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A Woman of Affairs
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from NOT RATED votes
Release: 15 Dec 1928 /

A Woman of Affairs

Genre: Drama
Director: Clarence Brown,
Stars:
Synopsis: When two childhood sweethearts are kept from marrying, misery ensues.

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Critic Reviews


This is Garbo's best silent film and it contains her finest silent performance. This is class A film making- the cinematography is exceptionally good; the cast all act splendidly; and the script, adapted by Bess Merydith from the Arlen play, THE GREEN HAT, was deservedly nominated for an Oscar - the only Oscar nomination a Garbo silent would receive.

This is silent film making at its zenith - the composition and camera movement make for no less than two dozen memorable shots. There are over the shoulder framings of characters (Bosworth and Gilbert, Murder Investigator and Garbo), combinations of character framings within objects close to the camera (Gilbert's entrance into Garbo's hospital room, framed in a semi-circle on the left by Lewis Stone, the bouquet Gilbert sent, and Garbo resting at bottom of frame; Fairbanks twice shot from below with alcohol paraphernalia close to camera; Mack Brown's reaction to close-up handcuffs), rapid dolly ins and outs to bring attention to characters (most memorably from the door of Fairbanks sick room to his emaciated close up form in a chair and the famous Garbo walk to her bouquet of flowers, which she embraces as if they were her lover. Much use of soft focus throughout.

Gilbert and Stone give two of their best performances. Sebastian is excellent as the suffering wife and Fairbanks is outstanding in his seven sequence supporting role, almost stealing the film away from Garbo. She is at her luminous best with amazing control of gesture and facial expression - quite (for me) the finest of all her silent performances. Sadly the 1990 MGM/UA Turner VHS is out of print. I hope her select silents wind up on a multi-disc DVD one day soon. Hopefully, minus the overblown and unremarkable full orchestral score created by Thames Television for this release.

See this one for MGM and Garbo at their silent peak. All students of cinematography, pay attention.

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