The Torrent (1926)
Description: The Vincent Blasco-Ibanez novel Entre Naranjos served as the inspiration for Greta Garbo's first American film, The Torrent. Garbo plays Leonora, a full-bodied Spanish peasant girl who falls in love with her landlord's son Don Rafael Bull (Ricardo Cortez). To prevent his son from marrying beneath his station, Don Rafael's father banishes Leonora from his property. She relocates in Paris, where she achieves fame and fortune as an opera singer, while back at home Don Rafael becomes a prominent politician. When Leonora returns home, she spurns his offers of marriage, even during a raging flood in which her life is in Don Rafael's hands. After this spectacular sequence, the film's surprisingly unhappy ending seems anticlimactic. Garbo's lover-mentor Mauritz Stiller had originally been slated to direct The Torrent, but at the last minute MGM opted for house director Monta Bell. Whether or not Stiller could have compensated for the script's more ludicrous passages is open to conjecture: Suffice to say that, without Garbo's presence, The Torrent would have been just so much Spanish applesauce.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
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