The Tennessee Theatre is helping revive the 1920s silent movie golden era by showing some of director Clarence Brown’s best accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer; this Sunday, March 13, they’ll feature 1927’s Flesh and the Devil. Some noteworthy numbers on the movie and its female lead, Greta Garbo:
• The film was 22-year-old Swedish actor Garbo’s breakout role, co-starring blockbuster leading man of the day John Gilbert. Their “blistering chemistry” reflected a real-life affair.
• After the film, Garbo demanded (and an unemployed year later received) a raise from MGM, from $600 to $5,000 per week.
• Garbo was the last of MGM’s silent stars to speak on screen, in a Brown-directed version of Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie in 1930. Eleven years later she left film stardom to maintain a notoriously private lifestyle from 1941 until her death in 1990.
• In 2006, Flesh and the Devil was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, which estimates that 50 percent of films produced before 1950 have disappeared forever. The 2010 selections bring the number of films in the registry to 550.
Source: Turner Classic Movies website and Library of Congress