F.: Joseph Valentine; Int.: Greta Garbo; Prod.: Walter Wanger, Universal-International; 35mm. L.: 150 m. D.: 6’

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Whilst at MGM, Walter Wanger worked with Greta Garbo when producing Mamoulian’s Queen Christina in 1933. After being an independent producer for many years, Wanger started to plan a comeback film for Garbo during the summer of 1948. What Wanger had in mind was a story on the life of French 19th century novelist George Sand, to be called “Friend and Lover”. Later in 1948 he instead suggested the Balzac story La Duchesse de Langeais, a proposal to which Garbo reacted with enthusiasm. In March 1949 everything was set for the shooting to start in Europe six months later. When Max Ophuls finished shooting The Reckless Moment he was assigned to direct the Balzac project and to bring leading man James Mason to star opposite Garbo. Failing to secure financing, Wanger had to cancel the project, and Garbo vowed never to return to the screen. Tests were apparently shot both in June 1948 and in May 1949. In 1990 there was a much publicized screening on American television of rediscovered Garbo tests, shot by William Daniels and James Wong Howe, both for Wanger. The Joseph Valentine tests were probably the ones shot in 1948, and it is a revelation to see these five-and-a-half minutes of silent Garbo, many years after her final appearance in Two-Faced Woman.

Jon Wengström

Copy From

The material was acquired from a private collector in 1990