Hail the new Garbo! The white flame from Sweden has found her voice! Some of the strange mystery of the woman (you never visualize Garbo as saying words, and it is a breathless sort of shock when she speaks) is gone, but the new Garbo is a greater actress than the old. In her hands the neurotic O'Neill heroine becomes a rare, fascinating creature.
From the moment she enters the back room of the water front bar until she at last makes her compromise with happiness you watch and listen spellbound. Her accent, which is necessary to the characterization, is very slight.
Clarence Brown's direction is faultless. He has stuck to the original script, but has used the scope of the screen to its fullest extent. Pauline Lord played it on the stage, you remember, and Blanche Sweet did it in silent form.
There are no hot love scenes — only one kiss, in fact, and Anna's father is in the room then.
Charles Bickford is the Irish carrot-top. No more perfect type could have been found. Marie Dressier, as the drunken wharf habitue, does the best work of her career. George Marion, who played the father role on the stage, loses none of his greatness.
But it is the talking Garbo that will pack them in. Her characterization is one of the fine, classic gestures of the screen. All Talkie.
Photoplay March 1930
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