Since the exception is said to prove the rule, an adverse criticism should lend the proper tone to the bursts of applause which have greeted Greta Garbo's latest picture, "Queen Christina." But even with this assurance it is with some qualms that we have to say that this historical masterpiece is only an ordinary film.
In short, Miss Garbo is not convincing as the young Swedish queen who comes to the throne after her illustrious father has nearly succeeded in making the Baltic a Swedish lake. While the conception of Queen Greta is a pleasant one, that of Queen Christina should not be neglected. Admittedly, assigning her to a role in which she had to give up a kingdom for love was unfair; her unusual technique was sufficient. But to place John Gilbert as the lover was suicidal. It results in a rather good, and ocassionally amusing. Garbo-Gilbert perpourri but as an interpretation of Swedish history, "Queen Christina" leaves much to be desired.
Introspective longings has another chance to come to the surface in the other picture. "Coming Out" Party. This time it is Miss Barbara Leslie New York Junior Leaguer and former debutaute who has aided Hollywood in portraying the kind of party she has always wanted. Since it does not attempt too much, it succeeds in accomplishing its purpose.
Only eight hundred of the asked to the $50,000 Stanhope held in their home so it will intimate touch. Crowds fill the streets, door-checkers and bouncers abound for the purpose of keeping it exclusive; orchids and orchestras line the balcony; and the debutante and her parents, arrayed by Mr. Patou, greet some dismal but socially presentable friends. Beneath all this gay exterior a tragedy is taking place. The young musician, not realizing what he has done to the debutante, leaves her to marry the socialite, Jimmy Weaver, the third. Quite a noble conception.
Frances Dee, in the role of the debutante, is attractive but the contortions which she must undergo at her own party to express her emotional ailments would usually leave the stag line undiminished. Gene Raymond is the musician whose love given Mrs. Stanhope's little machine something worthwhile. The there is Alison Skipworth, who performs creditably as the social secretary dictator with the inevitable lists