This TCM Archives 2-disc The Garbo Silents Collection focuses on Garbo's earliest years in Hollywood. In The Temptress (1926, Disc 2) Garbo establishes her magnetic screen persona as a vamp who destroys the lives of men wh... more »o cannot resist her charms. In Flesh and the Devil (1927, Disc 1), she is an irresistible vixen who comes between lifelong friends John Gilbert and Lars Hanson, and in The Mysterious Lady (1928, Disc 2), a Russian spy who seduces her victims. Each film contributed mightily in building the Garbo legend that still manages to fascinate audiences almost 80 years later. DVD Features:
Alternate endings:Alternate Ending on The Temptress
Audio Commentary:Commentary on Flesh and the Devil by Garbo Author Barry Paris, on The Temptress by Greta Garbo: A Cinematic Legacy Author Mark A. Vieira, and on The Mysterious Lady by Film Historians Tony Maietta and Jeffrey Vance
Documentaries:Settling the Score Goes Behind the Scenes of the TCM Young Film Composers Competition and the Scoring of Notable Silent Movies,Including These Garbo Classics« less
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 09/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although part of the large scale GARBO:THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION featuring 7 of her 1930's films, THE GARBO SILENTS is available seperately for the silent film enthusiast or for those who don't want to purchase the whole package. It joins the sets of Buster Keaton and Lon Chaney films released earlier by TCM Archives. As with those sets the production values are high, the extras plentiful, and the set offered at a reasonable price considering what it contains.
I do however have a few issues with this new release. First up is the exclusion of the new documentary GARBO from this set (it's part of THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION). It is listed as being included according to the TCM website but instead there's a documentary on the recent rescoring of the movies by a group of young composers. While that is interesting and important, the documentary on Garbo is more important and would get more people to buy the set. The packaging is annoying too with two of the three films presented on a double sided DVD (which can come apart) although I suppose it does keep the price down.
Then there's the choice of films. I'm sure every Garbo fan has something to say about this. I would like to have seen WOMAN OF AFFAIRS included as I think that remains one of her very best silents with fine work from a young Douglas Fairbanks Jr. I also wish that they could have used the tinted print for THE MYSTERIOUS LADY that was used for the VHS release since the quality of this print is no better than that one which had damage issues. The musical accompaniment for this edition is much better than the old release and overall it's up to TCM's high standards. While not the best of her silents FLESH AND THE DEVIL still remains electrifying thanks to the chemistry between her and John Gilbert and the glorious photography of William Daniels. THE MYSTERIOUS LADY is fun with the courtmartial scene a standout and Garbo a knockout in every frame. THE TEMPTRESS gives us a look at Garbo at the start of her American career. Perhaps these films were chosen because she has a different leading man in each one or to give Garbo fans something to argue about. Who knows?
Nevertheless it's great to have Garbo back where she belongs, up there on the silver screen (even if its a lot smaller and not nearly as silver as it used to be). Thanks to TCM Archives for once again bringing us the good stuff from the M-G-M vaults. Keep it coming Warner Home Video. First Chaney, then Keaton and now Garbo. What's next? How about the Lillian Gish Collection (THE SCARLET LETTER, LA BOHEME, THE WIND) or the Tod Browning Collection (THE SHOW, WEST OF ZANZIBAR, FREAKS). Just a thought."
The almost perfect GARBO SILENTS collection
M. Murphy | NC | 06/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Garbo is my favorite actress and I am very happy to see this collection, which is included in the "Greta Garbo Signature Collection" being released at the same time. I am even more happy to see "The Temptress" available for the first time. I would give this collection 5 stars if only they had included "The Torrent", her first Hollywood film, instead of "Mysterious Lady". While the latter has been available on VHS, "The Torrent" has never been available on home video, not to mention the fact that this collection would then have included her first three Hollywood films. The only Garbo film previously available on DVD is "Grand Hotel", so despite this criticism, I salute TCM Archives for giving us this collection, and especially for releasing "The Temptress", never previously available. I also recommend the TCM ARCHIVES LON CHANEY COLLECTION."
Another excellent set from TCM Archives!
