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Joan Crawford narrates a studio version of the Great Garbo's career.


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Credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Herself - Hostess
George Cukor ... Himself
Rouben Mamoulian ... Himself


Joan Crawford narrates a studio version of the Great Garbo's career.

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Release Date:

6 November 1969 (UK) See more »

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Herself - Hostess: You only get a face like that in front of a camera once a century.
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Crawford on Garbo
24 October 2005 | by petershelleyauSee all my reviews

This documentary written by Alexander Walker was made for BBC TV and is narrated and hosted to-camera by Joan Crawford. In fact, Crawford gets as much screen time as Garbo, though oddly Crawford is not seen in Grand Hotel. The film excepts are from Garbo's European films and the American ones here are The Torrent, The Temptress (directed by Mauritz Stiller, and which has an impressive ball sequence), Flesh & The Devil, Anna Christie, Romance, Grand Hotel, As You Desire Me, Anna Karenina, Susan Lennox, Camille, Marie Walewska, Ninotchka, and Two Faced Woman. Nothing is shown or told of Garbo after Two Faced Woman, and it's failure is blamed on Pearl Harbour! Although the film excerpts tend to overstay their welcome, and Crawford's phoniness can be a pain, the best reason to watch this doco are the extended footage of Garbo being stalked by paparazzi. Garbo's lesbian adventures are not mentioned though Stiller is outed as being gay, but then neither is her planned marriage to John Gilbert. Interviewed are directors George Cukor, and Rouben Mamoulian who tells a funny story about Garbo's resistance to rehearsal. Crawford does not tell the anecdote of Garbo touching her face but does recount Garbo's disappointment that they shared no scenes in Grand Hotel, and Walker includes the idea that in Garbo's 7 room New York apartment, 4 of the rooms were empty.

The filmmakers plant their title over Garbo's face as seen in the last close-up of Queen Christina, but thankfully repeat the shot for the end, without title, to redeem themselves.

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