The Temptress (Niblo, 1926):
Classic Cinema Club, Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, W5 2BY, 7pm
This opens the Classic Cinema Club's Femmes Fatale season and is a rare chance to see Greta Garbo in only her second film role. More details here.
New York Times review:
'The Temptress is
concerned with the beguiling beauty of a selfish siren, a sinuous
creature whose conscience knows no guilt. In many respects this picture
is a distinguished piece of work, wherein Fred Niblo, the director,
keeps the audience on the qui vive. It is a photodrama in which the
producers do not pander to popular appeal by portraying a happy ending.
Aside from the many lesser dramatic glimpses, there are two
outstanding episodes in this feature. One occurs when M. Fontenoy, a
French banker, gives a banquet in honor of Elena (Miss Garbo). At first
one perceives the mentally tortured Fontenoy looking with fiery eyes
upon Elena. Then Mr. Niblo draws back his camera to give the spectator a
thorough conception of the great table and the number of guests.
cleverly filmed, but Mr. Niblo might perhaps have foregone the scenes in
which the feet of the men and women are shown under the festive board.
The dramatic climax to this chapter comes when Fontenoy toasts Elena.
Before his glass has touched his lips he excoriates her as a woman who
has accepted his gifts of jewelry and discloses how she pretended that
they came from her weak-minded husband. Fontenoy then empties his glass,
in which he has dropped cyanide of potassium, and forthwith collapses.
Miss Garbo is not only remarkably well suited is the rôle, but with a
minimum of gestures and an unusual restraint in her expressions, she
makes every scene in which she appears a telling one. She is attractive
and svelte of figure and gives an emphatically effective impersonation
of Elena's heartlessness.'
Here is an extract.