Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

John Gilbert & Queen Christina


lpetiti
 Share

Recommended Posts

For all that I've loved classic films for almost ten years now, I have never seen a Greta Garbo film so I decided to watch Queen Christina on WatchTCM. I was surprised to see John Gilbert in this film. Based on what I had learned about him through various sources and documentaries, I was under the impression that John Gilbert's career ended sooner than 1933. Obviously I was wrong. 

What I'm wondering is...based on my research, part of the reason that John Gilbert's career ended was that he did not have the voice for talkies.  If that is true, I'm wondering why it was. So far, I don't see anything glaring wrong with his voice and certainly not his performance. If that is the case, what exactly was it that made him lose his appeal? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, lpetiti said:

For all that I've loved classic films for almost ten years now, I have never seen a Greta Garbo film so I decided to watch Queen Christina on WatchTCM. I was surprised to see John Gilbert in this film. Based on what I had learned about him through various sources and documentaries, I was under the impression that John Gilbert's career ended sooner than 1933. Obviously I was wrong. 

What I'm wondering is...based on my research, part of the reason that John Gilbert's career ended was that he did not have the voice for talkies.  If that is true, I'm wondering why it was. So far, I don't see anything glaring wrong with his voice and certainly not his performance. If that is the case, what exactly was it that made him lose his appeal? 

John Gilbert made eleven talkies from 1929 to 1934. So it wasn't like his career ended the minute sound came in. Also, these were big budget studio films. Some stars made only one or two sound films and were done by 1930. Not Gilbert. He continued for awhile, then went out on top.

I think he had a personality conflict with MGM boss L.B. Mayer. It was Mayer who did not renew his contract, trying to blackball him. But Gilbert probably could have still kept working for lesser studios and poverty row companies if he wanted to...but I suspect he was accustomed to a certain quality and style of filmmaking and stardom. As you say, his voice was more than acceptable.

He was done in by studio politics more than anything else. 

Other stars had voices (and mannerisms) that made them unsuitable to sound and the production code. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/13/2019 at 5:39 AM, TopBilled said:

John Gilbert made eleven talkies from 1929 to 1934. So it wasn't like his career ended the minute sound came in. Also, these were big budget studio films. Some stars made only one or two sound films and were done by 1930. Not Gilbert. He continued for awhile, then went out on top.

I think he had a personality conflict with MGM boss L.B. Mayer. It was Mayer who did not renew his contract, trying to blackball him. But Gilbert probably could have still kept working for lesser studios and poverty row companies if he wanted to...but I suspect he was accustomed to a certain quality and style of filmmaking and stardom. As you say, his voice was more than acceptable.

He was done in by studio politics more than anything else. 

Other stars had voices (and mannerisms) that made them unsuitable to sound and the production code. 

That makes sense actually. That whole time period of the transition between silents and talkies is fascinating to me.

From what I've learned (based on an MGM documentary) Gilbert and Mayer never really got along, especially when it came to Garbo? Then again, Mayer seems like he was almost impossible to get along with, period. Even if he was thought of as a "father figure", he seemed every bit the tyrant. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/12/2019 at 11:11 PM, lpetiti said:

So far, I don't see anything glaring wrong with his voice and certainly not his performance. If that is the case, what exactly was it that made him lose his appeal? 

Yeah, I agree. He was a very good actor and I wish he had done more sound films. I certainly don't see anything wrong with him.

On 4/13/2019 at 7:39 AM, TopBilled said:

Other stars had voices (and mannerisms) that made them unsuitable to sound and the production code. 

Yeah, Roman Novarro and any of the foreign ones with heavy accents are the first that come to mind.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

Yeah, I agree. He was a very good actor and I wish he had done more sound films. I certainly don't see anything wrong with him.

Yeah, Roman Novarro and any of the foreign ones with heavy accents are the first that come to mind.

And ones like William Haines, who had effeminate sounding voices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...