The Divine Woman (ebook)

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THE DIVINE WOMAN by Gladys Unger, edited by Philip J. Riley

The Divine Woman (1928), which was produced and released by MGM and starred Greta Garbo and Lars Hanson, is considered a “lost film.” Only a 9-minute sequence and a 45-second excerpt are known to exist after other footage was accidentally destroyed in a fire.

Adapted from the 1925 play, Starlight by Gladys Unger, which starred Doris Keane in a plot that was loosely based on stories of the early life of French actress Sarah Bernhardt, The Divine Woman follows Marianne (Greta Garbo), a poor French girl, who goes to Paris in the 1860s to seek her fortune as an actress. As she rises to success in the theatre, she must choose between the romantic attentions of two men, Lucien (Lars Hanson)—a passionate young army deserter that goes to jail after stealing a dress for her—and Henry Legrand (Lowell Sherman), a Paris producer that offers her fame and fortune.

This novelette version, written by Gladys Unger and based on the shooting script by Dorothy Farnum, gives us a glimpse into what Greta Garbo's lost film might have been like.