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Three Loves (1929)
"Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  8 September 1929 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 139 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 5 critic

Southern France, the present. About to marry, Charles Leblanc glimpses beautiful Stascha with her autocratic older companion, Karoff. They meet shortly after on a train. Stascha confesses ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Kurt Bernhardt)

Writers:

(book),
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Fritz Kortner ...
Dr. Karoff
Frida Richard ...
Mme. Leblanc
Oskar Sima ...
Charles Leblanc
Uno Henning ...
Henry Leblanc
Karl Etlinger ...
Poitrier
Bruno Ziener ...
Diener
Edith Edwards ...
Angela Poitrier
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Storyline

Southern France, the present. About to marry, Charles Leblanc glimpses beautiful Stascha with her autocratic older companion, Karoff. They meet shortly after on a train. Stascha confesses she and Karoff murdered her husband, and asks for his help to escape from Karoff. She introduces Leblanc as her cousin, and the three go to an alpine hotel for a frantic New Year's eve party. The police arrive next morning. Karoff draws a gun and kills Stascha, leaving a distraught Leblanc cradling her body. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

melodrama | based on book | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 September 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Woman One Longs for  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The train is a clumsy model, and behaves like one, in particular stopping on a dime the moment the communication cord is pulled. See more »

Connections

Featured in Marlene Dietrich: Shadow and Light (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Stascha
Written by Giuseppe Becce and Walther Bransen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Effective late silent , and Dietrich's first starring role
11 December 2009 | by (France) – See all my reviews

Known as THREE LOVES in the US and L'ENIGME in France, this late silent makes skillful use of limited resources to tell its story of guilty love and sexual obsession. The dreamy Charles Leblanc (Sima), about to marry into a wealthy steel-making family, glimpses Stascha (Dietrich) and her companion Karoff (Kortner) as they pause for a drink at a bar in his small southern France town. They meet again on the train taking him and his wife on their honeymoon. Overwhelmed by Stascha's sexuality, and ignoring his distraught new wife, Leblanc agrees to help her escape from the domineering Karoff. Later, she confesses that the two of them murdered her husband, and that the police are on their trail.

Stascha introduces Leblanc as her cousin to a menacing, incredulous Karoff , and the three check into a large alpine hotel where preparations are under way for a New Year's eve party and show. Stascha manipulates Leblanc and Karoff, playing them off against one other as the party becomes wilder, with a jungle of streamers, a conga line, high-kicking showgirls, and a huge clock face whose hands are periodically moved towards midnight.

Dawn finds Leblanc and Karoff slumped in chairs in the lobby, exhausted, while Stascha sleeps upstairs, the morning sun creeping up her silk-stockinged legs. At that moment, the police arrive, and trap the killers. Karoff draws a gun. Stascha catches his eye and nods slightly, giving permission for him to shoot her. As Karoff is led away, Leblanc is left cradling her body.

Those who believe Josef Von Sternberg created the Dietrich persona from scratch will be surprised by this film, in which Bernhardt uses some of the visual devices normally associated with Sternberg, particularly in the choreography of extras, and moreover shows Dietrich, in character and appearance, as somewhere between her earlier party-girl roles and the smoldering temptress of SHANGHAI EXPRESS. Though still plump and not yet blonde, she's made up with skill, showing off her expressive eyes and high forehead, while the camera frequently lingers on her beautiful legs.

Shot entirely on sets, the film seems cramped- the party can only manage a chorus line of two dancers - though Bernhardt makes effective use of montages, to evoke the steel-works, for instance. The film is mainly important as a glimpse of Dietrich just before the curtain rose on her international fame.


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