Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Marlene before Sternberg

Marlene Dietrich was an international star and a legendary performer until the 1970s. Her breakthrough film was The Blue Angel (1930) directed by Josef von Sternberg for Ufa in Babelsberg. She had by then already appeared in some 18 silent films since 1922 or perhaps even earlier. But Marlene preferred to consider The Blue Angel her debut film, because a silent film career would have made "the world's most glamorous grandmother" (a nickname of hers since 1948!) seem older.

Yet there were accomplishments before The Blue Angel of which she could be proud of, such as Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt / The Woman Men Yearn for (1929). Leonard Maltin has published illuminating remarks by Eddie Muller during San Francisco Silent Film Festival on that film and Marlene Dietrich and the director Curtis Bernhardt on his website. Please scroll to the end of the SFSFF entry to find them.

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