Includes the best known films from a timeless and alluring actress of the 1920s and 1930s whose enigmatic beauty in a series of MGM silent films catapulted her to international movie stardom.DVD Features: — Additional Scene... more »s:THE DIVINE WOMAN: Surviving 9-Minute Excerpt of This Lost 1928 Silent
Alternate endings:Alternate Ending on The Temptress
Audio Commentary:Commentary on Flesh and the Devil by Garbo Author Barry Paris; The Temptress by Greta Garbo: A Cinematic Legacy Author Mark A. Vieira; Mysterious Lady by Film Historians Tony Maietta and Jeffrey Vance
Documentaries:TCM ARCHIVES: GARBO - New Feature-Length Documentary Exclusive to This Set!
Featurette:SETTLING THE SCORE - Goes Behind the Scenes of the TCM Young Film Composers Competition and the Scoring of Notable Silent Movies
"I suppose the following remarks will make more sense to someone who's seen a number of Garbo films and responded to their particular magic. No matter how tiresome the workings of the various plots, or the sometimes ridiculous headgear, couture, coiffure, costars, mise en scene - all of this in the end counts for nothing as she cannot be defined or contained either by her moment in time or her physical surroundings. When you see her and hear her "up there," on the screen, you are in the presence of a very, very, Old Soul neither feminine or masculine but a conglomeration of elements unique unto itself. This truth is evident from that first glimpse in "Gosta Berling" right through the wreck and ruin of "Two Faced Woman." How courageous of her to allow us a look inside!
A wise old professor of mine once said that you cannot consider your education complete until you've seen what Greta Garbo does. Thats why even the weakest of her films (The Torrent? Susan Lennox? Romance?) are worth watching, and "coffee table" books are still being published (2 more this month) professing to answer why she remains an object of fascination and study. Could it be this ultimate symbol of that most superficial of epitaphs "movie star" went far beyond the expected and actually evoked something timeless and outside the traditional scope of the medium in which she practiced?
Watch these films and discover - either for the first time, or all over again. If they themselves are not worthy of repeated scrutiny, she certainly is. Garbo is soon to be 100, but I think her age is best measured in millenia.
Steve Charitan Hudson, OH "
An exquisite DVD for a beautiful lady
Stephen H. Wood | South San Francisco, CA | 09/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I feel like a kid in a candy store as I gaze with anticipation at an expensive DVD boxed set I just bought from Amazon: GRETA GARBO-THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION. Manufactured by Warner Home Video, this is a good purchase for vintage film lovers and a younger generation who maybe wants to just see some compelling and mesmerizing silent and sound romance. I believe Amazon is selling the set for $70, but we are talking about ELEVEN MOVIES on ten disks that individually sell for $15-$20.
It is not Garbo's entire film output-another disk could be filled with what is missing. But it has her finest films, like QUEEN CHRISTINA (1933), CAMILLE (1937), and NINOTCHKA (1939). Also included are both the English-language and rare German-language versions of ANNA CHRISTIE (both 1930-and Garbo spoke fluent German), MATA HARI (1931), the Best Picture Oscar winner GRAND HOTEL (1932), and ANNA KARENINA (1935). All of the sound films here at least include a theatrical trailer-it is fun to see how MGM promoted a given movie. GRAND HOTEL includes a new documentary, a premiere newsreel, a vintage musical short, and trailers for both this and the WEEKEND AT THE WALDORF (1945) remake. And CAMILLE includes the 1921 silent version starring Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino, a "Leo is on the Air" radio bonus, and the 1936 theatrical trailer.
As if all this were not enough for $70 (or even the $100 suggested price), we have three of the eight or so silent romantic classics Garbo made: FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1927), THE MYSTERIOUS LADY (1928), and THE TEMPTRESS (1926). Quoting from the DVD box since I have not seen these silent films recently, FLESH co-stars John Gilbert, who was Garbo's lover at the time; their love scenes, ravishingly shot in luscious B&W by William Daniels, have an awesome sexual potency. Garbo plays a woman who comes between two friends. LADY has her as a Russian spy who seduces her victims. The earliest of this trio, THE TEMPTRESS stars Garbo as a vanp who destroys men. I am not sure whether she does this intentionally, or whether men cannot resist her charms. These three silent films are studio prints with new music scores and audio commentaries by Greta Garbo biographers and/or scholars. Also included on this dual-disk are alternate endings, photo montages for all three films, and the surviving 9 minutes of the "lost" THE DIVINE WOMAN (1928).
