Monday, June 25, 2012


Romance(1930). Cast: Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Gavin Gordon, Elliott Nugent, Florence Lake, and Henry Armetta.The movie was adapted by Edwin Justus Mayer and Bess Meredyth from the play by Edward Sheldon. It was directed by Clarence Brown. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Greta Garbo) and Best Director.

On New Year's Eve, a bishop who understands what his grandson Harry is going through and wants to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak, decides to share with him about his own love affair:

At a party given by Cornelius Van Tuyl, Tom Armstrong, the son of an aristocratic family, meets the famous Italian opera star Rita Cavallini and falls madly in love with her, in spite of rumors that she is Van Tuyl's mistress.

Tom and Rita's, romance is ended on another New Year's Eve, because of his families wishes. The bishop then tells how he  married another woman and tells Harry to, " marry the woman he loves no matter what his mother thinks. "Because.. it is the greatest thing in the world"

Fun Facts:

Greta Garbo originally wanted Gary Cooper as her leading man in "Romance". In the end, however, MGM could not borrow Cooper from Paramount, so Garbo settled for the unknown Gavin Gordon. Cooper would come to MGM two years later for the Joan Crawford vehicle Today We Live.

Leading man Gavin Gordon was hit by another vehicle while driving his car to the set the first day of shooting. He was flung onto the pavement and fractured a collarbone, as well as dislocating his shoulder. Gordon was determined to play alongside Greta Garbo and feared his part might be recast if he went to the hospital, therefore proceeding to the set in spite of great pain. He managed to get through the first scene, whereupon he fainted. Garbo visited his bedside at the hospital and told him, production would wait for him. Director Clarence Brown therefore had to shoot all the scenes first in which Gordon didn't appear.
Garbo, is very good in her role, although it's a bit hard to believe her as an opera star. I think Gary Cooper, may have been better in the leading man role. A tearful ending, but not one of my favorite Greta Garbo films.

Gavin Gordon (April 7, 1901 – April 7, 1983) was a film, television and radio actor. He was born in Chicora, Mississippi, and died in Canoga Park, California on his 82nd birthday.

Gordon studied secretarial work. While working as a railway clerk, he attended a film acting school.

In Los Angeles, he became secretary to an actor who later gave him his first part on stage at the age of nineteen.

After a film test, Gordon starred as Greta Garbo's leading man in the 1930 film Romance. With his distinctive voice, Gordon acted in radio dramas.


  1. Thanks for including the clip so we an revisit the film.
    A great review with interesting info on Gavin Gordon who I confess I don't know that much about.
    That Gary Cooper! He sure was a hot commodity but I can see why. One talented tall drink of water. Purrrr

    A fun read on an enjoyable film!

  2. Dawn, I agree that this is not one of Garbo's best. She rarely got a leading man worthy of her and Gordon was definitely not worthy! But, being Garbo, she looks magnificent and does what she can to rise above the mediocre material.

  3. Page, I also did not know much about Gavin Gordon. This maybe the only film that I have seen him in.

    FlickChick, Garbo, I agree.. did a wonderful job with her part in the film..


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