21 thoughts on “TBT: Camille (1936)

  1. I seem to have a memory of Olympe having a REALLY bizarre ballgown embellished with birds in flight and actual birds’ nests with eggs, but as that didn’t rate a mention, I’m wondering if I am remembering another film altogether?

  2. Well, now you’re going to have to cover Zefirelli’s LA Traviata. Same story, different names for the characters, and Verdi’s magnificent music.

    1. Camille was also remade in the 70s, and I’m curious to see how well it handled the story. I’m kind of hoping for a 70s train wreck worthy of Snark Week, but sometimes those 70s films actually stand up to the test of time. ;)

      1. The French used to laugh at the movie’s title, since Camille is a man’s name and many Americans thought it was the name of the female lead.Of course, the title was a distortion of the original French title : La dame auxcamellias.

          1. Something else not mentioned in the film… She is called la dame aux camelias because she wears a white camellia when she’s available for sex, and a red one when she’s menstruating.

  3. So I’ve never seen this, but to me it will always be the movie they go to the theater to see in Annie! –Kendra, former Annie nerd

  4. You could dress Garbo in a gunny sack and she would be gorgeous. I prefer her in Queen Christina, especially in drag, but these gowns are amazing. And the men aren’t exactly ugly either. Nice to know that Adrian had a clue about historical clothing, since I wasn’t really sure about that.

  5. I’ve always been a fan of the 1936 movie, “Camille”. However . . . the vision of Greta Garbo in costumes between the 1830s and 1860s never seemed to work for me. She doesn’t seemed to have the build for that particular. I don’t know. On the other hand, I was very impressed by the men’s costumes, especially those for Robert Taylor.

  6. For some odd reason, the only costume in which Garbo strikes me as looking sufficiently frail and vulnerable is the velvet ensemble–does anyone else think that as well? And yes, I already knew about the white/red camellias, which I think was rather clever, particularly since menstruation was at different times referred to as “the flowers”.

    1. Also, Marie Duplessis, on whom Marguerite was based, made it clear to her suitors that she despised roses; hence the camellias. Duplessis was also famous for saying lying made her teeth white.

  7. I remember watching a video of the incomparable Maria Callas singing Marguerite in La Traviatta, she conveyed in her voice and appearance Marguerite’s delicacy. Her version of Addio del passato is breathtakingly moving. It brought tears to my eyes.
    Garbo was beautifully dressed, photographed and lit, but not as frail. Maybe the makeup artist is to blame. But why I liked it, it was the first time I saw Camille and was impressed by Marguerite’s innate kindness and inner beauty.

    1. Except that in Traviata, she’s Violetta, not Marguerite. In the Zeffirelli film, Teresa Stratas perfectly acts, sings, and looks the part.

  8. There was a British version made in the late 70s/early 80s staring Kate Nelligan and Peter Firth which I watched before leaving home. I do have a copy of it but haven’t got around to rewatching so I can’t comment upon the costumes.

  9. There is also a 1984 version with Greta Scacchi and Colin Firth. But Ms. Scacchi looked not only healthy, but tanned in that film.

    For some odd reason, the only costume in which Garbo strikes me as looking sufficiently frail and vulnerable is the velvet ensemble–does anyone else think that as well?

    Yeah, I have to agree with you.

  10. Yes, cover Zeffirelli’s La Traviata please please please!?! Also, completely unrelated but would you consider covering Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

  11. I just recently watched “Camille”. I’m not a big fan of the costumes in this film – at least for the women. They seemed too exaggerated for my tastes. But I think the film itself is first-rate. It’s a beautiful story in one way, but ugly in another. And rather depressing. But in my view, I think it’s first-rate . . . even after 82 years.

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