Garbo Talks!

09 Dec

The 30’s brought the “Talkies”; Motion Pictures that had sound. Prior to that the movies were silent with storylines, narration and diolgue written across the screen. Many of the silent stars were not able to move from the silent movies to talkies, and their star power soon faded.

However there were some of the silent stars that were able to become even bigger stars once the audience heard them speak. The beautiful Greta Garbo was one of those stars. Having achieved enormous success as a silent movie star, she was one of the few who made the transition to talkies. After seeing many of her peers falling by the wayside due to the talkies, Greta delayed as long as possible, and the studio was even somewhat hesitant. They were not sure that audiences was ready for her voice. Her film The Kiss (1929) was the last film MGM made without dialog (it used a soundtrack with music and sound-effects only), and marked the end of an era.

But finally in 1930, Anna Chistie was released. MGM turned on the publicity machine and advertised as “GARBO TALKS!”. Her low, husky voice with her Swedish accent was heard on screen for the first time she spoke: “Gimme a vhiskey, ginger ale on the side. And don’t be stingy, baby”and the movie was a huge success, but Garbo personally hated her performance. It was Garbo’s first talkie and went on to be one of her best works on screen.

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