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Greta Garbo

I don't get the hype. Not a great actress or a great beauty, why was she such a huge star?

by Anonymousreply 20912/30/2013

[quote]why was she such a huge star?

Because she was a great actress and a great beauty. And then she wanted to be left alone, so there was always mystery about her remaining until the end.

by Anonymousreply 106/15/2010

She was NOT beautiful, jeeez.

by Anonymousreply 206/15/2010

That's because Garbo was a dyke.

by Anonymousreply 406/15/2010

In her day she was gorgeous. Enegmatic and poised she was a real film star.

by Anonymousreply 506/15/2010

If we are now in a world where Garbo's talent and beauty are debatable and not gold standards (assuming posters are not trolling), I assume we have entered the Twilight Zone of the Zitted Damned.

by Anonymousreply 606/15/2010

There was a fabulous thread on Garbo a few years ago. I remember someone writing about how he ran into her in the street once near where she lived. Then someone posted about some letters from Garbo to someone (a photographer?). I wonder where those posters are now. I would love to read some of those stories again. I don't even care if they were made up (and I don't think they were).

Yes, she was beautiful and mysterious. She was a complicated person, not some bimbo, and it showed on the big screen.

by Anonymousreply 706/15/2010

Her face had perfect symmetry. And she had an air of mystery. People loved that back in the early days of cinema.

I'd love to photoshop her face and see what it would look like with modern hair and make-up. My guess is that she would be even more stunning.

by Anonymousreply 806/15/2010

Some of those stories are no doubt on this site, R7.


OP sounds like Cukor, who is about the only one I can think of who wasn't completely in her thrall.

by Anonymousreply 906/15/2010

no great beauty is ever completely beautiful. it is the slight flaw, the unique imperfection offsetting perfection that creates beauty.

garbo had a glow the likes of which no one had seen before on screen. in addition she eminated unspeakable qualities of strength and vulnerability.


Try comparing her to other beauties of her own day rather than the manufactured models of today.

by Anonymousreply 1006/15/2010

I'm sorry for you, OP -- you're missing something wonderful.

Try watching "A Woman Of Affairs" (1928) -- a silent movie, so Garbo has only her face to work with. In a word: haunting.

Not conventionally beautiful, but nevertheless lovely. At the link is a view of her that's more like what's considered pretty today.

by Anonymousreply 1106/15/2010

Awesome, r9. Thank you!

by Anonymousreply 1206/15/2010

OP tell us, who do you consider beautiful. Or are you too chicken to say.

by Anonymousreply 1306/15/2010

Jessica Simpson

by Anonymousreply 1406/15/2010

Lea Michele

by Anonymousreply 1506/15/2010

Marie Dressler

by Anonymousreply 1606/15/2010

Kathy Griffin

by Anonymousreply 1706/15/2010

Ruth Buzzi

by Anonymousreply 1806/15/2010

Inside Garbo's apartment. I'm not sure if these pictures are actually of her apartment or whether the apartment photographer is a replica for the purposes of the auction of her estate. Still, the setup is both grander and livelier than you might expect.

by Anonymousreply 1906/15/2010

Remember that photographer that did a book of current Hollywood celebrities posing as Old Hollywood celebrities? He mentioned that Garbo was photographed to hide a particular flaw. I can't remember what it was though.

by Anonymousreply 2106/15/2010

[quote]He mentioned that Garbo was photographed to hide a particular flaw. I can't remember what it was though.

That she was hung like a fucking Clydesdale, Rose.

by Anonymousreply 2206/15/2010

Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Ingrid Bergman were the most beautiful women Hollywood ever produced.

They set the standard for what was perceived as 'beautiful' at the time, and through the mystique, to this day.

So yes, GG *was* conventionally beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 2306/15/2010

Until Cinemascope and other wide screen inventions of the 50s, what made the star was the extreme closeup. The great stars of the 30s,40s and 50s --from Garbo and Marlene to Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly,etc. the dazzling close up filling the screen made people swoon and think of movie actresses as goddesses. Garbo was the greatest of them all in terms of a look, in terms of eyes communicating. Audrey Hepburn may have been the last of those kind of stars. Talent was important but the visual was equally so.

by Anonymousreply 2406/15/2010

"Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Ingrid Bergman were the most beautiful women Hollywood ever produced."


by Anonymousreply 2506/15/2010

For R25

by Anonymousreply 2606/15/2010

Have you seen Dietrich in The Blue Angel?

by Anonymousreply 2706/15/2010

The OP may be just a troll trying to still shit. Or maybe he or she really is that appallingly stupid.

To say that Garbo was NOT "a great beauty" is idiocy on a grand scale.

I thought she was a good actress, not a great one.

Her face was sublime.

by Anonymousreply 2806/15/2010

What can you say to the OP? I have to think he (she?) has never seen photographic evidence of her beauty from her heyday.

In any case- some people think Picasso is no good, Streisand and Pavarotti cannot (could not) sing and than Einstein wasn't as smart as they say.

My family lived across the street from Garbo on East 52nd (large appartment houses, FYI, not houses or town houses) in NYC. I saw her almost routinely about 5:30 sometimes very close any give day when I was out about in the neighborhood.

She was pretty striking, in her 60s and early 70s.

by Anonymousreply 2906/15/2010

Barthes on Garbo:

by Anonymousreply 3006/15/2010

George Hurrell said that Garbo's face was the most perfect of anyone he photographed. (Joan Crawford was his second choice--although he noted that her jaw was a little heavy.)

by Anonymousreply 3106/15/2010

Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Ingrid Bergman were the most beautiful women Hollywood ever produced.

I'd have to add Hedy Lamarr to that list.

by Anonymousreply 3206/15/2010


From Blazing Saddles?

by Anonymousreply 3306/15/2010

R25, you could pop the caps off of beer bottles with the Tierney overbite.

by Anonymousreply 3406/16/2010

Aside from being stunning, her acting holds up unlike any other actress of her generation, she was a modern, truthful actress...generally speaking in a language other than her first and way ahead of her time. No one today can play a woman in love like Greta.

by Anonymousreply 3506/16/2010

She commanded the screen. She acted like a man in a beautiful woman's body. Seeing her in a seduction scene with Ramon Navarro was interesting because she acted like the alpha male.

by Anonymousreply 3606/16/2010

What Garbo had, which no actresses have today, is an exotic mystique. Since there were no voices when Garbo started in pictures everything was concentrated on the face to convey emotion. Garbo was manufactured to portray European eroticism and could do more with a lifted eyebrow than modern actress could do stark naked and spreadeagled. She wasn't a good actress in the modern sense of the word but she was a fastinating presense on the screen and held the publics interest until the late thirties.

by Anonymousreply 3706/16/2010

No, she was a good actress in the modern sense of the word.

