As You Desire Me
is a 1932
film adaptation of the play by Luigi Pirandello
made by MGM
. It was produced and directed by George Fitzmaurice
with Irving Thalberg
as co-producer. The adaptation was by Gene Markey
, the cinematography by
William H. Daniels
, the art direction by Cedric Gibbons
and the costume design by Adrian
The film stars Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas with Erich von Stroheim, Owen Moore and Hedda Hopper. Its running time is less than 71 minutes, making it the shortest of all Garbo's Hollywood films.
This is also the only film in which Garbo appears as a blonde.
bar entertainer Zara is a discontented alcoholic who is pursued by many men but lives with novelist Carl Salter. A strange man called Tony shows up on Salter's estate claiming that Zara is actually Maria, the wife of his close friend Bruno. Maria, Tony claims, had her memory destroyed during a World War I
invasion 10 years ago. Zara doesn't remember but leaves with Tony to Salter's dismay. Bruno, now an officer in the Italian Army
, tries to coax Maria's memory back on his large estate. No one is really sure if Zara is Maria, and when Salter shows up with a mental case that he claims is the real Maria, everyone on Bruno's estate is desperately searching for the truth.