Greta Garbo

Friday, August 16, 2019

Scott Lord Silent Film: One Exciting Night (D. W. Griffith, 1922)



After having directed Carol Dempster in “One Exciting Night” (Eleven reels), D.W. Griffith, by then having become a producer for United Artists, followed in 1922 by directing Dempster in the film “The White Rose” (twelve reels) with actress Mae Marsh.




Silent Film

Silent Film

Silent Film

Silent Film

Scott Lord Silent Film: The Love Light (Frances Marion, 1921)

Scott Lord Scott Lord Scott Lord


Scott Lord Silent Film: A Little Princess (Neilan, 1917)

Scott Lord Scott Lord Scott Lord

Scott Lord Silent Film: Mary Pickford as Pollyanna (Powell, 1920)







In addition to one of the most beautiful films made by Mary Pickford, “Pollyanna” (Paul Powell, six reels), during 1920 Pickford also made the fil “Suds” (five reels) under the direction of Francis Dillon. The former also stars William Courtleigh, the latter William Austin

Silent Film

Scott Lord Silent Film: Mary Pickford in The Hoodlum (Franklin, 1919)




Silent Film

Scott Lord Silent Film: Mary Pickford in The Poor Little Rich Girl (Tour...

Silent Film

Sven Gustafson screenwriter, Europa 1942-1948

     While Alva, apart from appearing as an extra with sister Greta for the Swedish Silent film director John Brunius, only made one screen appearance, that of a part in the film "Two Kings" ("Tva Kongungar", Elis Ellis,1925), the brother of actress Alva Gustafson and actress Greta Garbo, Sven Gustafson, infrequently billed as Sven Garbo, although the elder of the three siblings, went on to become a screenwriter after his brief foray into acting. It would usually seem reasonable to say that both Greta Garbo and brother Sven retired during the same period in light of Sven Gustafson having later visited the United States before his death if it were not for Greta Garbo having at that time having completely become a recluse to the public, only contemplating a return to making films.
     The wife of Sven Gustafson, Emy Owandner, made only one screen appearance, that of a role in the film "Sun Over Klara" ("Sol over Klara"), directed by Emil A. Lingheim and written by Erik Lundegard, which lists her role as uncredited. The Swedish Film Institute, rather lists her as appearing in two earlier comedies for Europa, one in which she appeared with Sven Gustafson.
     Swedish director Gustaf Edgren co-wrote the screenplay to the 1929 film "Kongstjorda Svensson" in which Sven Garbo appeared with actresses Brita Appelgren and Karen Gillberg. The film was photographed by Hugo Edlund.
     Edvin Adolphson had directed "When Roses Bloom" ("Na rosorna sla ut"), starring Sven Garbo during 1930. The film was scripted by Gosta Stevens and also stars Karin Swanstrom, Margita Alven, and Anna-Lisa Baude. Else Marie Hansen was given her first appearance on screen in with the film. Greta Garbo visited her brother, Sven Gustafson, while in Stockholm. The Private Life of Greta Garbo, published in Photoplay Magazine during 1930 is, much like the biography of Greta Garbo penned by Norman Zierold, an enjoyable, if not charming read; it includes a brief mention of Sven Garbo, "At one time Miss Garbo's brother, Sven, who has been quite successful abroad both on stage and screen, wanted to come to Hollywood. He even sent screen tests of himself to Metro-Goldwyn Mayer." Rilla Page PalMborg again mentioned that Sven Garbo had sent screen tests of himself to M.G.M the following year when publishing the biography The Private Life of Greta Garbo in book form during 1931. While giving an account of Garbo's activities while filming the silent film "The Kiss" it relies heavily on quotes of her housekeeper-valet Gustaf, according to whom she kept a large portrait of her brother in her living room, arranged upright on a table. "Garbo was all upset the day she received a letter from her brother saying that the motion picture company for whom he was working wanted to change his name to Garbo. She said that she made the name of Garbo herself, that it was her name and there should be no one else using it. She called her brother not to allow the motion picture company to use it....but he answered that it was too late."
     To complement whispers that Sven Gustafson would have like to film in America, when in actuality it was Greta Garbo that travelled between the two countries, Screenland Magazine related," Everyone says there is only one Garbo in pictures, but the Swedish cyclone's brother Sven has been signed to Paramount for talkies. Sven Garbo is tall and handsome and reported to be a good bet for pictures." Yet, without dispelling this, Photoplay Magazine during 1931 translated the title of Edvin Adolphson's film "Na Rosarna Sla Ut" as "Hole in the Wall" and listed it as being produced by Paramount. Photoplay later added,"Sven Gustafsson, brother of Gret Garbo, makes his American debut in it. He's a tall, limp, black-haired boy with a moustache and doesn't beT the faintest resemblance to his famous sister. And he's a punk actor, if this is a sample. The picture tells a light, chatty love story. There's one good actor in the troupe- an ugly gentleman named Uno Henning." Inches above a synopsis of the Greta Garbo film "Inspiration", Photoplay magazine again looked at the film in brief, "Swedish talkie brings us Sven Gustaffson, Garbo's brother, but nothing like his famous sister. Light and chatty love story."

