6 ~ Greta Garbo ~ Ninotchka

18 Jan

In her next-to-last film and her fourth and last unsuccessful Oscar nomination, Great Garbo shunned the glamourous image of her roles of past and played her first American comedic role. This role was almost a satire of her former roles and on screen personalities of the past. MGM’s film promotions and publicity used the slogan: “Garbo Laughs!” capitalizing on the legendary Garbo persona and promising to humanize it. She succumbs to laughter in the film when her co-star falls clumsily from a cafe chair after a joke he has told fails to produce a response. This was shades of an earlier campaign for her talkie debut in Anna Christie (1930) – “Garbo Talks!”

Garbo played this role just as she did her many other roles, splendidly, and went on to be nominated for Best Actress. One of her best on-screen performances, it was a shame she didn’t make more comedies.

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