That is an essential part of her continuous allure and legacy as one of the great movie stars.

If she were just pretty, but a limited or 'dated' actress, she would have been another Jean Harlow or Gene Tierney.

by Anonymousreply 3806/16/2010

R34, Gene Tierney's slight overbite - and yes bitch it was slight - is the "flaw" others mentioned which made her so beautiful and in the right role, so very compelling.

Today the "flaws" are fixed, which is why most actresses, especially after a certain age, look alike and consequently look much less interesting.

Straight women seem to prefer stars who look more like the average frau, which is why Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner and others are considered pretty but no one would consider them great beauties. And then there is Sarah Jessica Parker. The nadir of this trend of course is the career of Miley Cyrus, who really is not atractive but of course is beloved by America's vast army of overweight teenage girls.

by Anonymousreply 3906/16/2010

I do agree Greta Garbo had mystery, unparalleled beauty and glamor, but her acting was..."different". I recently re-watched "Grand Hotel", and Garbo is stuck giving an extremely overblown " silent film" performance, 3 years after her first "talkie". Oddly, it is the usually mannered Joan Crawford who gives the most interesting and fairly truthful performance. The contrast was very obvious.

by Anonymousreply 4106/16/2010

r41, that is just one film, and Garbo had a supporting role in it.

Watch her leading roles in Ninotchka or Queen Christina, where she is at her acting best.

Garbo and B. Davis were the two most gifted (i.e. natural and ahead-of-their-time) actresses of that period.

by Anonymousreply 4206/16/2010

Btw, Bette Davis admired Garbo's acting, and kept talking about it in interviews in the 70s.

by Anonymousreply 4306/16/2010

Garbo Laughs!

by Anonymousreply 4406/16/2010

I lived on E. 52nd during the 1980's and would see Garbo all the time, even once in the Gristede's around the corner on First Avenue. My dog once barked at her but she didn't even break stride.

by Anonymousreply 4506/16/2010

get a picture?

by Anonymousreply 4606/16/2010

Joan Crawford couldn't stop going gaga over Garbo, too, in interviews. Some of these interviews can be found on YouTube where Joan Crawford gushes over Garbo's beauty and overall artistry as an actress.

Nah. Garbo was a true original. Not only the greatest silent actress (and her competition was stiff when you compare her to the likes of Swanson, Gish, Pickford, West, etc.). But perhaps the greatest screen actress period! Pauline Kael said it best about Garbo: "Garbo could project so much more than a role required that we responded to her own emotional nature. Her uniquely spiritual eroticism turned men into willing slaves, and she often at her best with rather passive men--frequently asexual or unisexual or homosexual (though not meant to be in the course of the films). Garbo's love transcended sex; her sensuality transcended sex. She played opposite Clark Gable once, and the collision, though heated, didn't quite work; his macho directness--and opacity--reduced her from passionate goddess to passionate woman. And Garbo seemed to lose her soul when she played mere women--that's why she was finished when the audience had had enough of goddesses. But for a time in the late twenties and early thirties, when she leaned back on a couch and exposed her throat, the whole audience could dream away--heterosexual men as much as the homosexuals (whom she was, indeed, generally seducing in her movies).

by Anonymousreply 4706/16/2010

amazing what growing up (and hollywood make up dept) did to Garbo. let's just say she was a late bloomer

by Anonymousreply 4806/16/2010

Very nicely put, and thanks for the quote, R47.

by Anonymousreply 4906/16/2010

no one like her sense.

by Anonymousreply 5006/16/2010

[quote]I lived on E. 52nd during the 1980's and would see Garbo all the time, even once in the Gristede's around the corner on First Avenue. My dog once barked at her but she didn't even break stride.

But I did break vind!

by Anonymousreply 5106/16/2010

Thanks, R49. I don't know why I said West started her career in silent films. You're right, she first appeared in films in 1932. Thanks for the correction.

by Anonymousreply 5206/16/2010

Can you imagine her keeping her mouth shut that long?

by Anonymousreply 5306/16/2010

"Joan Crawford couldn't stop going gaga over Garbo"

Yeah, that's because she wanted her sexually.

by Anonymousreply 5406/16/2010

The only thing Bette and Joan had in common was mutual adoration for Garbo.

by Anonymousreply 5506/16/2010

Marilyn Monroe is considered to be Garbo's successor in many cinematic circles. Garbo herself hankered after Marilyn playing opposite her in a film of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray.

by Anonymousreply 5606/16/2010

You mean like a "Johnny Guitar" version of "Dorian Gray"?

by Anonymousreply 5706/16/2010

Garbo was perfect. But R25 beat me to it. No list is complete without Gene Tierney

by Anonymousreply 5806/16/2010

"Marilyn Monroe is considered to be Garbo's successor in many cinematic circles."

Her "successor?" I don't think so. They were both iconic film stars who dominated the screen when they were oncamera, but there the similarity ends. Garbo and Monroe were so opposite in personality and screen persona it doesn't even bear discussion.

Garbo talked about wanting to play roles that were male, like Dorian Gray, but it was just talk. She liked to refer to herself as a male; she'd call herself a "bachelor" or in her later years, an "old man."

by Anonymousreply 5906/16/2010

Most of her fans in the 20s and 30s were women. And gay men, of course.

She was never particularly appealing to straight men because she intimidated them.

by Anonymousreply 6006/16/2010

love this one

by Anonymousreply 6106/16/2010

From Jane Fonda's autobio:

[italic]One afternoon when Dad and Afdera were entertaining, Greta Garbo came over with a female companion. After a perfunctory drink with the guests, she and her friend went into the house and came out wearing terry-cloth robes and white rubber swimming caps, the serious kind worn by professional swimmers. Garbo asked if I wanted to go swimming in the sea with her. You could have fanned me with a brick. Greta Garbo! By the way, she was the only guest all summer who expressed interest in leaving the social scene and walking down the steep steps carved into the cliffs to swim in the sea. I had done it myself only a few times - it was a long way down and the water was cold. But down we went - Garbo, her companion, and me. When we got to where the waves broke over the rocks, Garbo threw off her robe to reveal her naked athletic body, stepped out to the farthest rock, and did a perfect dive into the water - none of the dipping toes first, then knees, the "let's get used to it gradually" approach I preferred. I reminded myself that she was Scandinavian, after all, held my breath, and threw myself in after her (wearing a bathing suit, of course). She swam vigorously for quite a ways without stopping, then turned and swam back, meeting up with me as I was trying to catch up. We bobbed about, treading water and looking at each other. Garbo's face was luminous and utterly pure, not a trace of make-up.[/italic]

[italic]Then in that throaty Ninotchka voice, she asked me, "Are you going to be an actress?"[/italic]

[italic]I was stunned that she had asked me about myself.[/italic]

[italic]"No," I said, "I don't have talent."[/italic]

[italic]"Well," said Garbo, "I bet you do, and you're pretty enough to be one."[/italic]

by Anonymousreply 6206/16/2010

r62, so we have Garbo to blame.

by Anonymousreply 6306/16/2010

Garbo was beautiful, in her time. Now, I think people still see her as beautiful but not a knock-out. It's just different styles from back then.

Her acting style is now completely dated though. Everything seems so forced with her, even her laugh. There are some actors that are wonderful at making you forget who they are but with Garbo - she's always Garbo. Just like looks, her acting was perfect for her time.

I love seeing Queen Christina and other wonderful movies by her but I can recognize that her acting is outdated.

by Anonymousreply 6406/16/2010

"and held the publics interest until the late thirties."

Ahem. This thread illustrates she holds the publics interest to this very minute.

by Anonymousreply 6506/16/2010

I know only film buffs of my generation that like her, otherwise no one I know has even heard of her. I think interest will die with my generation for sure. Sad but it will happen with most of those early stars.

by Anonymousreply 6606/16/2010

[quote]no one I know has even heard of her.


by Anonymousreply 6706/16/2010

I vonder why the OP is such a little pantyvaist.

by Anonymousreply 6806/16/2010

Unfortunately I agree, r66. I'm 21 and a big movie buff so I know all the old actors. I was shocked when a lot of my friends didn't know who James Dean was. Sad ... the young film actors of today are awful and cannot even compare to those of the past.

by Anonymousreply 6906/16/2010

Someone needs to say it:


And having sat through Camille (for which I deserve a medal), I can only say:


This bitch is in serious need of re-evaluation by unblinkered critics.

by Anonymousreply 7006/16/2010

R70, you don't deserve it, but look at the photo in R68's link.

What the hell are you talking about?

by Anonymousreply 7106/16/2010

That is one Polish truck driver I would like to meet.

by Anonymousreply 7206/16/2010

It's impossible for young people to completely grasp what Garbo was all about, because it was from a different time. I've never sat through an entire film of hers, but it's foolish to say that she didn't have some form of true, honest beauty when you looked at her on screen. From the way she looked to how she dressed, she was radiant. A true original.

Many of my peers don't know her, so what? Their loss. Many of these "actresses" today are pigs in comparison. No sense of original style, they can't properly show off the beauty of their bodies. They don't know how to truly express pure beauty without making fools out of themselves.

by Anonymousreply 7306/16/2010

I've always thought Greta Garbo was one of the most beautiful women. Not like the generic cookie-cutter actresses that pass for beauty these days.

Madchen Amick reminds me of a young Greta Garbo. All of that wonderful bone structure.

by Anonymousreply 7406/16/2010

So was Greta Garbo gay?

by Anonymousreply 7506/16/2010

"Ahem. This thread illustrates she holds the publics interest to this very minute."

Exactly. I've never seen a film of hers, but I know who she is, can ID a photo of her and her "I vant to be alone" persona. Anyone from that era who can still hold that kind of allure is special.

She was GARBO. When she did a talkie they advertised it as "Garbo speaks!".

Today's stars could learn a lot from her. If I never see another photo or interview of Cameron Diaz or that Twilight dyke I wouldn't miss it.

by Anonymousreply 7606/16/2010

The people saying they are "21" are full of shit. This is DL, honey, we can smell an old queen with a Garbo vendetta. And if you are "21" and spending time on this site you need help.

by Anonymousreply 7706/16/2010

I think Garbo was bisexual with a preference for women. Stunning beauty with a reputation for poor personal grooming. Noel Coward writes of dining with her in Villefranche and finding her beautiful but 'grubby'.

by Anonymousreply 7806/16/2010

In the photographs of Garbo's NY apartment it looks like the books on the shelves are strictly ornamental. Unless she maintained a law library for some reason that is rather disappointing.

by Anonymousreply 7906/17/2010

I think they used to call her the mask because her face was remarkably symmetrical which is very rare. She was also bisexual, and she believed living life as a free spirit.

(R79), I bought the auction catalog of Garbo's estate on Ebay. Not only the woman was extremely beautiful, but also she had the most fantastic taste in art and decor. I own many auction catalogs on famous estates and I have to say, Garbo's estate was far classier than all the others. If you get a chance, buy the catalog or maybe go to the library. It’s much better up close, and right there in front of you.

by Anonymousreply 8006/17/2010

Thanks, R80, I am pleased and not at all surprised to learn that Garbo had great taste in art and decor.

But I was commenting that her library appeared to have been chosen more for the beauty of its bindings than for the contents within. I'd like to know what those books were and whether she read them. I confess I always think a little less about people who acquire books for their display value.

by Anonymousreply 8106/17/2010

[quote]If you get a chance, buy the catalog or maybe go to the library.

You can find those things in a library?

by Anonymousreply 8206/17/2010

[quote]You can find those things in a library?

Yes, many large and university libraries hold auction catalogues as part of their art or history colections

by Anonymousreply 8306/17/2010

Greta Garbo was extremely beautiful. More important, the camera loved her. There was a perfection to her photographed and filmed image that must be recognized. Perhaps it is the symmetry of her face. I'm not sure. I do know It is rarely seen in cinema. Plus there's an essential mystery that contributes to the iconography that is Greta Garbo. She lives on in film, and she will endure on film.

by Anonymousreply 8406/17/2010

R81, Garbo dropped out of school but was no dummy. I think she was an autodidact. Someone with such an exquisitely decorated apartment and excellent art collection had to have been a reader. She even designed some of the rugs. This is pure speculation.

by Anonymousreply 8506/17/2010

What does a 60 year old straight man doing posting on a thread about GG? Seriously.

by Anonymousreply 8706/17/2010

"The only thing Bette and Joan had in common was mutual adoration for Garbo."

And daughters who were complete cunts.

by Anonymousreply 8806/17/2010

Timeless. She could walk down 5th avenue exactly like this and still turn every head.

by Anonymousreply 8906/17/2010

I find the Garbo/Monroe comparison to be pretty apt, granted their screen personas are dissimilar, but both of them were utterly mesmerizing in a way that no other screen actors have been. Of the two I think that Monroe had more ability as an actress, but when either are onscreen it is really hard to take your eyes off of them. Noboby else compares.

by Anonymousreply 9006/17/2010

The other good thing about Garbo, of course, is that she was a dyke.

by Anonymousreply 9106/17/2010


by Anonymousreply 9206/17/2010

Actually, R86, I meant to say those who knew her and worked with her. I know lots of people these days who don't have much to say about her.

But then again, "American Idol" is one of the top shows on TV, so...

by Anonymousreply 9306/17/2010

When I saw phtos of Garbo, I wondered what the big deal was. Then I saw her movies. She was mesmerizing on film.

by Anonymousreply 9406/17/2010

Good lord she was breathtaking.

by Anonymousreply 9506/17/2010

She was beautiful and alluring, but she looked ugly when she smiled.

Serious and stunning

by Anonymousreply 9606/17/2010

Ugly smile

by Anonymousreply 9706/17/2010

My favorite picture.

by Anonymousreply 9806/17/2010

Deneuve is another actress that doesn't look good when smiling.

by Anonymousreply 9906/17/2010

I absolutely adore this Garbo montage using the Spice Girls comeback song Headlines:

by Anonymousreply 10006/18/2010

That's awful, R100. This one is way better.

by Anonymousreply 10106/18/2010

Gorgeous, R101.

Did you know that Dietrich was promoted as "Garbo with a sense of humor"?

(Plus she could put across a song.)

by Anonymousreply 10206/18/2010

No no no... THIS is the ultimate Garbo montage!

by Anonymousreply 10306/18/2010

very poignant r103 - made me cry!

by Anonymousreply 10406/18/2010

I do love Gene Tierney, but to me her beauty is not of the same transcendent kind that Garbo, Dietrich, Hedy Lamarr, Ava Gardner, and a few others share. Tierney's face has too much character. It's odd, but I realize that if the face displays a personality it seems to lose the "goddess" look -

Of course I can look at Marilyn, Deneuve, Loren, Mirren, Bette Davis, Liz Taylor, and many other interesting and beautiful women forever - it's just that when it comes to the tops in the Great Beauties area, the quality of mystery takes precedence over smarts and persona.

It's fun and interesting to hear what people think, especially when many of the people sharing are gay men whose aesthetic is not coming from erotic intentions.

by Anonymousreply 10506/18/2010

Beautifully said, r105.

by Anonymousreply 10606/18/2010

I hear you R105. We all have our favorites and mine just happens to be Gene Tierney.

Another forgotten beauty was jeanne Crain. Almost every important role during her time in Hollywood was written for her. But she kept getting sick or pregnant and backing out. Out of frustration the studios just gave up on her. I can list them now but once I read a list of the movies written for her that she backed out of I was stunned.

by Anonymousreply 10706/18/2010

Definition of beauty:

by Anonymousreply 10806/18/2010

Ahh la Liz of course. The only drawback with her is that we just know everything about her. No air of mystery.

by Anonymousreply 10906/18/2010

r100 - let's make the heeeeadliiiiines loud and truuuuuue....

by Anonymousreply 11006/19/2010

Most of the footage from r100's clip with the Headline's track are from screen tests done of Garbo around 1950 when she was considering a comeback after more than 10 years away from the camera.

They were done to convince her how gorgeous she still looked but she chose not to continue and the film was never made, of course.

Can't remember what that film was going to be.

Anyone who watches r101's and r103's montages and doesn't see the unique and transcendent beauty of the woman needs to leave this thread NOW.

by Anonymousreply 11106/19/2010

As transcendent as I find Garbo's looks to be, I have yet to find anything more exquisite than Rita Hayworth. Just stunning.

by Anonymousreply 11206/19/2010

Garbo wanted Michelle Pfeiffer to play her and sustain her legacy no doubt - it makes absolute sense, since some may argue that Pfeiffer in fact eclipses Garbo as the 'feminine ideal', and makes Garbo look positively masculine in comparison.

by Anonymousreply 11306/19/2010

I thought the comeback film didn't get made because there wasn't enough money?... Plus with her experience @ MGM I can understand her not wanting to deal with any part of making movies again because of that, more than because she didn't like her wrinkles. IMO.

by Anonymousreply 11406/19/2010

I'm a huge fan of silents and 30s cinema and find both Garbo's looks and acting to be completely unremarkable. As I understand not everyone here would share my high regard for Janet Gaynor or Clara Bow.

It's called having an opinion- look it up.

by Anonymousreply 11506/19/2010

Greta was fucking plain. You can't stand her next to Dietrich and say oh it was just the times. She was plain at best.

by Anonymousreply 11606/19/2010

I find the above comparison to Michelle Pfeiffer interesting because though Michelle may indeed be "prettier" and more "feminine," it is those two qualities that make her more oridnary and human.

It's Garbo's unique and powerful androgenous beauty that transcends all other actresses.

by Anonymousreply 11706/19/2010

Ah but r117, at the height of Garbo's stardom, people weren't talking about what we now know was her essential androgynous quality... people were honestly holding her up as the feminine ideal and the ultimate model of womankind.

by Anonymousreply 11806/19/2010

Marlene Dietrich was a harsh Appollonian parody of the beautiful Dionysian creature that was Garbo. Dietrich was essentially a drag queen homage to her swedish rival.

by Anonymousreply 11906/19/2010

This is a hysterically funny bitchy rant that Cecil Beaton wrote in his diary about Katherine Hepburn whom he worked with on Coco, comparing her to his muse, obsession and potential wife Garbo:

"No cause for regrets. I knew Coco would be no good with such a rotten book. I never fooled myself into thinking the book could be sufficiently improved. It's no good wondering if Alan Lerner had not made a great mistake by throwing out Rosalind Russell (done in such a dishonest, beastly way) in favour of Katharine Hepburn. In fact R. R. would have given a better performance, would have projected the songs better, but the show would not have succeeded in becoming a smash hit, though it might have lasted longer than it will if K. H. is still determined to leave at the end of April.

It may, however, suit her to stay on to receive the applause of the multitudes. She is the egomaniac of all time and her whole life is devised to receive the standing ovation that she has had at the end of her great personality performance. As the play nears its end and she is sure of her success, she becomes raged, the years roll off her, and she becomes a young schoolmistress. Up till then she has, to my way of thinking, been as unlike Chanel as anyone could be. With the manners of an old sea salt, spreading her ugly piano-calved legs in the most indecent positions, even kicking her protégée with her foot in the "London" scene, standing with her huge legs wide apart and being in every gesture as unfeminine and unlike the fascinating Chanel as anyone could be. Her performance is just one long series of personal mannerisms.

I would not have thought audiences could react so admiringly, yet the first time I saw a run-through rehearsal, I was impressed and even touched. But ever since I've found her performance mechanical, inept (her timing is erratic), she stops and laughs, she falters over words, she is maladroit, and she is ugly. That beautiful bone structure of cheekbone, nose and chin goes for nothing in the surrounding flesh of the New England shopkeeper. Her skin is revolting and since she does not apply enough make-up even from the front she appears pockmarked. In life her appearance is appalling, a raddled, rash-ridden, freckled, burnt, mottled, bleached and wizened piece of decaying matter. It is unbelievable, incredible that she can still be exhibited in public.

Fred Brisson tells me that one day he will repeat the vile things she has said about me. As it is I have heard that she has complained about my being difficult, stubborn. She obviously does not trust me or have confidence in my talent. She pretends to be fairly friendly and direct, but she has never given me any friendship, never spoken to me of anything that has not direct bearing on the part that she is playing.

I have determined not to have a row with her, have put up with a great deal of double-crossing, chicanery and even deceit. She has behaved unethically in altering her clothes without telling me, asserting her "own" taste instead of mine. (On the first night she appeared in her own hat instead of the one that went with the blue on her costume. Instead of the Chanel jewellery she wears a little paste brooch chosen by her friend... in quiet good taste.) She is suspicious and untrustworthy...

by Anonymousreply 12006/19/2010

"... Never has anyone been so one-tracked in their determination to succeed. She knows fundamentally that she has no great talent as an actress. This gives her great insecurity so she must expend enormous effort in overcoming this by asserting herself in as strident a manner as only she knows how. She must always be proved right, only she knows, no matter what the subject. It is extraordinary that she has not been paid out for her lack of taking advice. But even if this is her last job, and it won't be, she will have had an incredible run for incredible money. She owns $20 million. She is getting $13,000 a week. But in spite of her success, her aura of freshness and natural directness, she is a rotten, ingrained viper. She has no generosity, no heart, no grace. She is a dried-up boot. Completely lacking in feminine grace, in manners, she cannot smile except to bare her teeth to give an effect of utter youthfulness and charm. (This, one of her most valuable stage assets, is completely without feeling.) She is ungenerous, never gives a present, and miserly. She lives like a miser, bullies Phyllis [Willbourn] and thinks only of herself day and night. Garbo has magic. Garbo is a miracle with many of the same faults, but Hepburn is synthetic, lacking in the qualities that would make such an unbearable human being into a real artist.

I hope I never have to see her again."

by Anonymousreply 12106/19/2010

Thank you R20! Ha! That was a great read. And I share his opinion on Hepburn - terrible, hamy actress and an ugly cunt to boot. NEVER got her appeal, never.

by Anonymousreply 12206/19/2010

OP - watch this clip and shut the fuck up:

by Anonymousreply 12306/19/2010

John Gilbert looks like a cartoon character. Greta's looks still hold up.

by Anonymousreply 12406/19/2010

I hate it when she was being sensual. It was not necessary and she was too aristocratic for that

by Anonymousreply 12506/19/2010

Well, well, lookie what we got here. A bunch queens going ga-ga over a beautiful female. Makes me sick. And you call your selves homos. Pffft.

Oh, and here is our very own Ramon Navarro (from another thread) and Greta. They sho is pretty.

by Anonymousreply 12606/19/2010

Beaton was pissed because he wasn't the focus of the attention. His rants about George Cukor on "My Fair Lady" are even uglier.

by Anonymousreply 12706/19/2010

This thread convinces me that instead of an honest film discussion, we get insane recluses who are probably going to be dead in one or two years.

by Anonymousreply 12806/19/2010

[quote]Oh, and here is our very own Ramon Navarro (from another thread) and Greta. They sho is pretty.

NO-varro, dumbass.

by Anonymousreply 12906/19/2010

[quote]This thread convinces me that instead of an honest film discussion, we get insane recluses who are probably going to be dead in one or two years.

Why is that? I'm 34 and not going to die anytime soon. You make no sense.

by Anonymousreply 13006/19/2010

There is no one like Garbo. She had everything : the genius, the beauty, the charisma, the personality, the mystique. To see her as "Camille" is to see heaven. She is heartbreaking, beautiful, beyond any words of description. Fragile, coquetish, tragic, romantic, magical, a divine dream.

by Anonymousreply 13106/19/2010

Well, she was no fuckin' Susan Anton!

by Anonymousreply 13206/19/2010

There is something to be said about a woman who has Hepburn,

by Anonymousreply 13306/19/2010

Sorry, but there is something to be said of a woman who has Hepburn, Joan Crawford, and Bette Davis as admirers.

by Anonymousreply 13406/19/2010

DID Garbo ever HAVE Hepburn? I know Bette was a rabid heterosexual, but something tells me even she would have fucked Garbo given the chance.

by Anonymousreply 13506/20/2010

Garbo in Camille is indeed breathtaking and utterly unique. I'd compare young Meryl Streep to Garbo actually, although Meryl didn't live up to her promise of assuming 'the mantle' of Nordic goddess.

by Anonymousreply 13606/20/2010

Garbo was a perfect example of marketing and media conditioning. If you just keep telling people that she i/was beautiful and talented eventually someone will begin to believe it.

She would have never had a career in these days. Too much paparazzi.

by Anonymousreply 13706/20/2010

She WAS beautiful and talented you cynical fuck.

by Anonymousreply 13806/20/2010

r123 after watching that clip I've decided Garbo was the Kristen Stewart of her day!

by Anonymousreply 13906/20/2010

This thread really undercuts the stereotype of the cultivated homo.

by Anonymousreply 14006/20/2010

In fairness to Dietrich---she was a German product of her time--the 20s and 30s--the drag queen reference appropriate since that exaggerated depiction of women as "sirens" was as much a part of German culture as any place else. BUT -- Dietrich did prove as she aged that she was in fact an actress of depth. Look at "Witness to the Prosecution" and "Judgement at Nuremberg".

by Anonymousreply 14106/20/2010

"If you just keep telling people that she i/was beautiful and talented eventually someone will begin to believe it."

She WAS beautiful and talented, you clod.

I can't believe the idiots on this thread. Garbo was "PLAIN?" And "COMPLETELY UNREMARKABLE?" Who do retards like that think IS remarkable and gorgeous? Megan Fox, maybe?

Anybody who thinks Garbo was not attractive and not talented has a few screws loose. Their perception of reality is skewed, to say the least.

by Anonymousreply 14206/20/2010

Fangirl meltdown @ r142.

by Anonymousreply 14306/20/2010

She gave few interviews, and her last was with the entertainment writer Paul Callan of the British newspaper Daily Mail during the Cannes Film Festival.

Meeting at the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, Callan began his line of questioning with, "I wonder . . . " Garbo cut in with "Why wonder?" and stalked off, making it one of the shortest interviews ever published.

by Anonymousreply 14406/20/2010

Garbo would not have survived the media attention today. She would end up retiring at a far early age.

Her allure was her mystery. I get the feeling this air of mystery was caused by being deeply closted and her fear of being outed as a lesbian.

by Anonymousreply 14506/20/2010

Was she autistic?

by Anonymousreply 14606/20/2010

Ahhh, all this Garbo love!

Can anyone recommend a good biography of her?

by Anonymousreply 14706/20/2010

No R40, not 1999 but 2010. Last night saw Paul Simon walking up Broadway- live pretty close to him to. I won't tell you who lives in my buidling now or across the street.

Truth gets you huh R40- do you think I get off on the coincidence of living across the street from Garbo when I was a kid? Like it means something about me in an anonymous post on a website?

If you know anything about NYC, and you grew up in Manhattan, you would understand that this phenom of seeing celebreties almost regularly is a non event no matter who you are or where you live. All you need is a certain awareness of what's around you.

And most people on DL like first hand accounts.

by Anonymousreply 14806/20/2010

A LIFE APART by Karen Swenson.

by Anonymousreply 14906/20/2010

[quote]Meeting at the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, Callan began his line of questioning with, "I wonder . . . " Garbo cut in with "Why wonder?" and stalked off, making it one of the shortest interviews ever published.

What an insufferable CUNT

by Anonymousreply 15006/20/2010

Garbo was not a 'celebrity' you simple philistine. She was a MYTH. To see her walk the streets of New York at twilight, was like seeing a magical unicorn.

by Anonymousreply 15106/20/2010

Quentin Crisp on Garbo:

by Anonymousreply 15206/20/2010

R150's favorite performer? Why it's KELLY CLARKSON, of AMERICAN IDOL, natch!

by Anonymousreply 15306/20/2010

LOL (with tenderness) at R151.

by Anonymousreply 15406/20/2010

Garbo was something different, to say she was talented in the way that Davis or Streep is talented is to do disservice to their skill. Garbo and Monroe were both phenomena, two creatures made for the screen, both luminous and breathtaking. But they cannot be compared to actresses ala Davis or Streep or beauties like Hayworth or Gardner in the same way.

by Anonymousreply 15506/20/2010

you're right r155 - Garbo and Monroe are THE ultimate Hollywood movie stars - they slay the actors, the beauties and any fucker who was ever worth a damn in that town! They are the gold standard for cinema.

by Anonymousreply 15606/20/2010

great article from when Garbo turned 100:

by Anonymousreply 15706/20/2010

148, we understand NYC very well. What some of us don't understand or believe is that you know all of these people. Running into/seeing celebrities on the street in common, it doesn't mean you "know" them. Some of us have been here several years and don't believe any of it. Deal with that.

by Anonymousreply 15806/20/2010

Much appreciated, R149.

by Anonymousreply 15906/20/2010

I love it when she's forced to break up with Armand in Camille - "We don't make our hearts"... she's deliciously cruel to him... this is the kind of 'dumping him in order to save him plot' the soaps have been pilfering off for years.

by Anonymousreply 16006/20/2010

Beautifully acted scene there by Garbo. She's like a cold mermaid - incandescant and unattainable!

by Anonymousreply 16106/20/2010

"I COULD KILL YOU FOR THIS." "I'm not worth killing, Armand."

by Anonymousreply 16206/20/2010

She is the ULTIMATE gay icon. Or SHOULD be.

by Anonymousreply 16306/20/2010

Any Garbo fan worth their salt doesn't dare call her 'Greta'. That's a name for when she was a plump barber shop assistant.

by Anonymousreply 16406/20/2010

So, she's a lez, huh? My gaydar says yes.

by Anonymousreply 16506/21/2010

"So, she's a lez, huh? My gaydar says yes."

She wasn't much of a lez. Or a straight either, for that matter. Garbo's known and verified sexual affairs were VERY few. She had more friendships (with both gays and straights) than affairs. She had kind of a take it or leave it attitude towards sex. She wasn't frigid, but she wasn't into having lots of lovers, either. Everybody wanted to sleep with her; all the sexual advances probably got tiresome for her.

by Anonymousreply 16606/21/2010

Louise Brooks claimed to have slept with Garbo - reporting that she was very giving and tender in lovemaking, and that she was a "masculine dyke".

by Anonymousreply 16706/21/2010

Conversely, Garbo revealed to friends that she had actually received a “fan letter” from Germany's ruthless dictator. “I wonder how it would feel to stand face to face with a man like Hitler,” she mused.

