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Claudia Leisinger

Swede Memories

GARBO: THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION (DVD)

Anna Christie / Mata Hari / Queen Christina / Anna Karenina / Camille / Ninotchka

Dir:  Clarence Brown, George Cukor, Ernst Lubitsch

Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Melvyn Douglas

Certificate: U

Out: 23rd January 2006

R.R.P: £49.99

No first name required for the woman whose exquisite mystery applied to both her handful of landmark screen roles, all shot, naturally, in timeless black-and-white, and the real-life legend she successfully preserved until her 1990 death. Signed by MGM in the silent days, the Swedish Sphinx effortlessly bridged the leap to ‘talkies’, half a dozen of her best contained here.

From 1930’s Anna Christie onwards, excluding an atypical but surprisingly adept comedic turn – “Garbo laughs!” – in her penultimate film Ninotchka (1939), it’s a parade of doomed love affairs, exquisite suffering and sacrifice. Whether a tragic heroine here (Anna Karenina) or a conflicted monarch there (Queen Christina) - even the titles read as almost interchangeable - she’s always Garbo: impeccably styled, coutured and lit; perhaps too stylised for modern audiences, this Signature Collection offers a sterling entry point (only Grand Hotel is missing) into one of cinema’s most enduring mythical creations.

 

ExtrasTrailers, German-Language Version of Anna Christie; 1921 Silent Version of Camille starring Rudolph Valentino

 

Collection:              * * * * (four stars)              Extras: * * (two stars)



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'© Highbury Entertainment 2006. No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.'


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