Gustaf Molander

Silent Film Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo and Mauritz Stiller

Silent Film Greta Garbo

Back to top: Sven Garbo

Remade by Greta Garbo: Camille



Studio manager of Rasunda was relegated to Vilhelm Bryde during 1923. Author Forsyth Hardy Gaines an account, "His influence was most clearly seen in 'Damen med Kamelioarna', a static, theatrical adaptation of the Camille theme, directed by Olof Molander. The film derived some distinction from the delicately composed interiors...a reversion to a theatrical style of filmmaking quite foreign to the Sjostrom-Stiller."

For those familiar with the history of Danish Silent Film Lady of the Camellias, (Kameliadamen, Camille) adapted from the novel by Dumas, was filmed by Viggo Larsen, who starred in front of the camera as well as creating from behind it, as he was often won't to do, the film also starring Oda Alstrup, Robert Storm Petersen and Helga Tonnesen. It was produced by Nordisk Film and Ole Olsen and it's cinematographer was Axel Graatkjaer Sorensen.


The Divine Bernhardt that was immortalized as a model for Alphonse Mucha exists, the plays that Louis Mercanton adapted for the screen, Jeanne Dore (1915, three reels), starring Madame Tissot with actress Sarah Bernhardt and shown in the United States by Bluebird Photoplays, and Adrienne Lecouvveur (1913, two/three reels), do not, and belong to the province of Film Preservation, if not Lost Films, Found Magazines, a vital part of From Stage to Screen, the transition of the proscenium arc to visual planes achieved by film editing and composition having been relegated to desuetude. By all accounts there still is a copy of Sarah Bernhardt performing Camille on film.

Camille (J. Gordon Edwards, 1917) starring Theda Bara is, like The Divine Woman (Victor Seastrom), a lost silent film, there being no surviving copies of it. Motography not I coincidentally revealed, "Theda Bara in a sumptuous picturization of Camille is the latest announcement of William Fox to the public...Theda Bara as the unhappy Parisian girl who sacrifices herself on the altar of convention, has surpassed all her previous work. This production...Parisian life is followed in every detail so that the atmosphere of the story fits admirably with the acting in it." Surepetitiously, Motion Picture News used the exact same wording, it concluding with, The tears it caused were genuine and the emotions it stirred were deep."

