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"
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.
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.
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.