Garbo by Robert Gottlieb review – Biography Review

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Monday December 6, 2021 at 2:20pm

In more innocent or credulous days, the faithful sat in the dark to gaze at strange beings with detachable heads who were actually phantasms of light. Among the stars in this custom-made galaxy, the most alluring and yet the most distant was Greta Garbo, whose persona alternated between carnal heat and ascetic frost. After wickedly enticing her male victims in The Temptress, she redeemed herself as the dying courtesan in Camille; in Queen Christina, she was exalted by sacrifice and in a last mesmerising closeup all emotion blankly drained from her face as she renounced the throne and sailed into exile.

Gradually this astral creature edged down to Earth. Publicists issued an excited proclamation when Garbo talked for the first time on screen in Anna Christie, even though she began by gruffly demanding a whisky in a waterfront bar. In Ninotchka, she made headlines all over again by contorting her alabaster features in a sudden fit of laughter.

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