A romantic problem play interestingly played by the fascinating Greta Garbo, treated in a manner of high drama. The original [play by Luigi Pirandello] hasn’t been broadly hoked in the manner that Metro has so often followed.
Story has to do with an Italian countess, victim of the Austrian invasion and violence from drunken soldiers and driven into a mental fog which has blotted out her past. She is recognized 10 years later in her wanderings as a music-hall singer by the painter who had done her portrait as a bride, and by him brought back to her grief-stricken husband.
But she cannot recall the past and is never entirely received by the people of her former life, with the exception of the portrait painter, who sees with the eyes of faith.
Garbo’s performance is always absorbing, vivid in its acting and compelling in appeal. Melvyn Douglas is a rather lukewarm actor in a stencil husband role, impeccably played but unexciting. Owen Moore grabs the acting honors among the men with his jaunty handling of a minor part, while Erich von Stroheim fails signally to make himself the man you love to hate by revealing an accent of blended Yorkville and Ninth Avenue.