Queen Christina

Director: Rouben Mamoulian

U.S.A.| 1933. Black and white. 101 min.

One of Garbo’s quintessential screen portrayals and one of her finest films, Queen Christina is full of glowing scenes (enhanced by her favorite cinematographer, William Daniels) that reflect the mystique of the enigmatic actress. The story of independent-minded, controversial Christina, queen of 17th-century Sweden, this lavish MGM biopic paired Garbo with popular silent screen actor John Gilbert (her former fiance and co-star was also purported to have been her off-screen lover). The plot, which ends with Christina’s abdication and self-imposed exile, prophetically echoed the sort of conflict that Garbo struggled with in her private life. This was the star’s only film for director Rouben Mamoulian, who brilliantly captures Garbo’s allure and enigmatic persona, especially in the film’s justly famous final close-up.

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