This chapter explores the phenomenon of Garbo's laughter and why it was touted as so remarkable an event in the annals of film. Its praise as a historic occasion was a savvy promotional gimmick that predated the making of Ninotchka, the 1939 film that it was publicizing. It explores the historic significance of Garbo's face, as director Ernst Lubitsch contemplates with great delicacy in Ninotchka. The chapter also studies and analyzes her unique relation to language, her unsteady command of the idioms of everyday life, that betray her anti-modernity. Furthermore, it looks at the manners through which Garbo was hailed as the spiritual vessel in which Hollywood of the 1930s decanted its highest ideals of womanhood. Her incarnation as Ninotchka, for example, represents an instructive example of how America implicated the sexual fate of women in its own historical triumphalism. Thus, the chapter explores the character and roles that Garbo would take and how they influenced America.
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