismma of
this new screen star.
When M-G-M shot the third movie with her, they also engaged the already
famous star John Gilbert (1899-1936) as her
partner - a stroke of luck. The cast of "Flesh and the Devil" (26) caused
a sensation and Garbo/Gilbert became to the pair of lovers of the 20's
The film career of Greta Garbo got on. She appeared in "The Divine Woman" (28) at Lars Hanson's (1886-1965) side with whom she already played together in two movies during her time in Sweden and who was already her partner in "Flesh and the Devil".
It followed the movies "The Mysterious Lady - Der Krieg im Dunkeln" (28), "A Woman of Affairs" (28) - again with John Gilbert, "Wild Orchids" (29) and with "The Kiss" (29) she completed her silent movie career.
Greta Garbo's first sound film was "Anna Christie" (30) and stand for an other fresh impetus for her already great career. She was nominated for an Oscar for the best leading role for the first time.
M-G-M produced a string of other successful movies like "Romance" (30), for what she was nominated for a second Oscar, and finally "Mata Hari" (31), in which she played one more time the great seductress.
After the movie "Inspiration" (31) followed the Vicki Baum adaption "Grand Hotel" (32), a movie bristling with stars and which carried the myth of the unapproachable woman far.
The following film offers didn't come up to Greta Garbo an after the movie "As You Desire Me" (34) where she played together with Melvyn Douglas (1901-1981) for the first time, whe returned to Sweden. Only when Louis B. Mayer offered her a production contract which gave her a free hand, she came back to Hollywood.
Greta Garbo chose the film adaption of "Queen Christine" (32), which became her most successful but also most controversial picture.
But the career of Greta Garbo was drawing to its close. She appeared only in few movies, in 1934 in "The Painted Veil", in 1935 in "Anna Karenina", in 1937 in "Camille" as well as "Conquest - Maria Walewska".
Greta Garbo experienced her last cinematically height with the comedy
"Ninotchka" (39) for what she was nominated for the fourth Oscar after
the movie "Camille".
Greta Garbo retired from the public life after this failure and lived complete sealed from the environment off in New York - a fact which was conducive to her fame as the unapproachable und mysterious woman.
Her death filled the front pages of the big newspapers a last time.
Other movies with Greta Garbo: