Greta Garbo and the Conclusion of the Film in the 30s. | Independent Seminar Blog
She chose to make Queen Christina, Mamoulian to direct, and Gilbert to co-star. Second, Garbo's relationship with Gilbert ended five years before the making of Greta Garbo (), a Swedish actress already famous for her roles in. Queen Christina is a pre-Code Hollywood biographical film, produced by Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer in by Walter Wanger and directed by Rouben Mamoulian. It stars Swedish-born actress Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in their fourth The second one, arguably the most famous image in the film, is the closing shot. Queen Christina pre-code hollywood greta garbo john gilbert But Christina's troubles don't end there– numerous suitors throw themselves His final push forces Christina to make an unfavorable marriage or lose her.
In this blog, I will study several distinguishing characteristics in terms of gender and sexuality in her acting through Queen Christina and Camille and compare her against Marlene Dietrich. Queen Christina is a dramatized adaption of the namesake historical figure, in which Christina, the queen of Sweden, gives up her throne for her doomed love for Antonio, an envoy from Spain. Perhaps under this influence, Garbo shares a commonality with Dietrich — androgyny, though played in a distinct fashion.
She stands at the top of the social pyramid, where every male bows to her in her presence. In the first half of the film, we see a completely masculine figure deprived of feminine quality. She gives out orders in a hoarse voice, sits in a manly majestic fashion and stamps the table with her fist to express her discontent. She even denies her own femininity in a famous line: Yet she contradicts her own words when she meets the Spanish ambassador Antonio, where her masculinity melts down and is replaced by tender actions and soft words.
In a famous scene featuring her and Antonio, she tenderly caresses and kisses the bed sheet, the pictures on the wall and even the column of the room.
All sentiments burst out from Christina at this moment and filled her with tender joy, revealing the feminine side of her persona. The gate through which she entered the city had a new facade added by the great sculptor Bernini to commemorate the occasion, and he also designed her coach for the procession.
Christina and Bernini went on to become life-long friends as a result. Two days after entering the city, she was confirmed as a Catholic by the Pope himself  and given the confirmation name of Alexandra after the Pope.
She was the centre of attention at the Papal court for the next few months, and afterwards she held regular salons in the palace she was lodged in. For the woman who had dreamed of this type of bohemian lifestyle, it was a dream come true.
Christina around the time she left Sweden and moved to Rome. Of course, Christina was aware that this could not go on forever. Her conversion meant that her financial support from Sweden could be drastically cut, and she could not rely on the support of the Pope forever. She cast her eye around the Mediterranean, and soon spotted an opening for which she was uniquely qualified — that of Queen. Queen of Naples, to be precise. The kingdom had been disputed between the French and Spanish dominions since the 15th century, and at the moment Spain was in the ascendant there.
France had officially given up their claim inbut in practice that simply meant that they had switched to encouraging Neapolitan independence from Spain.
Greta Garbo and the Conclusion of the Film in the 30s.
It was an audacious plan, and frankly almost certainly unworkable. But Christina was convinced it could happen. In the summer of she traveled to Paris, in order to discuss the plan with the French.
If they had been seriously considering it, then they may have had second thoughts when they met her. Her male dress and manners scandalised the French court, though others were fascinated by the freedom of her self-expression. By the time she left she had reached an agreement with Queen Anne mother of and regent for the thirteen year old Louis XIV. France would support her — at least on paper. In practice, they may have just planned to use her to weaken the Spanish. What passed between the two women is unknown, but following the meeting Christina used her influence to ensure that Ninon was released.
A 19th century sculpture by Felicie de Fauveau showing Christina condemning Monaldeschi. The following year she returned to France to try to speed things up. One of her most trusted servants, an Italian nobleman named Gian Monaldeschi, had been secretly sending copies of all her letters to the Pope.
- Queen Christina (1933) Review, with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert
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She confronted him with the evidence, and then ordered her guards to execute him as a traitor. Though he tried to flee, they chased him through the hallways of the palace and stabbed him to death. In practice it proved massively unpopular. The most common story in the city became that Monaldeschi had been her lover, and that she had killed him when he complained of her unfaithfulness. When she finally returned to the city inher reputation was in tatters.
Christina made two final attempts to involve herself in continental politics. In when her heir Charles Gustav died she returned to Sweden, positing that as she had abdicated in his favour specifically then his death should make her Queen again. However her new religion meant that would never be accepted, and instead she wound up renouncing the throne again in order to secure her income.
Poland had an elective monarchy, and through her mother Christina was eligible for it. As a Catholic candidate she had the support of the Pope, but she was defeated by the native Pole Michael I. On the 22nd of November she returned to Rome for the last time.
Christina in her semi-respectable retirement.
Rather than run from that, she embraced it and became the closest thing to a counter-culture leader that the 17th century Holy City had. The Pope forbade women performers, but Christina gleefully ignored his rules.Greta Garbo in Queen Christina 1933 clip
She spoke out on behalf of the Jews of the city who faced regular ritualized humiliation from the Church  and pressured the Pope into issuing an edict forbidding the chasing of them through the streets during carnivals. She promoted free-thinking, and often supported those theologians who fell afoul of the church orthodoxy.
And she was, of course, a notable patron of the arts just as she had always wished to be. She had asked for a simple funeral, but the Pope decided that such a notable convert deserved to be honoured and that he deserved to get one more publicity coup out of her.
Greta Garbo was the original celesbian
It was a story that I, despite being an inexperienced girl from a small rural town nowhere near Hollywood, somehow related to. My Garbo fandom, however, has taught me the importance of the stories of women whose sexuality could not be publicly revealed and are perhaps taken for granted now.
One central figure in lesbian history is the writer Mercedes de Acostawho reportedly engaged in affairs with stage actresses Alla Nazimova romantically linked to the prolific but oft-neglected lesbian director Dorothy Arzner and Eva Le Galliene also romantically linked to Nazimovaiconic bisexual dancer Isadora Duncan, and Ona Munson who was also linked to Arzner.
Rumors of other same-sex affairs amongst these women abound with varying degrees of supporting evidence.
Garbo herself tried to avoid leaving clues except in her letters to Mimi Pollak, which I recommend to any lesbian or bi woman in the mood to read a tragic romancereportedly requesting that de Acosta did not name her in their correspondence. While we are finally seeing major stars portraying openly gay characters, Garbo had no such opportunity—which is a bummer for fans hoping to see her bring her sexual identity to a role. Nor did her contemporaries.
I loved her before, but it was this film that made me feel like I finally got Garbo well, as much as anyone could get the elusive Garbo.