Happy Birthday: John Gilbert (1897-1936)

Unless you’re a film historian or silent film fan, there’s a high likelihood you’re not familiar with the name John Gilbert.

Gilbert rose to prominence during the height of the silent film era, securing his first credits in 1915. While most of these movies have been lost to time, Gilbert’s career is perhaps best known (by contemporary audiences) for his work during the mid-1920s with superstar Greta Garbo. The two made a number of pictures together, and even were involved in a (much reported on) ill-fated romance.

The clip below comes from their first pairing in 1926’s Flesh and the Devil. Stay tuned till the end of the clip.

Gilbert’s career slowed towards the end of his life as alcoholism, heart trouble, an icy relationship with Louis B. Mayer and the advent of synched sound pictures (allegedly) took their toll on Gilbert’s health. Gilbert passed away in 1936 at the age of 38.

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