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Queen Christina Details


If Queen Christina is not the best of Greta Garbo's films (as many Garbo 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 Garbo and Gilbert -- 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 Garbo staring enigmatically past the camera, allowing the viewer to "fill in" her thoughts (director Rouben Mamoulian always claimed that he ordered Garbo to think about "absolutely nothing," but one wonders). While some of Garbo'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
Richard Alexander
as Peasant in Crowd
Sam Harris
as Nobleman
Wade Boteler
as Rabble Rouser
Georges Renavent
as French Ambassador
Edward Gargan
as Fellow Drinker
Edward Norris
as Count Jacob
Barbara Barondess
as Bits
Fred Kohler, Jr.
as Member of the Court
Paul Hurst
as Swedish Soldier
Cora Sue Collins
as Christina (younger)
Akim Tamiroff
as Pedro
Lawrence Grant
as Bits


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