Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Garbo, again

The glamour of the 1930s for me means those two exotic European imports to Hollywood, as the talkies got underway - Garbo and Dietrich. A large part of their mystique of course is not just their looks but those fascinating voices.. Our Sky Arts channel repeated a Garbo programme, so one had to watch again - a whole hour of Garbo clips, they focus though on those best known ones: CAMILLE, QUEEN CHRISTINA, ANNA KARENINA, NINOTCHKA - I love them too, particularly CHRISTINA and NINOTCHKA, but they ignored THE PAINTED VEIL, from 1934, 
which I loved a year ago, as per my post here, see Garbo label, and I now think everything about MATA HARI in 1931 is utterly fantastic: the art design, her odd but mesmerising dance with the giant statue, Ramon Novarro, her stunning outfits, and that ending as she faces the execution squad ..... its amazing the number of different posters in various colours that are still around.  Jeanne Moreau's MATA HARI AGENT H21 in 1964 though very different is rather dull by comparison! 
I also actually love her last film TWO FACED WOMAN from 1942, where she is ski-ing and being terribily funny, and she is totally glamorous doing that rhumba!  Here is that interesting shot of her, looking awkward and ungainly at the swimming pool. with George Cukor. 
TWO FACED WOMAN shows how she could have developed and looked as the 1940s progressed - just as Marilyn's uncompleted SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE fragments show how that now slimline Marilyn could have dazzled as the '60s unfolded .... At least Greta (1905-1990) lived out her life as she wanted .... those late '40s photos by Cecil Beaton show she was still a stunning woman then, below. More on Greta, and that usually overlooked PAINTED VEIL at label. Even the very name 'Garbo' summons up unfathomable mystery and unattainable glamour ... 

Below Right: a laserdisc (remember those?) of MATA HARI & THE PAINTED VEIL

Below Left: Moreau as Mata:

Soon: Another look at Marlene's 1932 BLONDE VENUS and THE SCARLET EMPRESS, 1934. More 1930s delirium !

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