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Greta Garbo, Queen Christina (1933)

Perhaps the most fascinating role in Greta Garbo’s entire career, “Queen Christina” tells the story of the legendary royal figure in the Swedish history (1626-1689). Garbo, a Swedish herself, was perfect for the part. There are plenty of magnificent shots that emphasize the rare beauty and the strangeness of the soul and mind of this remarkable woman, who became an idol to millions and millions of people around the world. Her co-star was her former lover, John Gilbert, who, obviously, was very much in love with Garbo, even more because they had previously appeared in some iconic silent films. The direction of Rouben Mamoulian is excellent, and the sets and costumes are really outstanding. “Queen Christina” is a perfect historical film, and the script contains some very good lines, such as one of the heroine’s lines, “I have imagined happiness. But happiness you cannot imagine. Happiness you must feel! Joy, you must feel!”. Seeing Garbo portray her own persona (because she was a real-life character), as both a woman and a man, switching from one mood to another, imposing her own will and demonstrating that she could be a monarch, but also a human being, is something really unique. The film should be a special experience to any viewer, and it will always be remembered as an exquisite piece of artistry from the old Hollywood era.

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