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A Man's Man

(USA 1929)



The film was a romantic drama starring William Haines and Josephine Dunn. It included a short sequenz of Garbo, Gilbert and director Fred Niblo at a film premiere. It is really a "Garbo" film but still many biographers and film historicans did not include it into Garbo's Filmography. The sequence included in this movie was rumored to be News-reel footage, filmed from the Flesh and the Devil movie premiere.

Garbo’s grand – nephew Scott Reisfield also believed (along with Robert Dance, Garbo: Portraits from her private collection,  2005)  the ‘News – reel footage’) believed the news-real version. But Garbo writer Mark A. Vieira wrote something else (Greta Garbo: A cinematic Legacy, 2005).

In August 2014 we talked again with Mr Vieira and he told us that the premiere scene in this movie was specifically filmed for the movie. It is not newsreel footage. The movie is lost. That's why this misinformation persists for over 85 years.

This comedy had the timely plot element of a girl (Josephine Dunn) who is obsessed with none other than Greta Garbo. She realizes her big ambition when she shakes hands with Garbo at a movie premiere.



Bancando o Trouxa (BrazilL)
Un Homme (France)
Um Homem (Portugal)
Un hombre (Venezuela)



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
MGM Production 388






Directed by James Cruze.
Produced by Harry Rapf (uncredited).
Story adapted by Forrest Halsey, based on the play by Patrick Kearney.
Titles by Joe Farnham.
Photographed by Merritt B. Gerstad.
Art Direction by Cedric Gibbons.
Edited by George Hively.
Wardrobe by David Cox.



80 minutes



William Haines – Mell
Josephine Dunn - Peggy
John Gilbert - himself
Greta Garbo - herself
Fred Niblo - himself



Herself as Greta Garbo






The story revolves around a young woman who imagines that she looks like Greta Garbo, and the man who fights to protect her from predators.

Gilbert and H. E. Edington had been in discussion with both Joseph and Nicholas Schenck, representing United Artists and Loew's Inc. respectively, regarding a new multimillion-dollar contract. A group of fans waits outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre for a glimpse of Garbo and Gilbert. A movie premiere is in progress. The crowd goes wild when the couple finally arrives in a limousine together. “And here comes Greta Garbo ... with John Gilbert!” Fred Niblo announces to radio listeners.

Niblo greets the couple and brings Garbo up to the microphone. “Hello, everybody!” her title card reads. “I'm very happy to speak to my friends of radioland –” Peggy, the naïve heroine played by Josephine Dunn, is ecstatic; she is so close to Garbo she can almost touch her. The would-be actress sneaks under the ropes separating the crowd and approaches John Gilbert. When Greta walks back to Jack, Peggy extends her hand and Garbo takes it. The fans surge forward.

Later on, Peggy tells her boyfriend (William Haines), “This has been the most perfect day of my life. Because I met Greta Garbo and John Gilbert.” Earlier treatments of the story had always put Gilbert's name first; the fans had come to see him and Greta Garbo was a bonus.



Premiere Date: May 25, 1929 (Capitol Theatre in New York)
October 6, 1930 (Finland)
April 20, 1931 (Portugal)



  This Film is believed to be “lost”.

  A short sequenz of Garbo ,Gilbert and director Fred Niblo at a film premiere.

  Greta had only a cameo.

 Garbo had quipped one day on the set of A Woman of Affairs.

 Filmed in October 1928.

 The sound discs (containing a musical score and sound effects, but no dialog) to this film exist, and are held at the UCLA Film
    and Television Archive in Los Angeles (USA).


Archieve footage or not?
For decades it is not clear if A Man's man can be count as a "Garbo" film or not. Many think it is not clear if their cameo was filmed especially for the film or if the producers used ‘News-reel footage’ which was taken in 1927 from the premiere of Flesh and the Devil premiere Garbo and Gilbert attended. 

Version one by Mark A. Vieira (Garbo: A Cinematic Legacy, 2005)
In October 1928, Greta Garbo and John Gilbert made cameo appearances in the M-G-M comedy. Their scene, arriving together at a movie premiere, was a studio in-joke. They spent one day filming cameo appearances and Garbo had quipped one day on the set of A Woman of Affairs to film this sequenze.

Version two by Scott Reisfield and Robert Dance (Greta Garbo: Portraits from her private Collection, 2005:
The sequence included was a movie premiere, with MGM co-opting newsreel footage taken in 1927 from the premiere of Flesh and the Devil. Two years later the film stock was used in A Man’s Man, giving audiences another peek at the elusive star.

Additionally, MGM rifled the photo morgue for an old smiling two-shot of the famous couple at the same premiere and included it with the publicity for A Man’s Man.





Not Available.

Greta Garbo: A Cinematic Legacy – by Mark A. Vieira
(Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York 2005).
This is the best and most accurate book
about Garbo's-Films.



Karen Swenson – A life Apart
Barry Paris – Garbo
IMDB – International Movie Database
plus many other books, magazines and internet sites.
Garbo Talks - The Film
Garbo related Films and Documentaries - Introduction  
Film - Introduction  


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