26 April 2004 | theowinthrop
His Career Collapse
I have never seen this film, except on a series about Hollywood in the Silent Film period made in the 1980s (James Mason narrated). In an episode about Gilbert and Garbo, and how the sound revolution did not hurt her (it enhanced her sexual allure and mystery) while it smashed his career. Supposedly the verile Gilbert sounded squeaky, and the clearest example of this was this film, where Gilbert was forced to recite lousy dialogue. The snippet of film had him declaring over and over again "Darling, I love you! I love your!" It would have been more lethal than an iceberg in sinking Gilbert.
Still, I would be curious to see the film (if they ever show it again). The script is based on a play by Ferenc Molnar, Hungary's greatest playwrite (his best known plays are THE PLAY'S THE THING, and LILLIOM - the original drama that the musical CAROUSEL is based on), so while it may have been below par it still might be worth listening to (outside of poor Gilbert's dialogue). Later films of the sound period, like QUEEN CHRISTINA and THE CAPTAIN HATES THE SEA suggest that Gilbert's voice was sufficiently masculine for his career to have survived had his films been chosen more carefully. But the public only remembered "Darling, I love you! I love you!" Very regretable.