Greta Garbo celebrates a Centennial

In celbration of the 100th birthday of screen icon Greta Garbo, Warner Home Video is releasing a ten film box set of the highlights of her career.

TCM Archives: Garbo Silents
This TCM Archives two-disc collection focuses on Garbo’s earliest years in Hollywood. In The Temptress (1926) Garbo establishes her magnetic screen persona as a vamp who destroys the lives of men who cannot resist her charms. In Flesh and the Devil (1927), she is an irresistible vixen who comes between lifelong friends John Gilbert and Lars Hanson, and in The Mysterious Lady (1928), she’s a Russian spy who seduces her victims. Each film greatly contributed in building the Garbo legend that still fascinates audiences almost 80 years later.

DVD Special Features include commentaries, featurettes, surviving footage from a lost Garbo short, an alternate ending for The Temptress and photo montages

Anna Christie (1930)

Garbo made her landmark transition to “Talkies” with this film, playing a former prostitute whose past threatens her chance for happiness. A different director and cast join Garbo in a German-language version (Side B, with English subtitles) filmed on the same sound stages immediately after the English version. Later, Garbo called it the better film, and this new DVD release gives fans the rare opportunity to compare the two versions.

Mata Hari (1931)

Garbo is mesmerizing as a dancer turned German secret agent in wartime Paris seething with secrets and betrayal. The notable supporting cast includes Lionel Barrymore as a Russian general in love with her, Lewis Stone as an icy master spy and Ramon Novarro as a handsome aviator who wins the heart Mata Hari did not know she possessed.

Grand Hotel (1932)
Ruined aristocrat John Barrymore. Terminally ill clerk Lionel Barrymore. Ruthless tycoon Wallace Beery. Scheming stenographer Joan Crawford. And disillusioned ballerina Greta Garbo. Based on Vicki Baum’s novel and produced by Irving Thalberg, this radiant film captured the 1932 Best Picture Academy Award.

DVD Special Features include a new documentary, newsreel footage, a musical short, a theatre announcement and trailers of the remake.

Queen Christina (1933)

To escape the burdens of the monarchy, Sweden’s Queen Christina (Garbo) rides into the countryside disguised as a boy. She meets and secretly falls for a dashing Spanish envoy on his way to the royal court. When her lover’s true identity is revealed, Christina knows her people will not accept her marriage to a foreigner. Torn between her duty and her heart, she must make a fateful decision. Garbo is luminous in this lavish costume drama, starring with her one-time off-screen fiancé John Gilbert under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian.

Anna Karenina (1935)

Leo Tolstoy’s novel of a dutiful wife and doting mother who gives up her life of contentment to experience real passion, receives sumptuous treatment in a David O. Selznick production. Clarence Brown directs a stellar cast – including Fredric March, Basil Rathbone, Maureen O’Sullivan and Freddie Bartholomew. Greta Garbo is the soul of the film in a nuanced performance that won the New York Film Critics Best Actress Award. At the height of her art, Garbo is unforgettable as a woman helpless in love’s grasp and heartbroken at the loss of her son.

Camille (1936)

Life in 1847 Paris is as spirited as champagne and as unforgiving as the gray morning after. In gambling dens and lavish soirees, men of means exert their wills and women turned courtesans exult in pleasure. One such woman is Marguerite Gautier (Garbo), the Camille of this sumptuous romantic tale based on the enduring Alexandre Dumas story.
Garbo earned an Academy Award nomination and the New York Film Critics Best Actress Award for her memorable work in this George Cukor-directed film.

DVD Special Features include the 1921 Silent Version Starring Alla Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino, radio promos and the trailer.

Ninotchka (1939)
Garbo shines in her first comedy, a frothy tale of a dour Russian envoy sublimating her womanhood for Soviet brotherhood until she falls for a suave Parisian man-about-town (Melvyn Douglas). Working from a clever script written in part by Billy Wilder, director Ernst Lubitsch knew better than anyone how to marry refinement with sublime wit. That’s how we see Garbo’s love struck Ninotchka: serenely dignified yet endearingly ridiculous.

DVD Special Features include the 1967 BBC Show Garbo – hosted by Joan Crawford and trailers.

TCM Original Documentary: Garbo (2005)

A brand-new Turner Classic Movies original, feature-length profile from legendary documentarian Kevin Brownlow and his Photoplay Productions, Garbo offers an intimate look at the life and career of Greta Garbo. Brownlow’s unique portrait of the enigmatic actress is drawn through rare footage, new and vintage interviews with biographers and admirers, plus many of the friends, relatives and associates who came closest to penetrating the lonely star’s veil of solitude. Her career is illustrated with clips from all her movies, ranging from her early film work in Sweden to such Hollywood triumphs as Anna Christie, Grand Hotel, Camille, Ninotchka and her swan song in 1941’s Two-Faced Woman.

On September 6th, the set arrives for $99.92.

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