A trivial story of two boyhood friends separated by a femme fatale becomes a thing of exquisite beauty when the woman is played by Greta Garbo, and the film is directed by Clarence Brown.
Garbo had been brought by MGM to the United States based on her film work in Sweden. She was cast as a temptress in three films in 1926, but it was Flesh and the Devil and her chemistry with co-star John Gilbert that ensured her status as a great Hollywood star. It was said that Garbo and Gilbert fell in love while making the film, and there is no denying their sensuous, erotic charge.
Garbo’s favorite director was Clarence Brown. With a great talent for the visual art of silent film, he also understood the power of Garbo’s seductive gaze and languid sexuality. Brown’s sure direction ensures that Garbo seduces us as easily as she seduces Gilbert.
Allow yourself to be captivated by her. Like any great lover, you will never forget your first time with Garbo.
With Dennis James at the mighty Wurlitzer organ.
Summary written by Cyndi Mortensen