Most significant may be that the script to Poor Violetta (Arme Violetta, 1920) was written by Hans Kraly, who later emigrated to Hollywood; directed by Paul L. Stein, it was released by Paramount as The Red Peacock, with the alternate title Camille, purportedly only loosely an adaptation of the novel by Dumas. The film is thought to be lost, with no surviving copies.  in her autobiography Memories of a Star, actress Pola Negri describes filming in Europe, "Even before Hemmingway and Fitzgerald made The Lost Generation internationally famous, it was a city intent on losing itself. Jazz was beginning to become a rage in all the little chic clubs.... When production began on Camille, I was ready for it. Nightlife had served its purpose. The mixture of wild gaiety and sense of loss which had been so much part of the last few weeks gave me fresh insights into the character I was to portray. Certainly, the doomed tubercular Marguerite Gautier would not have felt out of place in Berlin at the dawn of the twenties. My sojourn among those people who lived on the opposite side of the clock had been a useful and pleasant interlude, but it was now over." Negri, who would leave for Warsaw after filming Camille had been writing about a city that would soon embrace Expressionism and where Asta Nielsen that year had been filming an adaption of Hamlet as a Silent Film.
In the United States The Film Daily during 1922 reviewed the film by claiming it had "No Visible Drawing Power in this Except for Sensation".  While giving a brief synopsis it wrote, "as for the story, it is certain to offend the decency of some and practically everyone with any sense of refinement. There isn't anything very tasteful or entertaining in this depiction of a series of liaisons even though you can hardly blame the girl for running away from her drunken step father...Another matter which you will do well to consider in connection with this picture is the type of patron you cater to." Their sentiment was echoed by Exhibitor's Herald magazine, who saw Pola Ngeri in the film as depicting a woman who was " that of the tennis-ball tossed lightly from one gentleman's racquet to another" to which it appended, " This is made abroad and their standards are not ours."


Using a still where the two lovers were in embrace on a couch, reminiscent of John Gilbert and Greta Garboin Flesh and the Devil, captioned with "Armand pours out his love to the adored Camille, Picture Play magazine during 1927 introduced the film starring Norma Talmadge and Gilbert Roland as "the latest screen version of the Dumas' masterpiece." MPotion Picture magazine noted that it was a film in which Norma Talmadge would wear her hair bobbed, the studio having reported to the magazine that it would be an adaptation located in the then present day Paris of Gerturde Stien, Fitzgerald and Hemmingway and that the cast of the film would also include Lilyan Tashman. Photoplay reviewed the film with,"Norma Talmadge shifted the background to the present day. This change seems to have affected the story itself but slightly. 'Camille has one fault. it is too long...Rather actory but worth IT. Super-sexy stuff this." Amateur Movie Makers magazine looked at Niblo's camerawork during 1927, noting that the film as having a Titleless Start. "Eliminating the usual series of opening titles, 'Camille' opens with a series of swift dissolves which move from the general to the specific, from a shot down to a mass of moving umbrellas, to a salient bit of portraiture of the auctioneer hawking Camille's effects."


The 1915 screen version of Camille was scripted by Frances Marion. the five reel film starred Clara Kimbal Young under the direction of Albert Cappellani.




Greta Garbo John Gilbert



Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo in Love

Greta Garbo photographed

Greta Garbo biography



Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo

Swedish Silent Film

Author Anne-Kristin Wallgren, on Nordic Academic Press, notes that the films of Karin Swanstrom may have seemed atypical with the Swedish Silent Film of Sweden's Golden Age. In Welcome Home, Mr Swanson- Swedish Emigrants and Swedishness on Film, she writes, "Of the few Twneties films to mention America, only one has a happy ending, namely, Boman pa utsallningen (Boman at the Exhibition/Boman at the Fair, Karin Swanstrom, 1923, Ironically, Forsyth Hardy, in the volume Scandinavian Film notes, "Svensk Filmindustri, through its producers Karin Swanstrom and Sickan Claesson, was content to produce modestly conceived films for the home front. They were for the most part comedies with a strong theatrical flavor, or farces."

Greta Garbo

Silent Film

Swedish Silent Film

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Scott Lord Silent Film: Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts (George Nichols- D.W. Griffith, 1915)

Nedbrudt nerven/The Hill Park Mystery (A. W. Sandberg, 1923).



Thomas C. Christenson, Who was kind enough to write to me from the Danish Film Institute last year, in his articles Restoration of Danish Silent Films: In Colour and Restoring a Danish Silent Film: Nedbrute Nerver writes about the restoration of what he deems to be “a comic mystery plot set in contemporary time in an unnamed Western country.” Nordisk Film Kompagni title books were used in the restoration to augment the original nitrate print.
A.W. Sandberg, notably at a time when Denmark was looking for foreign markets to which to export Film to quell an economic crisis caused by completion from Hollywood, gained recognition as a director by adapting the works of Charles Dickens, including “Our Mutual Friend” (1921), ”Great Expectations” (1922), “David Copperfield” (1922) and “Little Dorritt” (1924).

Danish Silent Film