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You Must Remember This: #59: MGM Stories Part 4: John Gilbert and Greta Garbo

14/06/2021

October 06, 2015

Karina Longworth’s award winning and acclaimed podcast series about Hollywood

Rising romantic lead John Gilbert signed with MGM in 1924 and the next year he starred in King Vidor’s The Big Parade, the studio’s biggest hit of the silent era. That same year, Louis B. Mayer brought his new discovery to Hollywood: an enigmatic Swedish actress named Greta Garbo. Garbo and Gilbert starred together in the romantic melodrama Flesh and the Devil, and began a relationship in real-life, which was eagerly exploited by the still-fledgling Hollywood publicity machine. Gilbert’s career suffered from his contentious relationship with Mayer, and his increasing alcoholism, while Garbo’s star continued to rise. In 1933, Garbo made it a condition of her MGM contract extension that the studio cast Gilbert as her love interest in Queen Christina. Within three years, Gilbert was dead. Within ten years, Garbo’s career had taken a turn, too. This episode was sponsored by Audible.com, with over 180,000 audio books and spoken word audio products. For a 30-day trial and FREE audiobook of your choice, go to audible.com/remember..


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