Finally, this magnificent-looking Warner Home Video treasure (I expect nothing less from them) has a brand-new 90 minute documentary called GARBO, by British film scholar and ace restorer Kevin Brownlow. The film is narrated by Julie Christie, beautiful in her own right. GRETA GARBO: THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION, sight-unseen, belongs in the library of everyone who has fallen under the divine Garbo's elegant and mesmerizing spell-or is about to. I can't wait to watch this set, and I envy a younger generation about to discover Greta Garbo for the first time.
Joan Crawford | Lansing, MI USA | 07/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Initially I had reservations about buying WB's Garbo set, simply because it was so stratospherically priced. Fortunately, my parents must have sensed it was on my wish list, regardless of its price, and bought it for me as a gift last Christmas. I just couldn't bring myself to take it back! The quality of this set is just too overwhelming. Not only do you get at least three classic film masterpieces (Camille, Queen Christina, and Flesh and the Devil), but also a whole selection of good Garbo films, ranging from obscure to highly popular. Mata Hari has always been a Garbo classic, even if it's not a masterpiece. Anna Christie was based on a great play and, although the production is stagy, the excellence of the story shines through. Anna Karenina is one of the best films in the lot--the photography alone is astonishingly beautiful. Ninotchka was an entertaining comedy, but probably my least favorite Garbo film. Grand Hotel speaks for itself as an enduring cinema legend, as do Camille, Queen Christina, and Flesh and the Devil. What was Garbo's best film? It's a toss-up between these three timeless titles. It's also nice to have two very rare silents: The Temptress and The Mysterious Lady, even if these films are slightly less than stellar.
As far as quality goes, the set is teriffic. Picture quality is extremely good, but not perfect; I think we can blame this on the age of the films and not because of any disservice from Warner's. The prints are cleaned up very nicely, but just not as pristine as other releases such as Now Voyager or Mildred Pierce, which fairly glimmer. Very good quality, though."
Big collection but a lot of unnecessary shelf space
M. J Jensen | Venice, CA United States | 07/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an impressive set, by far the most economical way to get all of these movies in one place. Since Garbo made so few films in her career, this is an excellent way to get a survey of her filmography, from her first silent MGM films to her later talkies.
My only real complaint is that the contents are not as filling as the overwhelming size of this giant cube of a package would imply. Aside from the movies, we only get commentaries on the silent films; on Camille, we get the original silent version starring Nazimova and Valentino; Anna Christie includes the German language version, and Grand Hotel has the most extras on a disc. Queen Christina, Anna Karenina, Mata Hari, and Ninotchka have nothing more than a trailer for extra features, and the Garbo documentary takes up a whole disc by itself. Not that I expect Warner to load each DVD with unrelated content (although i have no objections to their "night at the movies" features), but what's really surprising is what's missing from each DVD that could have been included. After all, it's not like Garbo hadn't already made a silent version of Anna Karenina with John Gilbert called Love that could have been included on that disc. Ninotchka was remade as Silk Stockings, but you wouldn't know that from this set.
In summary, the movies and features just seem to be spread thin across 9 discs, the result is a set that takes up more space than is really necessary. To put into perspective, the TCM Lon Chaney Collection also included 3 films with commentaries, as well as a documentary; this set could have easily consolidated those discs just the same.
With no other historical context, it would not be recommended to buy these DVDs separate from this set, especially if one was unfamiliar with Greta Garbo."
Holy . . .
M. Williamson | 05/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've never written an Amazon review (and probably never will again), but I felt compelled -- like, as a public service -- to go on record as saying that this is the greatest DVD box set I've seen! All of the movies are terrific (well . . . the goofy, misogynistic silents aren't "terrific," exactly -- but they are fascinating and quite entertaining) and look great (beautiful, clean transfers, good sound quality). I'd never seen "Anna Christie" before now: wonderful! (The German-language version, included here as an "extra," really is, as you may have heard, the superior film: much better supporting players.) "Camille" -- wonderful! "Queen Christina" -- wonderful! The extras are enticing, as well: a fun documentary, fragments, shorts, and a raft of silent movies are all included in the package. And most of these films -- even those you may not have heard of -- are ones you'll want to watch again and again. At this price, I had reservations about the Garbo set (I know this is cinephile sacrilege, but I really like the affordable 2-disc Universal sets) -- but dollar for dollar, film for film, this is the one set you can't pass up. So so good."