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Sunday, December 26, 2010

As You Desire Me (released in 1932) - Starring Greta Garbo, Erich von Stroheim and Melvyn Douglas

This is about a women who has no past and is claimed by many people as their own. “As you desire me” stars Greta Garbo in the title role along with Melvyn Douglas, Eric Von Stronheim and Hedda hopper. This movie was directed by George Fitzmaurice and is adopted from the play of the same name by Luigi Pirandello. This is the only movie where Greta Garbo plays a blonde character. The running time for the movie is 71 minutes and is one of the shortest of her Hollywood movies.
Garbo plays Zara, a sultry night club singer for whom men and booze are a weakness. She lives with Karl Saltzer, a novelist who loves her and tolerates her drinking binges and picking up strange men. Zara never can love Karl as he loves her, and this is evident from her offhand behavior with him. But everything changes when she encounters, Tony at one of her performances. He calls her “Maria” and tells her that she is in fact the wife of Count Bruno Varelli who had gone missing during world war I. He informs her that her husband and himself were looking for her for the past ten years.
Zara scoffs at his claims and orders him out. But his persistence pays off and she relents to meet Bruno Varelli at his estate, much to the dismay of Karl. Karl threatens and shoots her arm to prevent her from leaving him, but Zara moves to Bruno's estate with Tony. Bruno is ecstatic to receive his wife, but Zara arrives as a stranger, not recognizing her servants or Bruno himself. She refuses to stay at the estate but acquiesces to the persistent pleading of the other members. She asks Bruno to help her find in herself, Maria, the women he really desires.
Slowly as their understanding grows, Zara falls in love with Bruno and decides to devote her life to him. But when she actually finds love which had eluded her so long, Karl returns with the final blow.
Karl meets Ines, Maria's sister and asks for her help to expose Zara as an impostor. Ines informs Zara that one week from her return, Maria was to be legally declared dead and all the property would have been transferred to her. She insinuates that Bruno had imposed the identity of Maria upon her to safeguard the property. Zara is devastated and feels that Bruno's love is in-fact for the money. Karl brings in an heavily veiled women whom he claims to be the real Maria. He informs Zara that Maria was imprisoned at a sanatorium to enable Bruno to run the estate. The veiled lady recognizes all her servants and sister, that everybody is convinced that she is the real Maria.
But soon he truth comes out that the veiled lady is in-fact the impostor who had lived among them in the estate. Bruno tired of all the games confesses his love for Zara and tells her that his feelings would never change even if she is proved not to be Maria. Zara accepts his declaration with happiness and they are reunited. This movie was a box-office success for MGM and still considered one of the nicest romantic movies of all times.

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