Early in World War II, Garbo was told that Adolf Hitler loved her films and admired Camille so much that he allowed its wide distribution in Germany, despite the ‘racial impurity' of director Cukor. The Führer reportedly “retained” a private copy of the film confiscated by his customs officers.

Garbo, in turn, reportedly said she wanted to meet him and try to convince him to stop the war. She felt the power of her personality could alter the course of history, but “if not – I could shoot him”. Who would dare to search Greta Garbo on a special invitation from the Führer?

The romantic idea that Garbo was willing to martyr herself by assassinating Hitler sounds apocryphal, but her friend Sam Green confirms it: “Once she said, ‘Mr Hitler was big on me. He kept writing and inviting me to come to Germany, and if the war hadn't started when it did, I would have gone and I would have taken a gun out of my purse and shot him, because I'm the only person who would not have been searched.'

That's a direct quote. She said it to me over dinner, and it was so out of character. It wasn't her habit to make up such a story to stop a dinner party. Or maybe not so out of character. As a child, she had had fantasies that ‘I might shorten the life of a cruel king and replace him by a romantic knight'”.

Considering her abhorrence of brutality of any kind, the scheme was uncharacteristically bold – especially from a woman who fretted that nothing she might do could possibly make a difference.

by Anonymousreply 16806/21/2010

"Fangirl meltdown, R142."

Nope, not a fangirl. Just somebody with a reasonable amount of intelligence and unimpaired eyesight.

by Anonymousreply 16906/21/2010

The Barry Paris Garbo bio is a lot of fun to read. It gets more interesting once she leaves Hollywood and starts becoming, as someone once said, "a recluse about town."

by Anonymousreply 17006/21/2010

"Louise Brooks claimed to have slept with Garbo - reporting that she was very giving and tender in lovemaking, and that she was a "masculine dyke"."

I don't believe that tale. Louise Brooks, who liked to call herself a "purveyor of truth", was in reality, full of shit. Her book of essays "LuLu In Hollywood" is entertaining but full of inaccuracies. She had a strange way of looking at things.

As for Garbo...well, Brooks claimed that Garbo "made a pass" at her. The idea of Garbo making "a pass" at ANYBODY is pretty ludicrous. She never pursued anyone in her life; SHE was always the one pursued. If anybody made a pass it was Brooks.

Brooks said she and Garbo had a one night stand and that Garbo was "charming and tender." Garbo wasn't known for having one night stands, either.

Brooks was a drunken slut. She probably slept with a woman who slightly resembled Garbo, and created in her mind the fantasy that it was actually Garbo she was in bed with.

For anyone interested there is a very good biography of Garbo simply titled "Garbo" by Barry Paris. It's very detailed and informative and insightful. And if anyone is interested in Louise Brooks, Paris did a biography of her too, and it's a good read.

by Anonymousreply 17106/21/2010

r166, how would you know? Did you know her personally?

Someone that secretive would probably not let anyone except her closest friends what she was doing behind closed doors.

by Anonymousreply 17206/21/2010

"Someone that secretive would probably not let anyone except her closest friends what she was doing behind closed doors."

That's what her closest friends said; that Garbo wasn't particularly interested in sexual liasons with either sex. They said she really wasn't that much interested in most things. A few things she enjoyed, but she had no real passion for much of anything.

She did like taking long walks. She smoked. And she liked her food. After she met Gaylord Hauser, a health food advocate, she started eating simple and nutritious meals that were easy to make.

Garbo, for all her mystery, was a very uncomplicated person.

by Anonymousreply 17306/22/2010

MGM's famous costume designer Gilbert Adrian retired from the studio after the failure of Two Faced Woman, realizing that the end of Garbo was the end of Hollywood screen glamour as they defined it.

But didn't Garbo infamously remark to him (sorry, I'm paraphrasing): "You know, I never really liked any of those clothes you put me in."

by Anonymousreply 17406/22/2010

Marie Dressler (American actress) "Garbo is lonely. She always has been and she always will be. She lives in the core of a vast aching aloneness. She is a great artist, but it is both her supreme glory and her supreme tragedy that art is to her the only reality. The figures of living men and women, the events of everyday existence, move about her, shadowy, unsubstantial. It is only when she breathes the breath of life into a part, clothes with her own flesh and blood the concept of a playwright, that she herself is fully awake, fully alive."

Kenneth Tynan (British theatre critic and writer) "Except physically, we know little about more about Garbo than we know about Shakespeare.

What when drunk one sees in other women, one sees in Garbo sober."

Marlene Dietrich "She must think, that I'm trying to imitate her, but Garbo is unique. Garbo never gives Interviews and I wish I could do that too."

Katharine Hepburn (American actress) "She had a real mystique and a real, REAL gift for movie acting."

Bette Davis "Her instinct, her mastery over the machine, was pure witchcraft. I cannot analyse this woman's acting. I only know that NO ONE else so effectively worked in front of a camera."

Orson Welles "If it could be said that Hollywood had a Queen, that Queen was Greta Garbo!"

Sir Laurence Olivier (English actor) "Greta Garbo is the Sarah Bernhardt of Film and as shy as an antelope."

G.W. Pabst (German director) "A woman like that comes around only once every hundred years."

Clara Boothe Luce "A deer in the body of a woman, living resentfully in the Hollywood zoo."

Alistar Cooke (British journalist) "She gave you the impression that, if your imagination had to sin, it could at least congratulate itself on its impeccable taste."

Tallulah Bankhead "Her mystery was as thick as a London fog."

Rouben Mamoulian "What was miraculous about Garbo was her innate mystique. It is difficult to describe a face of such radiant beauty… When an actor or actress walks on stage and you suddenly become aware that the stage has been lit up, that everyone's eyes are fixed on the person in question – that kind of magnetism is nothing short of miraculous."

John Gilbert "One day, she's like a child, naïve, like a ten years old girl. The next day, she's mysterious woman 100 years old, who knows anything, tired of entire world, profound."

