US 109m, B&W, Silent
Director: Clarence Brown; Cast: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lars Hanson, Barbara Kent
Flesh and the Devil is a romantic tragedy about the lifelong friendship of two German soldiers and the woman who comes between them. After serving the Army for three years in Africa, Leo comes home to find that his best friend Ulrich has married the woman he loves and who he has killed for. Despite her marriage, Garbo’s character Felicitas encourages Leo’s romantic desires which lead to a tumultuous conclusion that unexpectedly sees friendship triumph over love. Although beautifully lit and shot, the film is most widely known for Garbo and Gilbert’s romantic affair, which was one of Hollywood’s most famous romances and which helped establish Garbo as a leading female figure in film (Klaus Ming July 2012).