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Greta Garbo in a 1946 photograph taken by Cecil Beaton in New York CityTV to Invade Greta Garbo's Last Refuge: Garbo – The Name – The Face – The Auction – The Video

In anticipation of next week's auction of the Greta Garbo estate at Sotheby's, the cable channel AMC, in cooperation with the auction house and the Garbo estate, has produced "The Greta Garbo Collection," a 15 1/2-minute-long mini-documentary. It will be broadcast on AMC tonight at at 9 o'clock and 1 A.M. and on Bravo Monday night at 10.

The program picks up where Robin Leach leaves off. Understatedly introduced by a natty Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who starred with Garbo in "A Woman of Affairs" in 1929, it offers a glimpse of her "sumptuous refuge" on East 52d Street in Manhattan, with tinkly piano background and panning camera. The front door opens magically, in authentic Leach tradition.

Scenes of Garbo's apartment, bathed in Hallmark card sunset-orange light, are woven with movie stills and interviews with experts from Sotheby's and Newsweek's film critic, Jack Kroll. The recluse-about-town is shown as an enigmatic woman of taste -- taste that will doubtlessly be inherited by whoever parts with his or her money next Thursday at Sotheby's.

Greta Garbo in a 1946 photograph taken by Cecil Beaton in New York CityGarbo's frequent trips to the auction house, where she once sold "a little early Picasso that wasn't terribly attractive," says David Nash, Sotheby's expert for Impressionists, are viewed as part of the Garbo mystique.

Haunting the French furniture and decorative-arts sales, the star "would never bid on anything herself," Mr. Nash says; "she managed to conduct negotiations practically without speaking."

She was not an academic, comprehensive collector, but one with great style and, as is said about so many famous women, with a fabulous color sense. "She bought things that tickled her," says Letitia Roberts, the head of Sotheby's porcelain department.

In the film, the pearl-swathed Miss Roberts appears in the documentary in the rose-, green- and salmon-colored living room with some of Garbo's favorite porcelain objects, including the figure of a wizard and pieces decorated with birds and flowers.

"I find profound people often go for very natural objects," Miss Roberts tells the camera. Such lack of artifice, she assures us, "says a lot about Miss Garbo." The only lapse in Garbo's impeccable taste, which included three Renoirs and a Bonnard and carved Louis XV furniture, seems to have been a treasured dime-store blow-up snowman she kept in the living room near the French doors with the river view that were so often kept open. With this program, a whole new new genre – one part Architectural Digest, one part Infiniti commercial – may be born.

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