173. Camille (1936)

I had a vague recollection of seeing this film about 20 years ago, but I couldn’t remember much of the plot, even as I was watching. Maybe it wasn’t that memorable after all.

Camille, played by Greta Garbo, is a courtesan in Victorian Paris. She is financially supported by a baron, but doesn’t love him, whereas she falls for a young man, Armand. When Armand’s father warns Camille off, stating that her profession will bring him shame, she dutifully gives up on her true love.

I am not sure what I thought was going to happen, but it was predictable, melodramatic and boring. I presumed, like fellow Academy Award winner from the 1930’s, It Happened One Night, that this would be a timeless film – I was wrong. It had aged badly, and with the exception of Garbo and Lionel Barrymore, the characters were flimsy or poorly acted. It isn’t the film it might have been judged to be eighty years ago, I’m afraid.


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