The Temptress

The Temptress is a 1926 American silent romantic drama film directed by Fred Niblo and starring Greta Garbo, Antonio Moreno, Lionel Barrymore, and Roy D'Arcy. It premiered on October 10, 1926. The film melodrama was based on a novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez adapted for the screen by Dorothy Farnum.[1]

The Temptress
The Temptress poster.jpg
"She had added another to her list of victims"
Directed byFred Niblo
Produced byIrving Thalberg
Written byDorothy Farnum
Based onLa Tierra de Todos
by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
StarringGreta Garbo
Antonio Moreno
Lionel Barrymore
Music byMichael Picton
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Tony Gaudio
Edited byLloyd Nosler
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 10, 1926 (1926-10-10)
Running time
117 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Budget$669,000, estimated.


  • Greta Garbo as Elena, who uses her physical beauty to "tempt" and manipulate the opposite sex.
  • Antonio Moreno as Manuel Robledo, is an Argentine engineer on leave in Paris from a dam building project back home in Argentina.
  • Marc McDermott as Fontenoy, middle-aged banker who had an affair with Elena during a difficult period and eventually commits suicide in a highly melodramatic fashion by drinking poisoned wine in public.
  • Armand Kaliz as Marquis de Torre Bianca, a Frenchman and the husband of Elena, but also the close friend of Robledo.
  • Roy D'Arcy as Manos Duras, a local Argentine bandit who, like Robledo, falls for Elena when she arrives in Argentina.
  • Lionel Barrymore as Canterac
  • Robert Anderson as Pirovani
  • Francis McDonald as Timateo
  • Hector Sarno as Rojas
  • Virginia Brown Faire as Celinda
  • Steve Clemente as Salvadore (uncredited)
  • Roy Coulson as Trinidad (uncredited)
  • Louise Emmons as Newspaper Vendor (uncredited)
  • Inez Gomez as Sebastiana (uncredited)
  • Bob Kortman as Duras Henchman (uncredited)
  • Ethan Laidlaw as Caballero (uncredited)
  • Annabelle Magnus as Little Girl (uncredited)
  • Chrispin Martin as Argentine Ranch Hand (uncredited)
  • Louis Mercier as Newspaper Vendor (uncredited)
  • Alys Murrell as Josephine (uncredited)
  • Constantine Romanoff as Duras Henchman (uncredited)
  • Charles Stevens as Argentine Reveler (uncredited)
  • Mauritz Stiller as Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)


Mauritz Stiller was originally set to direct Greta Garbo's second film for MGM. However, after struggling working as a director within the Hollywood studio system, he was removed from directing and replaced by Fred Niblo.[2] The film's sets were designed by the art director James Basevi.

Despite its filming difficulties, The Temptress proved to be a success, showing early signs of Garbo’s career potential. Its worldwide gross was $965,000.

After Louis B. Mayer viewed the finished picture, he was so depressed at the ending, that he ordered an alternate, happier ending to be made. Theaters at the time had the option of which ending to show, depending on what they felt were the tastes of their audience.[3]


Mordaunt Hall said "In many respects this picture is a distinguished piece of work, wherein Fred Niblo, the director, keeps the audience on the qui vive. It is a photodrama in which the producers do not pander to popular appeal by portraying a happy ending."[4]

DVD releaseEdit

The film was released on DVD on September 6, 2005 by Warner Home Video as part of the Greta Garbo collection also featuring the film Flesh and the Devil on the same disc. The alternate ending was included as well.


  1. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The Temptress at
  2. ^ Balio, Tino (2018). MGM. New York City: Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-138-91364-6.
  3. ^ Commentary by Robert Osborne on Turner Classic Movies, March 5, 2012.
  4. ^ Hall, Mordaunt (October 11, 1926). "Another Ibanez Story. (Published 1926)". The New York Times.

External linksEdit