Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Anna May Wong
Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't... See full summary »
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
Kent, the unscrupulous boss of Bottleneck has Sheriff Keogh killed when he asks one too many questions about a rigged poker game that gives Kent a stranglehold over the local cattle rangers... See full summary »
A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling, a dragon-lady who worked herself up from poverty to buy the casino. Sir Guy ... See full summary »
Immanuel Rath, an old bachelor, is a professor at the town's university. When he discovers that some of his pupils often go into a speakeasy, The Blue Angel, to visit a dancer, Lola Lola, he comes there to confront them. But he is attracted to Lola. The next night he comes again--and does not sleep at home. This causes trouble at work and his life takes a downward spiral. Written by
Yepok & Justin
There are various accounts of why Marlene Dietrich was cast as Lola Lola, but the one given by director Josef von Sternberg in his autobiography is that Dietrich came to test for the film with a bored, world-weary attitude because she was convinced she wasn't going to get the role and was merely going through the motions - and Sternberg hired her because that world-weary attitude was precisely what he wanted for the character. See more »
I just got through watching The Blue Angel (1930) for the second time in a month. When I was watching the beginning this time, I thought: oh, this isn't as powerful as I remembered. I even thought Jannings was overdoing it a little -- he couldn't be as good as I remembered. And then it absolutely knocked me for a loop all over again.
Bear in mind that I have a tape that cost $3.98. The film looked old and scratchy, the tape quality was bad, and the sound was poor. This is one of the very earliest sound movies and the sound technique was sometimes distracting. After the first 20 minutes, I couldn't have cared less about the technology. The images of this film are burned into my brain. The business at the very beginning with the dead bird and the sugar cube, the caricatures on the blackboards, Lola's reaction to the marriage proposal, the wedding party and, most of all, the entire last half hour of this film -- none of that left me in the three weeks since my first viewing and it lost none of its impact the second time around.
Emil Jannings was just absolutely wonderful. His face in the mirror toward the end is heartbreaking. He doesn't have to say a word. This was Dietrich's debut, and she is great too, but it is Jannings' picture.
Highly recommended. 10/10
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