Greta Garbo as Anna Christie

Camille / Anna Christie

  • This is a past program

Presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive screening series Then Came Garbo... Learn more at

Camille (1937)

MGM’s studio machinery was firing on all cylinders for this opulent adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ play about the eponymous 19th-century Parisian courtesan. Greta Garbo exudes an enthralling sensuality as the farm girl-turned-toast of aristocratic nightlife whose lavish embrace of the finer things barely conceals her sense of melancholic doom. Robert Taylor plays the young country squire whose unquestioning devotion offers her a brief, idyllic respite before fate and her own sense of honor intervene. Director George Cukor drew a complex, career-high performance from Garbo, later remarking that he was “staggered by her lightness of touch, the wantonness, the perversity of the way she played it.”

35mm, b&w, 108 min. Director: George Cukor. Screenwriters: Frances Marion, James Hilton, Zoë Akins. With: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Henry Daniell.

Anna Christie (1930)

Garbo’s first sound film was famously accompanied by the advertising slogan “Garbo Talks!” Anna Christie indeed introduced the low, throaty contralto that would become an intrinsic part of Garbo’s enduring mystique. Clarence Brown directed the adaptation of this early Eugene O’Neill stage play about a young woman (Garbo) who reunites with her long-lost father (George F. Marion) but conceals from him — and new beau Charles Bickford — her unsavory past. Praise for Garbo’s deep voice was virtually unanimous, exemplified by the New York Times’ rave: “The immensely popular Greta Garbo is even more interesting through being heard than she was in her mute portrayals.”

35mm, b&w, 86 min. Director: Clarence Brown. Screenwriter: Frances Marion. With: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion. From the collection of the George Eastman Museum.


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