On the face of it, this is the usual historical hogwash, made to the traditional recipe (prepare a literate but daft script around the concepts of love, honour and duty; stir in two gooey-eyed stars, one of whom may be miscast and a bad wearer of costumes; bring to the boil, stirring in teaspoonfuls of C Aubrey Smith, rhubarbing peasants, snow, ducks, and Gothic lettering; serve with naive music). But Queen Christina is lifted far above its origins, partly by Mamoulian (who moulds potentially stodgy scenes with his finicky regard to detail), and partly by Garbo herself: she turns her character into a living entity, extracts real emotion from the script's purple clumps ('Snow is like a wild sea. One can go and get lost in it...'), and glides through Mamoulian's winding camera movements with grace, wit and beauty. She plays the 17th century Queen of Sweden, whose career comes unstuck when she falls for the Spanish Ambassador (a touching but inadequate performance from John Gilbert, her old cohort from the silents).
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||HM Harwood, Salka Viertel, SN Behrman|
C Aubrey Smith
Gustav von Seyffertitz