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Two-Faced Woman (MGM 1941, Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas)

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In Greta Garbo’s last film appearance, she strains to duplicate her success as a comedienne in Ninotchka (1939), but this light romance has its winning moments. Garbo meets Melvyn Douglas when she gives him skiing lessons, and they quickly marry. When she hears about his beautiful, brainy playwright girlfriend (Constance Bennett) back in New York, she tests his affection by posing as her own, vampier, twin sister. Douglas immediately gets the idea and plays along, and Garbo exits in a huff, but her amused husband retrieves her from the slopes. Additional scenes were added to Cukor’s film when the Catholic Legion of Decency objected to the original premise that Douglas fell for Garbo’s trick and pursued her, believing Garbo was really her sister.

The Legion of Decency condemned Two-Faced Woman for its ‘un-Christian attitude toward marriage, suggestive scenes, dialogues and costumes.’ A revised version by director George Cukor subsequently removed the film from the condemned list.

production details
USA | MGM | 90 minutes | 1941
Director: George Cukor
Script: George Oppenheimer, S.N. Behrman, Ludwig Fulda, Salka Viertel,

cast
Robert Sterling as Dick ‘Dickie’ Williams
Melvyn Douglas as Lawrence ‘Larry’ Blake
Ruth Gordon as Miss Ruth Ellis, Larry’s Secretary
Greta Garbo as Karin Borg Blake
Constance Bennett as Griselda Vaughn
Roland Young as Oscar ‘O. O.’ Miller
Frances Carson as Miss Dunbar
Gloria DeHaven as Debutante in Ladies’ Room (uncredited)