Hollywood Birthday: Greta Garbo

garbo
“Venus doesn’t glitter
when she stands next to you.”
-Garbo by Stevie Nicks


I’ll be the first to admit that Greta Garbo was not an especially good actress. Her style, developed for the silent screen, often verged into overwraught histrionics. Although this was well-suited to the silents, it did not translate well into talkies. As such, her silent movies are my favorites.

But Garbo is rather above such trivialities. Even then, I don’t think people went to a Garbo movie to see fine acting. They went just to look at her face. Perfect, luminous, expressive, unearthly, the movies were created for faces like hers. I have never had the opportunity to see a Garbo movie on a big screen, but I can imagine the effect must have been staggering. Her beauty and the legend it helped to create around her were what kept the public enthralled, and still does.

There is no one today who can even touch her austere gloriousness. Michelle Pfeiffer is the only one who comes close, but Pfeiffer makes the mistake of always trying to play down her beauty and take on “normal woman” roles. She should take a clue from Garbo. We do not want our goddesses to be waitresses, teachers, or mothers. We require them to be better than us! Remote, perfect, unattainable, shining like a star in the heavens. Something to place our wishes upon. Like Garbo.

One Response to “Hollywood Birthday: Greta Garbo”

  1. rake back Says:

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