MGM, 1926. Directed by
Monta Bell. Camera: William Daniels. With
Gertrude Olmsted, Edward Connelly, Lucien Littlefield, Martha Mattox, Lucy
Beaumont, Tully Marshall, Mack Swain, Arthur Edmund Carew, Lillian Leighton,
Leonora Moreno and Rafael Brull have grown up together in the same
Spanish village. Although they are in love, he is from an
aristocratic family and dominated by his mother. His mother
talks over the matter with Leonora's mother and they decide to break
up the two lovers. Leonora is sent to Paris, while Rafael
becomes engaged to Remedios, his mother's choice.
Leonora becomes a famous prima donna and returns to visit her home.
She and Rafael meet again and their love is rekindled. His
mother separates them again, and he marries Remedios.
Years later, they meet and part. She is still beautiful but he
has become middle-aged. He returns to his wife and family,
while Leonora goes on with her career.
This was Garbo's fourth film and her first in Hollywood. MGM
was to make all her future vehicles. Photographer William
Daniels was to be assigned to work on almost all her movies.
Ricardo Cortez's only role opposite Garbo.
What the critics said about The Torrent:
New York Herald Tribune (Richard Watts, Jr.)
She seems an excellent and attractive actress with a surprising
propensity for looking like Carol Dempster,
Norma Talmadge, ZaSu Pitts, and
Gloria Swanson in turn. That does not mean she lacks a
manner of her own, however.
Motion Picture (Laurence Reid)
Probably the most important feature of the film is the latest Greta
from Sweden. This is the
Greta Garbo, a pretty, wistful, and intensely feminine young
person, who suggests a composite picture of a dozen of our
best-known stars. Making her debut in the film, she registers
a complete success. She is not so much an actress as she is
endowed with individuality and magnetism.
animation, abandon and all of the other adjectives usually employed
to describe a very colorful figure and personality to match.
Moreover Greta has a delightfully youthful figure and a face that is
strangely attractive, though not at all beautiful. As the
prima donna life gave to and took from as it chose, Miss Garbo, if
one can judge by an audience's response, made a very impressive
cinema debut in America.
In the simplest diction possible, we wish to say that among the
many who have been hailed as the "finds" of the year,
Greta Garbo stands head of the line, in our opinion. She
possesses that which has heretofore only been laid at the door of
Greta Garbo, making her American debut as a screen star, might
just as well be hailed right here as the find of the year.
This girl has everything, with looks, acting ability, and
personality. When one is a Scandinavian and can put over a
Latin characterization with sufficient power to make it most
convincing, need there be any more said regarding her ability?
She makes Torrent worth while...There are other "names" in the cast,
and, although veterans, they could not overshadow
Greta Garbo. Hail this girl,
for she'll get over.
The Films of Greta Garbo
by Michael Conway, Dion McGregor,
and Mark Ricci,
Bonanza Books, NY
Additional photos courtesy of Gary