Garbo: Her Life, Her Films
From a master critic, a singular and multifaceted look at the life and art of Greta Garbo
“Wherever you look in the period between 1925 and 1941,” Robert Gottlieb writes in Garbo, “Greta Garbo is in people’s minds, hearts, and dreams.” Strikingly glamorous and famously inscrutable, she managed, in this short time, to infiltrate the world’s subconscious; the end of her film career, when she was thirty-six, only made her more irresistible. She was a phenomenon, a sphinx, a myth, the most beautiful woman in the world, but she was also a Swedish peasant girl, uneducated, naïve, and always on her guard.
In Garbo, the acclaimed critic and editor Robert Gottlieb offers a vivid and thorough retelling of her life, beginning in the slums of Stockholm and proceeding through her struggle to elude the attention of the world. He takes us through the films themselves, from her several European features to M-G-M’s early melodramas to the artistic heights of Camille and Ninotchka. And he sketches the life she led as a very wealthy woman in New York—“a hermit about town”—and the life she led in Europe among the Rothschilds and men like Onassis and Churchill. In addition to offering his rich account of her life, Gottlieb, in what he calls “A Garbo Reader,” brings together a remarkable assembly of glimpses of Garbo from other people’s memoirs and interviews. Most extraordinary of all are the pictures—more than 250 of them, all reproduced here in superb duotone. Garbo is a biography of remarkable insight and breadth, written in the hope of capturing the woman only the camera really knew.
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