Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith, Lewis Stone, Elizabeth Young
Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Genres: Drama, Military & War
To escape the burdens of rule, Sweden's Queen Christina rides into the countryside disguised as a boy. There she meets and secretly falls for a dashing Spanish envoy on his way to the royal court. Imagine the envoy's delig... more »
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patrick butler | republic of ireland | 04/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"before i bought this movie i was told that it is nothing but garbo, garbo, garbo, i was not disappointed!its opening holds back the swedish sphinx for siveral minutes, opening with a beautiful close up of that irresistable furrowed brow. from there is is a tour-de-force for her, her two famous scenes, the touching scene and her final close-up which holds a special place in the hollywood archives.also i was forewarned about john gilbert, his acting voice-totally miscast. i disagree. i liked him in the part, okay he over acts in places, but hey-he and garbo re create that charismatic chemistry that explodes in "LOve" and "Flesh and the devil", also it made me sad to think this was his last, sadly dying not long afterwards.i was disappointed in two things which are muffed over by the garbo vehicle, the extras and the music.somehow i dont think Swedish peasants had a stong clear american tinted voice, such as the opening "I used to be king of Sweden".The music is brutish in the "touching scene". it gives the lovely sequence an almost comic aspect, best to mute your tv while it is on, garbo needs not say a thing to be heard.What makes this exciting is that it is the only scene that i see her cry, when Gilbert dies in her arms, she buries her head, raised it with a tint of a tear in each, she leans over him as if to kiss him, instead covers passionately his face with a cover, and proceeds into the greatest final close-up i have ever seen, the scene switching from her walking towards the bow, the sailors shouting as they proceed to sail, her touching the bow, the wind blown sails, and slowly the camera finds those haunting eyes-magnificent!"
Susan Fong | Las Vegas, NV USA | 11/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The gloriously beautiful and gifted Greta Garbo gives an alternately commanding and comedic performance as Sweden's cross-dressing monarch, Queen Christina. Christina falls in love with a Spanish ambassador, played by Garbo's real-life ex-beau, John Gilbert, and in doing so, changes the course of history.This film has a dated artificial look to it. The sets LOOK LIKE SETS, and the action often feels stagy and claustrophobic, as if it were conducted on one of MGM's cumbersome sound stages (which it was).However, "Queen Christina" is worth seeing because of the sheer pleasure that the ever effervescent Garbo generates through her skillful portrayal of the eccentric monarch. Garbo on screen never fails to captivate. She is often better than the movies she appears in.See "Queen Christina" for the joy and artistry of Garbo's performance. You won't be disappointed."
Garbo's Gift to Us
Gary Swafford | knoxville, tn | 07/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my view Garbo's greatest film, and her most personal. Among my other favorites are Camille and Ninotchka, but Queen Christina is her stand-out classic above all others. I have read that Garbo was personally exicted by and involved in this production to an extent unparalled for her, motivated by the Swedish (her homeland) history and the opportunity to play one of history's most enigmatic figures, the queen who "abdicated her throne for love" (though this portrayal is, of course, largely "Hollywoodized"--you can probably throw most expectations of historical accuracy out the window, just set back and behold).
Here is every aspect of the legendary Garbo in one film: the breathtakingly beautiful woman, the amibiguous sexuality, the great tragienne, the aloofness, the boyish playfulness, the restless longing to escape any enforced tableaux or expectations of others and live her own life by her own terms, all things she had in common with Queen Christina. Here also is her warm, memorable final pairing with her former real-life amor and frequent co-star John Gilbert.
Two legendary scenes stand out: Garbo walking about, as if in a daze, memorizing the inn room in which she and Gilbert have just spent the night (a scene almost lost due to censors), and of course the final, unforgettable closeup, the greatest closeup in the history of cinema--simply stunning, as is the heartbreaking farewell to the dying Gilbert moments before. Not to be missed scenes also are Garbo running out of the castle into the bitter cold, rubbing snow in her face like a child, and the warm relationship with her elderly attendant, C. Aubrey Smith, who dotes on her like a daughter, combing her hair, tending to her every need with tender love and protectiveness. --One of the overlooked subtexts in the film is the parentless Christina's relationships with two major father figures, Lewis Milestone (another frequent co-star) as a palace official, who vehemently protests Christina's decision to step down from the throne, along with the personal attendant, C. Aubrey Smith, with his benevolent, Mark Twain face, caring for Christina in a motherly fashion, wanting only her happiness, wherever that takes her....
In life Garbo indeed appeared reclusive and aloof, though I suspect she was simply a very shy person who perhaps never fully comprehended what it was we all wanted from her. But here, in Queen Christina, actress and woman merge. Garbo opened up for us in a way she had never before and would never again, fully showing us both her great strength and acute vulnerability, and the result is spellbinding, a treasure forever, Garbo's gift to us all, and we are all the beneficiaries."
QUEEN OF SWEDEN
scotsladdie | 08/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many film buffs agree that this film is the quintessential Garbo movie. The film was tailored especially for the star, and Garbo felt a certain spiritial affinity in playing a monarch of her homeland who lived from 1626-1689. To vintage-film TV watchers, this film is strangely obscure, yet this just might be Garbo's greatest performance (at least a close tie to CAMILLE) in her finest Hollywood film. Like the actress herself, her Christina inspires awe as much as adoration - it is a stunning performance, with her the closing shot being one of the most famed in the history of motion pictures. Salka Viertel, a friend of Garbo, tailored the part for her friend - (Garbo had spent 18 months vacationing in Sweden prior to filming this) - and her Christina is a fascinating, ambiguous, charismatic incarnation. The lustre of this production wasn't dimmed in the least by the equally romanticised albeit easily forgotton THE ABDICATION which starred Liv Ullmann in 1974. The movie owes a great deal of its taste and visual flair to its director, Rouben Mamoulian and the film isn't nearly as dated as one would suppose. The beautifully lit photography by William Daniels is excellent, the sets are eloquent and well-chosen supporting cast is first-rate. Twenty-six year-old Laurence Olivier was originally chosen to play Don Antonio, but he was replaced by John Gilbert, Garbo's former vis-a-vis, both on screen and off. This is his best-preserved sound performance; he would be dead at 38 three years later. QUEEN CHRISTINA met with widespread critical enthusiasm - as did Garbo's fine characterization of her countrywoman - but the film did not tickle the fancy of the hoi polloi during the depths of the depression, and it did badly and the box office, nor it win the awards it merited."