Monday, September 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Greta

Today, September 18th, is the birthday of film legend Greta Garbo. If you were to stop anyone on the street and ask them who she was you would probably get a variety of guesses. She's probably most known in contemporary culture from the phrase "[she's]... the next Garbo", referring to anyone who believes the latest actress on the scene is the next big thing - Greta Garbo was (and still is to some degree) the standard to which movie actresses are held up to. Still, Garbo that made only 34 movies during her short career (many of them silent), she continues to be regarded as one of the most acclaimed actresses of all times.

Her films often imitated her life - loneliness, seclusion and heartbreak. She shunned the press and media and essentially stopped all public appearances after the early 50s - the Sphinx answered to no one. Yet, over 100 years after her birth, we are still fascinated with her.

What is it about her that makes us interested in her? Was it her reclusive lifestyle and secrecy, her incredible beauty, her unfulfilled talent? Greta Garbo is the stuff of legends, and legends of the best kind, America's royalty: the Hollywood film star.

Garbo, herself, would have never appreciated any news blurbs about her. She believed her films would stand the test of time and speak for her. So, if you have TCM you're in luck. They're having a Garbo movie marathon running all day. If you don't get the channel, I recommend the Garbo Signature Collection DVD Set.
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