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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Two Faced Woman (released in 1941) - Starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas

This movie directed by George Cukor stared Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas in the pivotal roles. It had Garbo playing a double role and MGM tried to have a make over for her from a super sexy siren to a simple sweater girl.
Workaholic New York Magazine editor Larry Blake visits an Idaho Ski Lodge for a relaxed weekend. Here he meets simple sweet Karin who works as a ski instructor at the lodge. The perennial flirt Larry hits on Karin and a minor accident throws them together for a long time. On an impulsive decision Karin and Larry get married and Larry promises to leave New York and his job for a simple life. But soon his boss O.O Miller arrives with Larry's secretary Ellis and drags him back for a urgent photo-shoot. Larry leaves promising Karin that he would be back pronto. But New York works its charms again and Larry continues his old life.
Karin after many telegrams with Ellis reaches New York and find Larry happily entrenched in his work. She with the help of Ellis goes shopping and gets a make over as her super sexy alter ego Katherine to smite Larry. But at a play backed by Larry, Karin hears him flirting with his old flame Griselda Vaughn. A distraught Karin tries to leave and soon runs in to Larry's boss Miller. She makes him believe that she is Katherine, Karin's twin sister and soon has a dinner invitation from Miller. Larry is dumbfounded to see Karin enter in a super sexy avatar.



He is again taken aback when she drinks, smokes and dances with gay abandon. He tries to ascertain the facts by making a call to the ski lodge and confirms that Karin is indeed Katherine. Meanwhile Karin nursing a huge hang over is recuperating at the hotel when a n amused Larry accosts her. Determined to play her game he proposes to her and tells her that he wants to reform her after divorcing Karin.
Karin orders him out and when he tires to reach Idaho, she reaches before him and pretends to be her old self. Larry continues to play the game and taunts her even though she reveals the truth. Soon an exasperated Karin dumps him to go skiing followed by Larry who promptly falls in to the frozen lake. Karin rescues him and he says ”I am Larry's twin brother”. Karin accepts his joke and reunites with her husband.
This movie was generally pilloried by the public and the critics. It created such a furore for being immoral that the Catholic church urged a blanket ban. Garbo was distressed by the turn of events and battled with MGM over her role. Even though her sunny acting shines through he romantic comedy, insiders report that she was morose and depressed than ever.
This movie was Garbo's final film role after which she turned in to a virtual recluse shunning the public eye. But still I would recommend a look for the sorcery of acting from the genius like Garbo which made even a mediocre movie memorable.

Two Faced Woman (released in 1941) - Starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas

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