THE SINGLE STANDARD
Starring Greta Garbo, Nils Asther and John Mack Brown
July 31, 1929
What some girls do today, and a lot more would like to, Greta Garbo does in "The Single Standard." Thus a big pull-in is guaranteed any box office that pushes his Metro silent. This, with all of the quickie maeriala nd rough story edges, as well as a much too blasé Miss Garbo, the thinking buyers will discover shortly after the production gets underway.
But the thousands of typing girlies and purple-suited office
boys will find this made to their order. Titles attempting a sophisticated
explanation of the psychology causing a young girl to suddenly
seek an affair with the family chauffeur, and, after that, dividing
her time between two other men, may please some of the adults.
Although the lettering in the film would set forth Miss Garbo, as Arden Stuart, throwing of the cloak of conventionalism for free plunges claimed so common in sport her and on the Continent, the actress is almost unfeline in her brazen directness. While censors probably expect to leap on this point, when the pictures gets to them, they will find no show, except a veiled peep at Arden's garters. The star keeps well wrapped throughout and her intimate posture are so frequent and so matter of fact after the first dozen times that only once, when expectation is aroused with the initial fall, do they come anywhere near getting an actual kick.
Nils Asther, with his black hair and John-like mustache, while doing a good job, does no lend the sailor-artist-boxer role the Gilbertine touch.
The sequences in several in stances are tied together choppily. The impulsive rush to the chauffeur, after watching some friendly husbands kiss away their affinities, hits as too quick a stepping out of character and too sudden a drop for a moral aspect that had been fairly high.
The chauffeur deliberately wrecking his boss' car and killing himself immediately after the conquest, is an illogically sincere interpretation by a man, so capable of being seduced, to make of the simple losing of his job.
Greta s sub-titled as letting a couple of months elapse after the tragedy before she is impelled to seek another victim. This time it is the over-gifted Packy Cannon, a regular village with a Rockefeller fountain of dough, judging from the sets used for his studio, yacht, etc. Asther is Packy.
A few book titles on activitiesin love are flashed before the first Asther-Garbo clinch. This I followed by a regular film trip through the South Seas with plenty of stretching an necking.
Finally, even Packy tires. This permits Miss Garbo and the picture to go in for matrimony with a mild but virile man who gives her the son that kills off moral turpitude.
Before the reformation, Packy wearied of a China locale, returns for Arden. With her child on the beach and hubby nearby, she immediately forgets obligations and plans for another expedition. The husband (J.M. Brown) knows all and decides to bump himself off. But the sleeping child provides the medicine and Packy shoves off alone.
For more information, see "The Single Standard" as our "Feature of the Month"
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