Tag Archives: greta garbo

Looking Backward: Two-Faced Woman (1941)

14 Aug

I should start by saying that the previously-mentioned reviews are fair. Two-Faced Woman is a middling movie at best, and it’s mostly because of Garbo, who plays two roles (sort of) and is miscast in both of them.

two-faced-woman

It’s also from the latter end of screwball, when for whatever reason a meanness crept into the proceedings. The couple (Garbo & Melvyn Douglas) seems grouchy all the time and the charm of the leads can’t make that go away. (I have similar feelings about Hitchcock’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith.)

I think the key to screwball may have something to do with surrounding likeable people with obstreperous nutjobs or immersing them in unusual situations (or, ideally, both)  instead of making their own relationships and personalities the problem. Also, surrounded by nutjobs of the proper magnitude, our beloved leads can have more flaws of their own without becoming hateful. (cf. Theodora Goes Wild and Nothing Sacred.)

But what do I know?

Looking Forward: Two-Faced Woman (1941)

24 Jul

Garbo Two Faced Woman 3

Somehow I’ve never seen Two-Faced Woman (airing on TCM Thursday, July 25 at 9:30 a.m. as part of a daylong block of “twin” movies), despite its Garbo and Melvyn Douglas pedigree. It always gets such lukewarm reviews when compared with the incomparable Ninotchka that it hardly seems fair.

See you here sometime after it airs (assuming I survive this blasted production of The Pirates of Penzance that has so eaten into my viewing schedule…).