Family & Companions
Radiant, gentle-featured leading actress who, after some success in her native Russia, was signed by producer Samuel Goldwyn, who was determined the turn her into another Garbo or Dietrich in the exotic star sweepstakes.
Sten made three interesting starring vehicles for Goldwyn--"Nana" (1934), an adaptation of Zola's famous novel directed by Dorothy Arzner which ran into censorship problems; "We Live Again" (1934), based on a Tolstoy story and setting her and Fredric March in pre-Revolutionary Russia; and "The Wedding Night" (1934), a poignant love story helmed by King Vidor pairing Sten with Gary Cooper. Her face rounder than Garbo's or Dietrich's more severely sculptured looks, Sten was undeniably lovely, though Goldwyn tried to play things both ways by touting her as exotic and glamorous on the one hand and having her play sweet peasants on the other. Her three vehicles were actually pretty fair as films and she proved herself a good actress, her performances improving with each film, but their downbeat stories and Goldwyn's rather too determined push failed to sell Sten to the public.
In later years Sten would unfortunately come to be known as "Goldwyn's Folly" and would retain her fascination largely as a footnote in film history. To her credit, though, Sten continued to perform well if intermittently in a dozen films over the next three decades, and she also enjoyed success upon the stage.
Cast (Feature Film)
Film Production - Main (Feature Film)
Received praise for her work in the Soviet comedy, "The Girl with the Hatbox"
Signed by producer Samuel Goldwyn (date approximate)
American film debut, "Nana", directed by Dorothy Arzner and based on the Emile Zola novel
Made last of three starring vehicles for Goldwyn, "The Wedding Night"
Played last major film role in "The Nun and the Sergeant"