Embankment Films has started production on Garbo: Leave me Alone, a feature documentary on the life of Hollywood legend Greta Garbo, directed by Lorna Tucker.

Slated for a Winter 2024 theatrical release, and with Fremantle handling worldwide sales, the feature documentary will air on Sky Arts in the UK next year.

At age 35, with four Academy Award nominations, and a Best Actress Win at the New York Film Critics Circle for her extraordinary portrayal of Anna Karenina, Greta Garbo suddenly retired, never to act again.

Until the end of her life, a half century later, Garbo fiercely declined all opportunities to return to the screen, shunning all publicity, even refusing to collect an Academy Honorary Award at the age of 50, for her “luminous and unforgettable screen performances”. This shock decision also inspired the term ‘Greta Garbo syndrome’ where celebrated personalities lose the meaning of life and shut themselves away.

One of the most famous women in the world for 15 years, she made only 28 films in her lifetime, and yet quite why she became such a phenomenon is a puzzle many are still trying to solve today.

Reiterating Embankment Films as the leaders in premium biographical documentaries, this definitive feature gets to the heart of one of the world’s most mysterious, complex, alluring, fearless and melancholic women who also happened to be a Hollywood icon.

Garbo: Leave me Alone is from director Lorna Tucker, whose breakthrough debut Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist premiered at Sundance in 2018, and was followed by her film Ama, which documented systemic abuses against the Native American people, and most recently Call me Kat, a portrait of another Hollywood icon, Katharine Hepburn, which premiered on Netflix (US) and Sky (UK) in 2023.

Tucker said: “There’s so much I want to know about this incredible woman. Why did she walk away? Did she find answers to the questions she was searching for? What did ‘being alone’ mean to her? Did she find something that resembled peace? I want to show the moment she realised she had to walk away from it all, or rather, from Hollywood and the beast it was.”

Nick Taussig of Embankment Films, who is producing alongside Embankment’s Head of Production, Unscripted, Sophie Harmer, commented; “Garbo’s life story was surprising and unusual, and it’s these qualities set against our current celebrity-obsessed culture, that makes this feature documentary such an urgent, timely, resonant and compelling portrait of beauty and fame.”

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director, Sky Arts, added: “Greta Garbo is, of course, an iconic star enveloped in myth and mystery. With this new, definitive film that unpacks her life we aim to get beyond the myth and closer to the real woman she was.”

Hugo Grumbar of Embankment Films said: “Embankment Films has delivered a number of best-in-class biographical feature documentaries to market, including “Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts”, “Call Me Kate”, “Audrey” and “McQueen”, and we are now excited to be applying the same rigour and expertise to the great Greta Garbo.”

Garbo: Leave me Alone is a co-production with Mylla Films.


Pippa Considine

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