Laurence Gerard has just divorced. While leading fat lover Talandier by the nose, She meets the count Lerski, who now works as waiter but do not tell her. When she hears from her husband he...
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Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Edward Everett Horton
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Laurence Gerard has just divorced. While leading fat lover Talandier by the nose, She meets the count Lerski, who now works as waiter but do not tell her. When she hears from her husband he is a waiter, she thinks Lerksi lies and throws him out... Written by
Before Herr Josef von Sternberg ( that fake von ) invented Frau Marlene Dietrich for the talkie screen and made her one of the most important icons for the cinephile masses, the German actress had already had a short silent career.
"Ich Küsse Ihre Hand, Madame" ( I Kiss Your Hand, Madame ) (1929) was one of the last Frau Dietrich silent works done just before the dawn of the talkies and the doom of the Silent Era. The film was even influenced by this terrible invention and even worse, by those common love songs. In spite of being a silent oeuvre the film included a sound sequence wherein Herr Count Lerski (Herr Harry Liedtke), a Russian guard-officer now retrained by the hotel industry as a waiter, sang the popular title song of the film ( although the actor was dubbed by another actor who apparently had a better voice than that fake count.) to the ambitious divorcée Frau Laurence ( Frau Marlene Dietrich ).
The film was directed by Robert Land and works pretty well as a German sophisticated high comedy, moderately hilarious ( it is Teutonic film production, after all ) sophisticated and elegant at the same time. It tells of the misunderstandings involving a beautiful divorcée and the men around her; her admiring lawyer ( Herr Charle Puffy ), her ex-husband ( Herr Pierre de Guingand ) and the count/waiter Lerski . Even though this is a German film the background is Paris since that city is better suited for romance than Berlin which excelled in parades and riots.
Frau Marlene Dietrich was very popular and highly recognized during those years in the silent German world. Herr Land and the great cinematography of Herr Carl Drews und Herr Gotthardt Wolf take full advantage of her particular magnetism; for this reason Frau Dietrich shines in every close-up or long shot in which she appears, fascinating the camera with her peculiar cold German charms. Her counterpart, the (also German) star Herr Harry Liedtke is also given his due and plays his part perfectly while there are efficient performances in the supporting roles; the fat and innocent lawyer and Frau Dietrich's bitter but still infatuated ex-husband stand out.
"Ich Küsse Ihre Hand, Madame" is a very careful film production which has exquisite set design ( very conceptual, too modern for a German count ) which includes the outdoor night scenes of the Paris high life. Our heroine lives an unconcerned and foolish life full of prejudices, as Herr Graf Lerski soon discovers. The film is a typical classic German comedy with misunderstandings, a complicated love affair ( with a happy ending, natürlich! ), elegant scenery, gorgeous costumes and a free-and-easy atmosphere; that is to say, it exemplifies some of the essential precepts of the particular Decalogue of that film genre.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must kiss the shapely digits of a beautiful Madame- who obviously isn't a Teutonic fat and rich heiress
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