|Greta Garbo please visit the new version of this page at Scott Lord on the silent film of Greta Garbo. If any biography of Greta Garbo is added to this page, I would like it to be only after this information on this page is transferred to the respective pages on the individual silent films of Greta Garbo, most often due to the demands of chronology and the size of the individual pages and how they may best edited.|
To embark on 2017, I just finished a two day correspondence with biographer Eve Golden, who was kind enough to return my letter. It has been over a decade since I received a letter from Leatrice Joy Fountain, so I was excited that something came into my mailbox about photographer Ruth Harriet Loiuse. The author Golden, sadly wrote that there will be "no more books for me" and that the cost of preparing a biography exceeds how profitable it might be, and yet she has already published several fascinating volumes and I will still keep my eyes open for her work. She highly recommends the work of author Robert Dance.
Recently biographers have sent it to legend that photographer Arnold Genthe had purported that his photographs were personally sent by Greta Garbo to director Victor Seastrom at the M.G.M studio to favor a view that It was Ruth Harriet Louise who was more intrumental in the career and publicity of Greta Garbo In any event the photographs that Genthe later took of director Mauritz Stiller are still available to the public.
Biographer Norman Zierold has written that Garbo's plasticity made it possible for her to relect the fantasies of her screen audiences; in this sense she functioned as a recepticle for the emotions of others." In keeping with the Greta Garbo that was nearly unknown to movie audiences for her personal life offscreen and had lurked in the shadows of movie theaters as a recluse after her retirement as though she could at anytime be sitting right beside any of us during without anyone knowing during a movie house screening of one of her films while as spectators we made identifications with each interpellated nuance, I added, "These emotional structures are created within each particular film, often by subject and spectator positioning, the viewer and the film's other characters in relation to the body of the actress, as when her body within the frame creates space between two characters in front of the camera, isolating them near a specific visual motif, or when Garbo briefly moves into the emotion of solitude." It began, "By contrast, the value of the silent film that Greta Garbo made in Hollywood is sentimental. The were melodramas made after Greta Garbo was discovered in Europe," and, after giving a brief filmography of the films with the description of The Kiss (Kyssen, Feyeder, seven reels, 1929) being "one of her most beautiful films in that it is one of her most melodramatic" it added that "each film can bee seen only for the being reminded of having first seen each of the films and the darkened room where the decades from the long past can flicker into intrigues and adventures." My Silent Swedish Film webpage, which covered from the turn of century to the advent of sound, was a Geocities webpage. It was also, while in part a filmography of silent film of the Swedish directors of Svenska Bio and Svenska Filmindustri,Mauritz Stiller, Victor Sjostrom, John Brunius and Georg af Klerker, my biography of the actress Greta Garbo. On a sheet of revision tonight I added that "whether one person is watching an old Greta Garbo movie on television while the other is reading, waiting for the other to retire for the evening, with each film, and with each screening, Garbo, like Anna-Lena Hemstrom, who portrays an actress who gradually, surrendering to fantasy believes herself to be each of the characters Greta Garbo played on screen in The Perfect Murder (Det Perfekte Mord, (Eva Isaksen) reintroduces herself to us and in each different characterization is foremost a fashion model before us; Greta Garbo is in a close-up". And yet there is now something more mystical to the ghost of Garbo for any, and maybe every reviewer of of Eva Isaksen's suspense film knowing that in Stockholm, near the Calle Flygare theater, there perhaps may be a young actress named Ottiliana Rolandsson who has left a screening of the film Queen Christina with the words "I am Greta Garbo" slowly forming silently on her lips, and in her hands a copy of a play. I still have a love for silent film, which skyrocketed after having looked at The Last Tycoon and The Garden of Eden; Photoplay magazine of 1927 mentions Fitzgerald being in the process of writing an original screenplay for Constance Talmadge, it later reviewing his adapted work, "Fitzgerald's novel, with its unscrupulous hero, violates some pet screen traditions." The silent film is in fact a deepening of the novel as an art form. Harvard Film has a free series of screenings open to the public at the University; if you rebegin arbitrarily at present, in the here and now, the screenings of silent film are still ongoing and continuing; it has in the past has included The Joyless Street (Die Freudlosse Gasse (G.W. Pabst 1925); my copy of the film I no longer have (my former mentor had a yardsale or something or other). Previous screenings have included Danish film star, Asta Nielsen Tragedy of the Street (Dirnetragodre, Bruno Rahn, 1927). Evidently, The Great Train Robbery (Porter,1903) was still being shown in theaters as late as 1926, added to the feature then playing, whereas it wasn't untill Hamlet (Gade, 1920) that sex symbol Asta Nielsen was introduced to mainstream audiences in the United States. Is it possible that when Greta Garbo visited the home of Basil Rathbone in the masquerade costume of Hamlet, it was a tribute, or nod, to Danish Silent Film star Asta Nielsen? The 1922 film The Beautiful and the Damned directed by William A. Sieter/SydneyFranklin and starring Marie Prevost, if a film accurately reported as being unavailbable for screening, or or the 1926 film The Great Gatsby directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Lois Wilson- within the world of Lost Films, Found Magazines, there are no existant copies of either film, our knowledge of them and curiousity is left for stills taken during the time period; there are no vaults that exist. Both Anna Karenina (J. Gordon Edwards, 1915, five reels), starring Betty Nansen, Mabel Allen and Stella Hammerstein, and The Scarlet Letter (Carl Harbaugh, 1917) starring Mary Martin, are lost, both filmed by Fox Film. When compared to the Fox films starring Theda Bara, Anna Karenina was not particularly a widely