Jaynes Your Way

Here are my thoughts about films, life, and what not. If you don't like them I'll give your money back.

#10 Must we live for the dead?

11 October, 2009

Queen Christina (1933)

In the midst of having four guest stay with us this weekend, I somehow managed to find time to watch the film Queen Christina (1933).

A Pre-code film and not too far removed from the first sound film, Queen Christina is surprisingly technical, at least with camera movement and tracking shots. Pretty standard plot by today's standards, but something original in its day. Queen Christina takes the thrown at a very young age (man is she is a cute kid), but grows up to be a thinking ladies Queen, which doesn't sit too well with her Swedish Subjects. I don't know much about Swedes, but I imagine they don't like enlightened women, and are more than likely grumpy from living in such a frozen country.

Anyways, Christina has an ambiguous sexual appearance. . . read she didn't have long flowing hair and sometimes wears pants. Scandalous at the time. Anyways I won't give away a lot of the plot because it is an enjoyable narrative, though get ready to be kicked in the end. Bah.

Christina is confused for a male by the ambassador from Spain. Of course he falls in love with her when her true sexuality is discovers, but he still doesn't know that she is the Queen. The Queen he is sent to with a proposal from the King of Spain. See the problem.

Despite the great narrative flow, the real draw to this film is Gretta Garbo whose commanding performance is shown through her command of the peasants. I do believe she could stop a mob with her cold gaze. I wouldn't want to cross her. The script and the sharp writing makes me sad for the lost art of witty banter. There is an actual sword fight in the film, but words do most of the fighting.

Ultimately the film is about Happiness. Christina is in search of a happiness she has never know, though as Royalty she has always had whatever she wants. What are you willing to give up to be happy?

(Getting back into the swing of things. More to follow)


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