Tennessee Williams "In appearance she is really hermaphroditic, almost as flat as a boy, very thin, the eyes and voice extraordinarily pure and beautiful but she has the cold quality of a mermaid or something. ... She scares me to death."

Federico Fellini "To know Garbo, it must know the North... She will be always a nordic with what means of ponderation and of introversion. Greta Garbo was the foundress of an religious order called cinema."

by Anonymousreply 17506/22/2010

Thank you, R175!

by Anonymousreply 17606/22/2010

cool, r175.

by Anonymousreply 17706/22/2010

Did Joan Crawford have the hots for Garbo?

by Anonymousreply 17806/22/2010

Joan Crawford would have shagged a rusty nail, so I would say yes, she had the hots for Garbo.

by Anonymousreply 17906/22/2010

Actually, Marie Dressler sounds like the one with the hots for Garbo.

by Anonymousreply 18006/22/2010

Bump for the Great Sphinx.

by Anonymousreply 18106/24/2010

Christ on a crutch, R2. I'm a Kinsey Six, and I'd even want to sleep with her.

by Anonymousreply 18206/24/2010

Garbo docu, narrated by Julie Christie:

by Anonymousreply 18306/27/2010

the one and only.

by Anonymousreply 18406/29/2010

R2? Are you blind?

by Anonymousreply 18507/02/2010


by Anonymousreply 18607/03/2010

She was most definitely the standard. Every star wants her energy.

by Anonymousreply 18707/03/2010

To think - they had Garbo, we have Cameron Diaz.

by Anonymousreply 18807/04/2010

Has anyone seen a photo of Garbo (in her prime) without makeup?

by Anonymousreply 18907/04/2010

OP, your taste in women and in acting is obviously in your ass.


by Anonymousreply 19007/04/2010

Thanks R175. %0D %0D Whether from their Archives or just via regular DVD, I hope one day the uncut version of MATA HARI is released. I always LOVED that film as a teenager, and only recently did I find it was edited for re-release by the Production Code and more recnetly I found out the uncut film was discovered. %0D %0D I am 45 now, and I wonder how it would hold up for me today - Ramon Novarro was hot, but even as a gay man I realized Greta Garbo was staggeringly beautiful. %0D %0D Despite the huge success of NINOTCHKA, her films made most of their money from the European markets, closed of course due to the war. %0D %0D I believe Max Ophuls and she were looking at a film project but the financing fell through. It is too bad she never made another film; especially since so many European directors (Ophuls, Rossellini, etc.) made films for which she woul have been ideal.

by Anonymousreply 19108/24/2010

[quote]I'm a Kinsey Six, and I'd even want to sleep with her.

Well apparently you're not.

by Anonymousreply 19208/24/2010

[quote]Nope, not a fangirl. Just somebody with a reasonable amount of intelligence and unimpaired eyesight.

Oh, you and many of the other shrill responses are from "FANGIRLS"!!!!

by Anonymousreply 19308/24/2010

[quote]Serious and stunning

She had thin lips!

by Anonymousreply 19408/24/2010

No she didn't R194.

by Anonymousreply 19508/24/2010

she was beautiful

by Anonymousreply 19608/24/2010


by Anonymousreply 19712/03/2010

Crawford never actually met Garbo.

by Anonymousreply 19812/03/2010

"Has anyone seen a photo of Garbo (in her prime) without makeup?"%0D %0D There's a photo of her in Barry Paris's "Garbo", a very good biography of her in which she looks like she's wearing no makeup or very little. She's very young, only 18 years old. And her face is perfect, flawless. A flawlessly beautiful face.

by Anonymousreply 19912/03/2010

Look up early pictures of Gloria Swanson. A lot of actresses looked like shit in the 20's. I think Garbo started to define was beauty was, tall skinny fair blonde with symmetrical features and an aloofness instead of ridiculous posing.

by Anonymousreply 20012/03/2010

Theda Bara was another ugly one. Norma Shearer was no great shakes either, and considered gorgeous. I think Greta changed everyone's tastes in beautiful women.

by Anonymousreply 20112/03/2010

I'd call her beautiful. But more it was the mystique.

Who has it now? There may be more beautiful and talented actresses, but they've all got to tweet or do talk shows or E! and spill their mundane details and reveal themselves to Oprah and say my most important job is mom and all that crap.

Stardom ain't what it used to be.

by Anonymousreply 20212/04/2010

She's got Greta Garbo's great big thighs

She's go Bette Davis eyes.

by Anonymousreply 20402/09/2013

Certainly a noble and handsome looking woman with a strange,sexual ambiguity that even Zsa Zsa Gabor admitted falling prey to.

And I quote from Ms. Gabor's autobiography:(available on Amazon)

The next time I met Garbo I was alone at a party at Brian's house on 62nd Street in New York.

At the time, Rex Harrison was appearing on Broadway in My Fair Lady and he was quest of honour. Garbo spent most of the evening standing behind the bar flirting with me. Rex was all over Garbo and Garbo was all over me. I nearly melted.

Then Rex had to leave and Garbo said, "Let's bring Rex's coat." The coat was beige and the pockets were so full of vitamins that we could hardly carry it. We took it to him, Rex left, and Greta asked me if she could drive me home. I said yes, but I was afraid of her (Garbo).

We got to my hotel (I was living in the Savoy Plaza) and for a moment I felt like inviting Greta in. Then she (Garbo) said, "Darling, would you like to come to my apartment?" I was paralyzed.

Then she (Garbo) kissed me straight on the mouth. And I couldn't help kissing her back because she (Garbo) was so overwhelmingly strong and so beautiful. I've never had lesbian tendencies–but if I had ever had them, the woman of my life would definitely have been GRETA GARBO.

by Anonymousreply 20502/09/2013

I think that if Garbo was longer in the film industry she would surpass both Katharine Hepburn and Meryl Streep. She was THE ACTRESS! Her performances had such quality and such naturalness.

by Anonymousreply 20603/05/2013

Greta Garbo relaxes with co-star Niles Asther


by Anonymousreply 20704/06/2013

The online catalogue of her shit that was being sold was very interesting. It was all cool stuff, no garbage. Modern actresses can't pull off classy or mysterious anymore. Theron can do the mysterious part, maybe.

by Anonymousreply 20804/06/2013

Greta Garbo with Dorothy Sebastian

by Anonymousreply 20912/30/2013
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