GARBO LAUGHS – OR NOT

Is nothing sacred? All these years I’ve enjoyed that scene in NINOTCHKA when Melvyn Douglas falls over in his chair in the cafe and Garbo lets rip with a roar of laughter.

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Now TCM are quoting Melvyn Douglas in his autobiography that Garbo ” was unable to articulate so much as a titter during the shooting of the restaurant scene.” Douglas said he was never certain if it really was her voice,or if it had been dubbed.

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Even the American Film Institute says the sounds of Garbo’s laugh was dubbed because the star “couldn’t summon up more than a sombre chuckle.”

Still, Billy Wilder and others involved in the film have said it was Garbo who laughed! I believe them!

There was an ABC special of NINOTCHKA on TV in 1960, with Maria Schell and Gig Young.

Cary Grant and William Powell were possibilities for playing the Melvyn Douglas part of ‘Leon’. Much as I love them, I thought Melvyn was great.

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