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Queen Christina Details


If Queen Christina is not the best of [[Performer~P25821~Greta Garbo~gretagarbo]]'s films (as many [[Performer~P25821~Garbo~gretagarbo]] fanatics insist), it is certainly the most luxuriously romantic of her talkie features. The star is cast as 17th-century Swedish queen Christina, who feels that she can best function in a male-dominated world by adopting men's clothes and attitudes (this cross-dressing element adds a subliminally gay subtext which curiously makes the subsequent events all the more poignant). Fiercely devoted to her country and the welfare of her people, Christina has long since abandoned all thoughts of pursuing any kind of a romance -- but changes her mind when she meets and falls in love with Spanish envoy Antonio (John Gilbert). After an idyllic night together, Christina and Antonio are compelled to part, but the Queen vows then and there to relinquish her throne in favor of marriage to the envoy. Alas, the complex political machinations between their two countries permanently separate the two lovers, leaving Christina more alone in the world than ever. The chemistry between [[Performer~P25821~Garbo~gretagarbo]] and [[Performer~P26836~Gilbert~johngilbert]] -- who as the whole world knew in 1933 had once been real-life lovers -- is positively mesmerizing, especially in the classic scene wherein Christina, after consummating their passion, walks dreamily around their room, touching and memorizing every detail (so persuasive is her pantomime in this scene that her last-minute explanation as to what she is doing is not only unnecessary, but downright jarring). Equally unforgettable is the final shot of [[Performer~P25821~Garbo~gretagarbo]] staring enigmatically past the camera, allowing the viewer to "fill in" her thoughts (director [[Performer~P100959~Rouben Mamoulian~roubenmamoulian]] always claimed that he ordered [[Performer~P25821~Garbo~gretagarbo]] to think about "absolutely nothing," but one wonders). While some of [[Performer~P25821~Garbo~gretagarbo]]'s earliest talkies tend to creak a bit, Queen Christina is as fascinating today as it was nearly seven decades ago, and will undoubtedly continue to remain just as fascinating for the next seven decades. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:December 26, 1933


Greta Garbo
as Queen Christina
John Gilbert
as Don Antonio de la Prada
Ian Keith
as Count Magnus
Lewis Stone
as Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna
Elisabeth Young
as Countess Ebba
C. Aubrey Smith
as Aage
Reginald Owen
as Prince Charles
David Torrence
as Archbishop
Gustav von Seyffertitz
as General
Ferdinand Munier
as Innkeeper
Cora Sue Collins
as Christina (younger)
Georges Renavent
as French Ambassador
Fred Kohler, Jr.
as Member of the Court
Edward Norris
as Count Jacob
Lawrence Grant
as Bits
Wade Boteler
as Rabble Rouser
Sam Harris
as Nobleman
Akim Tamiroff
as Pedro
Paul Hurst
as Swedish Soldier
Barbara Barondess
as Bits
Richard Alexander
as Peasant in Crowd
Edward Gargan
as Fellow Drinker


Rouben Mamoulian
Walter Wanger
Salka Viertel
S.N. Behrmann
William H. Daniels
Herbert Stothart
Composer (Music Score)
Herbert Stothart
Musical Direction/Supervision
Blanche Sewell
Edwin B. Willis
Art Director
Alexander Toluboff
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Set Designer
Costume Designer
Douglas Shearer
Sound/Sound Designer