Thursday, June 17, 2010


Camille(1936). Director: George Cukor. Produced: Irving Thalberg and Bernard H. Hyman, from a screenplay by James Hilton, Zoe Akins and Frances Marion. The picture is based on the 1852 novel and play La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils. Cast: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Jessie Ralph, Henry Daniell, and Laura Hope Crews.

The film inspired Milton Benjamin to write a song called "I'll Love Like Robert Taylor, Be My Greta Garbo." Camille was included in Time Magazine's All-Time 100 Movies in 2005. It was also included at #33 in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions. Portions of the film, including the final scene, are featured in the 1982 musical film Annie after the number "Let's Go To The Movies."

Beautiful Marguerite Gautier, is known as "the lady of the camellias" because of her love for the flowers. Marguerite's friends know her as a woman whose heart is bigger than her bank account. Though she is given money and jewels by her many suitors, her lifestyle and generosity have kept her in debt. Prudence Duvernoy, comes to Marguerite and tells her, she must find a rich man who can take care of her and arranges for her to meet, Baron de Varville. When Prudence leaves the theater box to find de Varville, Armand Duval, who has been in love with Marguerite and has been following her for weeks, joins her. Because they have never met, she thinks that he is the baron. When she is introduced to the real Baron, Marguerite is disappointed, but she leaves with him.Soon, Marguerite is de Varville's mistress and has indulged herself with his money. When he goes on a business trip to Russia, her frail health keeps her home. At a coach auction, she meets Armand again and is told by her maid, that he came to ask about Marguerite's health every day. Later, Marguerite invites him to a party at her home, and when she becomes ill, he carries her into her bedroom and tells her that he is deeply in love with her and wants to take care of her. Marguerite, must choose between the young man who loves her and the baron who wants her.

I feel this is one of the most romantic film ever made and it is one of my favorite Garbo performances. She is beautiful, her performance is full of moments of flawless acting. The cinematography, art direction and costume design are also beautiful. The supporting performances from Lionel Barrymore, Laura Hope Crewes to Maureen O'Sullivan are perfect. Robert Taylor, is very young and handsome. A wonderful classic film you will not want to miss.

Fun Facts:

Greta Garbo's personal favorite of all her films.

Greta Garbo wore bedroom slippers under all her fancy dresses so she could be comfortable.

Film debut of Joan Leslie.

Elizabeth Allan (9 April 1908 – 27 July 1990) was an English actress who worked in both England and Hollywood, making about 50 films over more than a quarter century. She made her movie debut in 1931, first appearing in Alibi. 1935 was her most memorable year in Hollywood, when she not only distinguished herself in two memorable Dickens' adaptations as David's young mother in, David Copperfield and as Lucie Manette in Jack Conway's, A Tale of Two Cities, but was also featured in, Mark of the Vampire. By the 1950s, Allan had made the transition to character parts. Particularly memorable is her appearance in, The Heart of the Matter (1953). In 1958, she appeared as Boris Karloff's wife in, The Haunted Strangler.


Paul 2 said...

Dawn this film was shot (as most of Garbo's films) by the great William Daniels.

Dawn said...

Paul, Thank you for the fun fact. :)