George Cukor directs this famous play [by Alexandre Dumas] with rare skill. Interior settings, costumes and exteriors are lavish and beautiful. The film shows the great care which went into its preparation and making.
Robert Taylor plays with surprising assurance and ease. He never seems to be striving for a point. He speaks with a moderately modulated voice, never hurriedly, and in all the familiar Armand scenes, such as the first meeting, the parting from his mistress, the accusation in the gambling hall and, finally, the death chamber sequence, Taylor holds up his end of the story with distinction.
Garbo’s impersonation of Marguerite Gautier is one of her best portraits. She wears striking clothes, white usually, and while she looks older than the ardent young Armand, the disparity does not mitigate against the illusion.
The two principals play the love scenes for full worth. There is much talk of their affection for each other, but Cukor, with wisdom, shows a minimum of embrace footage.
Of the support players, Henry Daniell, as Baron de Varville, turns in a performance of unusual interest. He is the menace in the background, the lover whom Camille deserts for Armand and the one to whom she returns. Daniell is suave and properly elegant without being too obvious.
1937: Nomination: Best Actress (Greta Garbo)