Friday, August 6, 2010

Garbo's 1949 Screen Test

I mentioned that Greta Garbo contemplated a comeback after World War II, a comeback that obviously never happened. She settled on the Balzac novel La Duchess de Langelais, with Walter Wanger producing and James Mason tentatively set to co-star, and the project got as far as three screen tests, one photographed by Joseph Valentine on May 5, 1949, and by James Wong Howe and William Daniels, both on May 25, 1949.

The only problem was, nobody in Hollywood wanted to finance the film. Wanger negotiated a shaky partnership with Italian financier Angelo Rizzoli, but Rizzoli and Garbo did not hit it off and after long delays pushed the project into 1950, Rizzoli finally pulled out. No other investors were forthcoming and Garbo rejected the suggestion that she invest her own money in the film. Garbo's comeback was effectively over.

Long thought lost, a snippet of the test footage turned up in 1989. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:


mister muleboy said...


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a face and what a waste. All those years just think what movies she could have made. One of the great tragedies of the cinema, not seeing Garbo in color.