Greta Garbo in Joyless Street

Joyless Street

  • 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

Live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick.

Joyless Street (192)

Now considered giants of film history, Austrian director G.W. Pabst and Greta Garbo were both still emerging talents when, after seeing The Saga of Gösta Berling, he insisted on casting her in the film that would cement both their reputations. Garbo was in Berlin at the time with her director, manager and mentor Mauritz Stiller, who brokered the deal and advised Pabst on how German technicians should adapt its methods to suit his protégé — including different film stocks and lighting. A monumental masterpiece of German silent cinema, Joyless Street mercilessly plumbs the depths of interwar despair in Vienna through the parallel stories of two young women (Garbo and Asta Nielsen) who choose alternate paths to survive.

35mm, b&w, silent with German intertitles and live English translations, 151 min. Director: G.W. Pabst. Screenwriter: Willy Haas. With: Werner Krauß, Jaro Fürth, Greta Garbo. From the collection of the George Eastman Museum.


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