Now, we all know how much I love the Garbo. Yes, I just said the Garbo. No one ever had a face or a voice like hers. This woman was made to be a movie star! Can you believe that we never saw her in colour?! I just thought about this this morning as I was trolling the internet for images of her. Even if we had seen her in vivid Technicolor, I think she was best suited to black and white imagery anyway - the light and shadows of B&W do so much for her angular face.
The Garbo Eyebrows: I wanted them when I was in high school. Paper thin with a high, circular arch. Once I plucked my brows into oblivion and was left with something similar to Garbo's I realized one thing: no one looks good with these brows except her! I felt like a fool the next day and quickly tried my damnedest to grow them back as soon as humanly possible. I still have bald spots on my brows to this day because of my Garbo Eyebrow obsession. Hurray.
The Garbo Attitude: I can sum up her on-screen attitude very quickly and succinctly - "bitch please." And that's it, folks! Plain and simple, Garbo was basically telling us all not to f**k with her. She could kill a man (or woman) at ten paces with her fierce Swedish glare. Not a word needed to be spoken, just a look and it was over! Aside from my ill-fated attempt to emulate Garbo's eyebrows, I also tried to adjust my "attitude" to match hers but only succeeded in distancing myself from my closest friends and family members. I mean, it worked for a little while, but I'm sure everyone thought I had gone a bit loony always telling everyone "I vanted to be alone!"
Emo Garbo: Oh Garbo, cheer up. Really, life isn't that bad. You've got costumes designed by Adrian, fabulous eyebrows, long, fluttery lashes and odd-shaped hats to wear (see Mata Hari and Ninotchka) - what could possibly be getting you down?! Garbo always managed to come across as a deliriously sad individual whether it be on-screen or in photos (candid and posed). There may have actually been a reason for this: she was uprooted from her native Sweden when she was a teenager, deposited in America without knowing a single word of English, wasn't allowed to go home when her sister suddenly passed away and was essentially forced to work for a studio and bosses she didn't respect. Now, if that had been me, I would have become quite emo and depressed too. I'm not judging. -- whoa! This entry got all sad all of a sudden! Onwards!
Garbo as Hollywood Royalty: Basically, back in the late 1920s and all throughout the 1930s, Garbo pretty much ruled Hollywood. No one came close to matching her success. Every single movie she made was a guaranteed hit for her home studio MGM, right up until her final picture Two Faced Woman premiered in November 1941. This wasn't the greatest movie ever made, but it served as Garbo's farewell to virtually the entire world; she disappeared soon after and never set foot in front of another camera ever again. Well, actually, that's not entirely true. I believe she made a screen test for one more film after the completion of WWII, but nothing ever came of it.
Garbo's legend endures because she remained a mystery to us all to the very end. She never gave interviews and never attended any Hollywood events (with the exception of ONE film premiere early in her career). She basically wanted to be left alone to live her life in silence and solitude. She died on April 15, 1990 in New York.