An Appreciation: Garbo’s MGM Silents

Welcome to another Film Friday! This is going to be a briefer post in lieu of the holiday weekend.

As I mentioned last week, I’m not much for modern cinema; I’ve only seen two new movies in the past year —  THE GREAT GATSBY (a mediocre Luhrmann special) and OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (a film completely lacking in humanity). I suppose I am a bit of a film snob. But I have to be honest with you: my preferences have always been television and theatre. Movies are a definite third. Most of my love for film stems from an appreciation for the wonderful actors and personalities that have shaped American cinema, and on a larger scale, the American culture.


Unlike the last two Film Fridays, today’s post is not so much a recommendation as it is a presentation of some of Greta Garbo’s best silent film work at MGM. Here’s a Film Friday Appreciation…


Flesh And The Devil (1926)

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Starring Greta Grabo, John Gilbert, Lars Hanson, and Barbara Kent. Directed by Clarence Brown.

Garbo’s first picture with John Gilbert turned out to be the steamiest event of the season. A romance bloomed offscreen, and when the director yelled cut during their love scene, they didn’t. This is one of the most beautiful moments ever put on film.

The Mysterious Lady (1928)

An attractive Russian spy seduces an Austrian officer in order to get some important plans, but when she actually falls in love with him, both of them are placed in a dangerous situation.

Starring Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, and Gustav Seyffertitz. Directed by Fred Niblo.

Though many considered this film to be lacking in the script department, Garbo has never looked better. And this sequence is one of my all-time favorites.

A Woman Of Affairs (1928)

Prejudice keeps a free spirit from the man she loves, triggering a series of tragedies.

Starring Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lewis Stone, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Directed by Clarence Brown.

This Garbo-Gilbert teaming was based off of The Green Hat. An intense piece, both Garbo and Gilbert give fine performances. This is a famous scene.




Thanks for another great week, readers! Tune back in on Musical Theatre Monday when I start listing my favorite forgotten Gershwin shows!