Greta Garbo in The Saga of Gösta Berling

The Saga of Gösta Berling

  • 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.

Reklamfilm Pub Greta Garbo (1921)

This short is a compilation of two Swedish commercials shown in Stockholm theaters, showing Garbo (still Gustafsson at the time) modeling hats for a department store and eating pastries at a café.

35mm, b&w, silent with Swedish intertitles and live English translations, 4 min. Director: Lasse Ring.

The Saga of Gösta Berling (1924)

A pioneer in the Swedish film industry, Mauritz Stiller discovered the young Greta Gustafsson and effectively initiated her transformation into the screen goddess known as “Garbo.” Based on a novel by Selma Lagerlöf, The Saga of Gösta Berling features Garbo in her first leading role as a countess whose love for the titular protagonist, a disgraced minister (Lars Hanson), redeems him. Louis B. Mayer apparently saw this breakthrough film and invited both director and ingénue to Hollywood. Garbo flourished at MGM and became a superstar; Stiller struggled and soon returned to Sweden, where he died prematurely in 1928.

35mm, b&w, silent with Swedish intertitles and live English translations, 183 min. Director: Mauritz Stiller. Screenwriters: Mauritz Stiller, Ragnar Hyltén-Cavallius. With: Lars Hanson, Gerda Lundequist, Greta Garbo.


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