movie film review | chris tookey
harsh reviews
An A to Z of the World's Deadliest Movie Reviews From Affleck
to Zeta Jones
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Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo is hermaphroditric, with the cold quality of a mermaid.
(Tennessee Williams)
Garbo is monumentally overrated. Her voice is deep., She has no humour, her figure is flat, her carriage is not graceful, her feet are big, her private life is a fog. Only her face is perfect.
(Alfred Hitchcock)
Actress, Grand Hotel (1932)
Garbo is extremely pathetic. For all her beautiful head and appealingly awkward lankiness, Miss Garbo steadily loses her spell through the sound machines. Speaking our language badly, she must be cast always as a foreigner, mumbling but a few words at a time. As usual, she has the air of an aspirin addict; she still wears the perpetual headache which once seemed so intriguing in the deaf-and-dumb pictures.
(Matthew Josephson, New Republic)
Actress, Ninotchka (1939)
Garbo in Ninotchka gives no performance at all. For half an hour she is glum in the stereotyped Garbo fashion. And then she is supposed to laugh and doesn't. She opens her mouth wide and goes through the moti of laughing. But it is mirthless laughter, like the yawning of a horse. Look closely into this simulation and you will perceive that the simulator is not amused. Then she has a long and totally unfunny drunken scene, after which she spends the rest of the time looking like Norma Shearer's mother! In my view this is the worst performance I have ever seen Garbo give, and it is made to seem all the worse by the brilliant acting of Ina Claire, who sounds all the notes of polished comedy. Garbo in this film has two notes, and two only; the resulting see-saw achieves a monotony which for me kills the performance stone dead. The film itself is in Lubitsch's best vein and extremely witty, which merely accentuates the poverty of the central performance. Instead of being the major plum in the pudding, Garbo's performance is the one piece of suet in an otherwise entirely delectable dish.
(James Agate, Tatler)
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