The Single Standard

The Single Standard

Greta Garbo
Director: John S. Robertson Cast: Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
, Nils Asther
Nils Asther
, Johnny Mack Brown
Johnny Mack Brown
John S. Robertson

DVD (B&W / Full Frame)


Worried that Greta Garbo's rich, deep voice and thick Swedish accent would not record properly, MGM executives kept Garbo in silent pictures longer than any of the studio's other contractees. The star's penultimate silent effort (with music and sound effects added) was The Single Standard, based on a 1928 novel by Adela Rogers St. John. Weary of the "good old boy" mentality which dictates that men can flit from girl to girl while women are expected to remain faithful, San Francisco socialite Arden Stuart (Garbo) decides to adopt the "single standard" and play the field herself. She turns down a marriage proposal by millionaire Tommy Hewlett (Johnny Mack Brown) so that she can dally with her family's chauffeur Anthony (Robert Castle), who promptly kills himself when he realizes that Arden doesn't intend to remain exclusively his. The heroine then moves on to athlete-artist Packy Cannon (Nils Asther), eventually tiring of Cannon and returning to Tommy. By this time, Arden has abandoned the notion of sex without responsibility and agrees to marry Tommy and bear his children. Beautifully photographed in the MGM manner by Oliver Marsh, The Single Standard is a prime example of how to tell an essentially "talkie" story within the confines of the silent film.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/23/2009
UPC: 0883316126943
Original Release: 1929
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Presentation: [B&W, Full Frame]
Time: 1:10:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Greta Garbo Arden Stuart
Nils Asther Packy Cannon
Johnny Mack Brown Tommy Hewlett
Dorothy Sebastian Mercedes
Lane Chandler Ding Stuart
Robert Castle Anthony Kendall
Mahlon Hamilton Mr. Glendenning
Kathlyn Williams Mrs. Glendenning
Zeffie Tilbury Mrs. Handley

Technical Credits
John S. Robertson Director
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
William Axt Score Composer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Josephine Lovett Screenwriter
Oliver Marsh Cinematographer
Blanche Sewell Editor
Adela Rogers St. John Screenwriter

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