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Garbo Glamour and Lamarr Allure


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Oh there were attempts; but they never came to fruition. There was talk of doing The Cherry Tree. It was planned for her to be in The Paradine Case, My Cousin Rachel and a screen adaptation of Proust's ? la recherche du temps perdu as the Duchess de Guermantes. It's said that she was offered one million dollars to play the mother superior in The Trouble with Angels. Supposedly she never thought that Two Faced Woman would be her last movie. She was stunned by its failure, but thought she'd return to film work after the war. Her main box office was Europe, so the end of World War II was essential to her career. She made a series of screen tests in May of 1949 for Walter Wanger for La Duchess de Langeais, but financing for the movie didn't come through. The tests, shot by cinematographer William H. Daniels can be seen in the TCM documentary Garbo. Though she thought of working again, it just didn't work out...

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Right on the money, as usual, Jack. And, her screen tests revealed that she looked fantastic. But, another reason I read she never returned (well, actually two more reasons) is that when they tried to raise the money for the Duchess, which I believe was to be funded through European backers, they couldn't raise the money. They were skeptical of its success. So, Garbo said something like, they couldn't raise the money because it was for "Garbo," so "they don't want me." It was a terrible blow to her ego, and so she decided then and there never again to risk her self-esteem. She was really very fragile.

 

The other reason I read was that she was very narcissistic (well, I guess no more than any other actress who depended on her looks as well as her ability). She would stare into the mirror checking every little line. At one point she said she was getting old, and decided that it was time to quit and leave the illusion in tact.

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In 1941 when Two-Faced Woman was released, she was around 35 years old (below). Eight years later, when she planned to do the Duchess, she would have been 43. I guess she just couldn't bear getting older and showing everyone that fact on the screen.

 

 

4.jpg

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Hello Pintorini,

 

Greta Garbo was also scheduled or at least asked to play the Dowager Empress in "55 Days At Peking"...

She was promised that she would be so heavily made up that no one would recognize her and that the role would be expanded.

However, and this is not gospel, Aristotle Onassis and Winston Churchill talked her out of it: "Why have Garbo if nobody knows it's Garbo??"......

 

Larry

 

Message was edited by:

vecchiolarry

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Dolores, below are three pics I have from a Portraits of Greta Garbo book. She came to Hollywood in 1925, so they are pre-Hollywood. She was born in 1905, so you can figure out her age. I don't think these were used in the recent documentary, but they are early photos. Enjoy!

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There is of course much more to the story, but this is pretty much it in a nutshell.

 

Mauritz Stiller, who was not allowed to direct Garbo's first film, was fired off of The Temptress (Garbo's second film). All of the great scenes he had shot were cut and the new director Fred Niblo reshot everything, and let Antonio Moreno grow his moustache back. Stiller had a terrible command of English. When he wanted to say Action, he would say STOP! He forced Moreno to shave off his moustache cause he said it looked stupid. Plus, he was slow and cost the studio money, so Thalberg fired him. It was a terrible blow to Greta. She could hardly manage to go to work. But, the studio had no sympathy.

 

Stiller went to work at Paramount and shot Hotel Imperial with Pola Negri. It was a smash hit. But, his subsequent films were flops, so Paramount fired him. He went back to Sweden and within a year he was dead, a broken man.

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Thanks for the pictures, GM. Yes, those were in the vein of the shots of her at home. Very MM-ish before she became a star. Naturally beautiful. Still and all, amazing what lights and makeup can do.

 

From the film I saw, it appeared that Stiller had a Svenagli effect on Garbo. She no doubt outgrew him and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

dolores

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