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 09/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had been waiting for some of the late silent era's best films to be released on DVD, in particular those with Greta Garbo, and while hoping that there would be more, I'm still very pleased with the 3 Garbo films in this set. The picture quality of "The Mysterious Lady" is not much better than my old VHS, but apart from this, I'm very pleased with the overall quality on these discs, particularly the wonderful musical scores for each one, some unusual and inventive photo montages and other special features. Anyone interested in music would probably also find the half-hour documentary "Settling the Score" an unexpected and rewarding highlight, as I did. It depicts the TCM Young Film Composers Competition, some work from each entrant and how the final score for "The Temptress" was done. It helped me get a lot more insight into this challenging and fascinating work, and it left me with a much deeper appreciation and respect for good silent film scores.
No doubt everyone has one or more Garbo favourites, and perhaps TCM had trouble deciding which ones to include in this set. For some powerful emotional drama, "Flesh and the Devil" is probably one of the best and a good choice, especially as it features the two biggest stars of the time who were drawing large audiences: Garbo and John Gilbert. For a love story with espionage and suspense, it doesn't get much better than "The Mysterious Lady", and finally, "The Temptress" shows an interesting angle on Garbo's character. Her sensuous and alluring beauty brings men's lives to ruin, but she is unaware of any wrong-doing on her own part; and in fact, when she does see what problems she has unintentionally caused, she ends up a pathetic alcoholic on the streets of Paris, making one last sacrifice out of love. This story intrigued me the most, in fact, as it has some depth and an angle that might not be so obvious at first. There is also an alternative happy ending which was shown to other audiences; also an interesting point to consider. Each film on these discs has an optional commentary by 3 different experts, covering all kinds of background information, some gossip and other insights to give a more in-depth and complete picture of Garbo and these three particular films. No doubt there's something for everyone here, both for silent and general film or Garbo fans alike."
Alberto S. V | Lima, Peru | 10/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of course is a pleasure to see these brilliant silent films starring the great GARBO. "Flesh and the Devil" and "The Mysterious Lady" was part of my VHS collection. But "The Temptress" is a real surprise. Thanks to TCM for this and I (we) am waiting for "The Torrent" and more. UNFORGIVEN: What happened with the Garbo pics collection? In the middle of one of the portraits montages there is a TALLULAH BANKHEAD picture. I don't understand! Who made the montage? Obvioulsy not a Garbo fan! "
Great introduction to Garbo
calvinnme | 11/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're not familiar with Garbo, start here, because this is a great introduction. All three feature films include commentary that is insightful and stays on track. The commenters do not meander off into side issues as is often the case.
When TCM put this set together they apparently took the same approach as they did with Lon Chaney Collection: The Ace of Hearts; Laugh, Clown, Laugh; The Unknown. Plus Documentary Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces. that was released about the same time. In both cases, they are not giving you the absolute best that the artist did, but are trying to give you a sample of their works with one extremely good film (in this case "The Flesh and the Devil").
"The Temptress" is the film that I liked the least. Made before "Flesh and the Devil", you may be slightly annoyed that Garbo is not as much the center of attention that she is in the other two. "Flesh and the Devil" is of course the center attraction here, with this being the beginning of the Garbo/Gilbert collaboration that was so successful onscreen. Finally, there is 1928's "The Mysterious Lady" made as the silent era was waning with Garbo starring opposite Conrad Nagel. The commenter notes how much Nagel looks like John Gilbert in this film and wonders if this is why he was chosen to star with Garbo.
If you are already familiar with Garbo, don't buy this separately. Go straight to Greta Garbo - The Signature Collection (Anna Christie / Mata Hari / Grand Hotel / Queen Christina / Anna Karenina / Camille / Ninotchka / Garbo Silents). It is a perfect boxed set of films in every way, and this entire set of silents is included in it. Plus there is an entire disc dedicated to a documentary about Garbo.
I would still like to see another set of Garbo silents, since there is so much good work still out there that she did at MGM that is not on DVD - A Woman of Affairs, The Single Standard, Wild Orchids, and The Kiss come to mind. It is somewhat ironic that one of the extras in the set is a featurette on TCM's Young Composers Contest. This is a competition in which young musicians score part of a silent film and the winner goes on to score an entire silent film in the TCM library that is then premiered on TCM. That competition has now been eliminated, and is one of the reasons that Warner Home Video has not releasing any more silents. Releasing the films I mentioned would bypass that problem since they were all made with a Movietone score and synchronous sound effects, something that was popular in the non-dialogue films released in 1928 and 1929."