publicized, or exploited, film at the time, but it sported a photoplay scripted by Clara S. Beranger. Movie Pictorial Magazine in 1915 in fact compared and contrasted the two actresses in the same article, much like journalists would later do with Garbo and Dietrich, the title reading, "Betty Nansen Theda Bara-The Dsitinguished Scandinavian Actress and the Chic Paraisienne Secured for Feature Films in America" . Moving Picture World reported in 1915 Betty Nansen in Montreal- Famous Danish Actress Visits City to Get Snow Scenes for Anna Karenina Film, the accompanying text to include, "According to the script, a ski meet is held in which the hero competes with a Swedish champion. As there are many followers of the sport locally, and champions to boot, Mr Edwards secured some interesting film." The entire Moving Picture World review from the Spring of 1915 is as follows, "The premier of the first Fox offering with Betty Nansen, the great Danish actress was given on March 30. The picture, Tolstoi's Anna Karenina proved worthy of this audience's closest attention, although by remarks behind this reviewer, it was plain some were losing the quality of Nansen's restrained and remarkably powerful acting. There was some laughter, strange to say, except that perhaps the picture's meaning was over the heads of a few. There were two weak places in the cast, but this did not affect the result of it as a whole. It is a story of passion, but clean and powerful, a picture eminently fit for contemplation of grown human minds." "The film was adverised as, "The story of a woman who dared. A Photoplay that stirs and thrills. Holds a grip that never relaxes." J. Gordon Edwards cast Betty Nansen i a second adaptation of the novels of Tolstoy that year with the film A Woman's Resurrection, which Nordisk Film also filmed that year under the title Opstandelese. To return to Greta Garbo and Asta Nielsen, as many as 19 films have been listed as lost and as having directed by Urban Gad, the husband of the earliest of the stars of the silver screen, including Die falsche Asta Nielsen, in which Nielsen plays both her double, Bollette, and then herself.
| Just as lost films have left behind their accompanying movie posters, as well as full page magazine advertisements that serve very much like movie posters when deciding not if we should see the film but what the film was like when first seen, each hardcover copy of an film adaptation into novel included a dustjacket, art that gives information about missing films: within there being Lost Films, Found Magazines. It is imperative that the word film study be surplanted by the word film appreciation: it was in 1946 that author Iris Barry cautioned the readers of Hollywood Quarterly through the article "Why wait for Posterity" as to films quickly becoming lost and the need to preserve the "romantic" Greta Garbo film The Saga of Gosta Berling (Stiller, 1925) by saving the prints from deterioration. After explaining that the original two-color technicolor copies of the Black Pirate that had belonged to Douglas Fairbanks and Harvard University, respectively, were in a vault "at the point of final deterioration", and could only be duplicated in black-and-white form, she qualifies that the criteria for screening film need, as with "the early Seastrom films", only be pleasure. "What, really is the point of dragging old films back to light? First, I believe that it benefits the general esteem and standing of the motion picture industry as a whole; for if the great films of the past are not worth taking seriously and are not worth re-examination, then presumably neither are the great films of today. It would be unthinkable if the only books available to literary men and women should be no more than those published in the past year or so." |
To echo her by my now finding this during the centennial of the two reeler in the United States and of Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller having become contemporaries at Svenska Bio , the biography of actress Greta Garbo penned by the present author on Geocities webpage encompassed the long waiting period before what was to be the last film to be made by Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, which happenned to be during the centennial of the one reel narrative film, "Of the utmost importance is an appreciation of film, film as a visual literature. film as the narrative image, and while any appreciation of film would be incomplete without the films of Ingmar Bergman, every appreciation of film can begin with the films of the silent period, with the watching of the films themselves, their once belonging to a valiant new form of literautre. Silent film directors in both Sweden and the United States quickly developed film technique, including the making of films of greater length during the advent of the feature film, to where viewer interest was increased by the varying shot lengths within a scene structure, films that more than still meet the criterion of having storylines, often adventurous, often melodramatic, that bring that interest to the character when taken scene by scene by the audience."
|These two actresses were found with Swedish Silent Film actor Lars Hanson- Sofia Larssen's webpage on "Sweden's leading matinee idol of the silent era", was also a Geocities webpage before it closed. We we invited to "Also take a moment to drool over the many pictures in the gallery." From a guestbook entry on from a similar geocities page she was evidently then living in Sweden. Of particular interest was the Lars Hanson webpage written by Laurel Howard, also a geocities webpage. She writes that The Saga of Gosta Berling/The Atonement of Gosta Berling was meant to be a four hour film, "Because of the editing there are a lot gaps in the plot. It really is an epic film and needs length to show the full character and plot development...I think this film needs to be on the list for some major restoration." She later writes about "Ketta" in "the horzontal love scenes" that brought The Flesh and the Devil to renown and created a continuing fame, or unique stardom, for Greta Garbo. Webpages like these were a catalyst for my page on Greta Garbo in that it part of a series of five pages on Svenska Filmhistoria, which began chronicling the history of Swedish Silent Film from the turn of the century and I was honored to include a screening of one of the most profound and powerful films directed by Victor Sjostrom before his coming to the United States. Of particular mention is Louise Lageterstrom of the Swedish Film Institute's writing on Greta Garbo are more than worth a revisit.|