Queen Christina

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,157
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Movie Info

Greta Garbo stars as the title character, a 17th-century Swedish monarch whose life is chronicled from her rise to the throne, to the moment she gave it up for the love of a Spanish ambassador.

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Greta Garbo
as Queen Christina
Lewis Stone
as Chancellor Oxenstierna
Ian Keith
as Magnus
Elizabeth Young
as Ebba Sparre
Elisabeth Young
as Countess Ebba
Reginald Owen
as Prince Charles
Georges Renavent
as French Ambassador
David Torrence
as Archbishop
Cora Sue Collins
as Christina as a Child
Edward Norris
as Count Jacob
Paul Hurst
as Swedish Soldier
Edward Gargan
as Fellow Drinker
Wade Boteler
as Rabble Rouser
Fred Kohler Jr.
as Member of the Court
Richard Alexander
as Peasant in Crowd
Sam Harris
as Nobleman
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Critic Reviews for Queen Christina

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3)

Audience Reviews for Queen Christina

  • Oct 15, 2018
    This film has it all for me - star power, a romantic story, sexual innuendo, humor, and social/political commentary. Greta Garbo is fantastic in the title role, and I loved the strength and humanism of her character. Early on, over her advisor's objections, she makes it clear that she intends to pursue a course of peace instead of war, and that she owns the decisions of state. What a fantastic exchange this is: Archbishop: This is not a normal war for treasure or conquest. It is for our faith and for our God! Christina: God is being invoked in many lands, these days, your grace. What about the enemy's God? Archbishop: When the enemy invokes God - that is blasphemy, your majesty! Christina: I wish I had your confidence, Archbishop. The Queen also owns her sexuality, clearly carrying on affairs with both men and women, wearing pants, and pretending to be a young man at times. When she meets a Spanish envoy (John Gilbert) as a 'man' but then ends up sharing a room at a crowded inn with him, the romantic tension is palpable, as is the passion which ensues. When Garbo walks around the room they've spent days making love in, committing all of its aspects to memory, because "In the future, in my memory, I shall live a great deal in this room," it's wonderfully touching. Later she'll tug at the heartstrings by saying "What do I want? What? I want back that room in the inn... the snow that fell... the warm fire and the sweet hours... beloved one." At the same time, this character isn't one dimensional or one who just melts away after finding love. She's wise in many ways - about the world, 17th century arts and culture, and about people. She's brave and stands up calmly to the mob. She knows first and foremost that one must have self-determination, saying "One must live for one's self. After all, Chancellor, one's own life is all one has." This film is a perfect vehicle for Garbo, and she's brilliant. John Gilbert was in personal decline when the film was made, and this would be the second to last of his prolific career, but you couldn't tell it from the performance he gives. He's engaging with Garbo, and dashing in a sword fight he has late in the movie. I love the touches of pre-code banter in the script, such as the following, with a young woman the innkeeper has sent up to the room of what he thinks are two gentlemen "in case they need anything": Antonio: You are very pretty, Elsa. Are you also good? Elsa: When I do not like a man, yes. Christina: That's a true virtue. Antonio: The basis of all morality in a sentence. Director Rouben Mamoulian has directed some of my favorite pre-code films, and really brought out the strength and charms of his leading ladies doing it: The Song of Songs (1933, Marlene Dietrich), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931, Miriam Hopkins), and Queen Christina (1933, Greta Garbo). He puts together a complete package and knows how to tell a story. He also captures some wonderful shots, such as Garbo looking out the window at all of Sweden's "eternal snow", and later wandering her palace and sitting on her throne late at night, in shadows. There is an epic feeling to Garbo and Gilbert's forbidden love, the decisions she must make, and the ending to the film, which is stirring. Highly recommended.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2012
    Very entertaining film from Garbo. I loved the way it was played out.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 25, 2009
    I am not a fan. There's a kind of simplicity to old movies you never get in modern times anymore, and sometimes it's a downfall. It was like The Scarlet Empress without all the good parts - the psychotics, the innuendo, the lavish visuals. Basically, it's Greta Garbo parading around in men's clothing looking strong and slightly lesbian. I only like Greta Garbo when she's glamourous, sorry.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2009
    Entertaining fiction of the life of Swenden's queen. The last shoot is truly amazing.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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