Average review score based on 3 user reviews
The five year old heir to the Swedish throne, Christina, ascends after her father dies. Since the King had no son, he raised Christina 'as a boy'.
When she is crowned Sweden's Queen, the child is already quite confident & has obviously been well prepared by her father to lead their homeland. As Queen Christina matures into a woman, we see Greta Garbo cross-dressing as a man. Garbo delivers such a magnificent performance that a viewer hardly notices what she's wearing. After all, this Queen is surrounded by men who lust after both her power & her body. By dressing as a young King would, she's making it clear that she's neither a typical woman nor interested in using her beauty as a political advantage.
Because the Swedish court wants to insure there is an heir to her throne, Queen Christina is repeatedly urged to marry & produce such an heir. Remember this was in the 17th century, long before there were circulated pictures or any form of mass media. So, the public didn't know what Queen Christina looked like. That's where both the fun & the political trouble starts.
On one of her horse-riding ventures (not side saddle, either!), Queen Christina comes across a royal's carriage that has become stuck in the mud & rain. Though none of the carriage's inhabitants know it, Sweden's Queen orchestrates the effort to free the carriage. The owner of it is actually on his way to her palace, as the King of Spain's emissary (John Gilbert--Garbo's actual love interest). He too presumes she's a man. They decide to go to the nearest Inn to get out of the storm.
As it turns out, only one room is available, so the innkeeper unwittingly convinces the King of Spain's emissary & the Queen of Sweden to share a bed, presuming they are 2 men. The Queen reveals she's a woman once they undress to sleep. They don't emerge from bed for days....
They part pretending to be gentlemen. However, very shortly thereafter, the King's emissary arrives to bring his King's proposal of marriage to the Queen. Christina puts on the most regal feminine dress in order to look divine for the man with whom she is clearly already in love.
When the King's emissary arrives & sees her seated crowned on the throne of Sweden, he's aghast & speechless. Christina takes charge of the public scene & can't wait to get the shocked emissary in private, alone.
Betrayers in her court deliberately create a public rebellion against the Queen of Sweden marrying the King of Spain. Citizens come to her palace to storm it. But, much to everyone's surprise, the Queen views the palace as the public's & orders it to be opened to the mob without any armed guards. She alone will stand before her peers.
I won't spoil the film by saying what occurs. Nor will I reveal what transpires between Sweden's Queen & Spain's King's emissary. Garbo & Gilbert were silent film sensations together. They're even better together in this terrific talkie.
There is no frame of this film that isn't a must view & own. Watch Garbo deliver her command performance to the very last frame. Afterwards, it's so clear why Garbo is still & as long as this film exists, always will be, truly great~
Movie was very dated ,very slow paced.It was interesting to see a very young Greta Garbo in action.I love old movies and have not seen many Garbo films.
Great, the whole family loves it. It is a great historical-romantic classic movie. Greta Garbo is great in this movie (an Oscar Winning Performance!)