The Blue Angel (1930)
"Der blaue Engel" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Music  |  3 January 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 9,987 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 82 user | 78 critic | 9 from

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Gerron ...
Zauberkünstler Kiepert / The Magician
Guste Kiepert / The Magician's Wife
Mazeppa / The Strongman
Reinhold Bernt ...
Der Clown / The Clown
Eduard von Winterstein ...
Schuldirektor / The Director of School (as Eduard V. Winterstein)
Hans Roth ...
Hausmeister / The Caretaker of the Secondary School
Rolf Müller ...
Gymnasiast Angst / Pupil
Gymnasiast Lohmann / Pupil (as Rolant Varno)
Carl Balhaus ...
Gymnasiast Ertzum / Pupil (as Karl Balhaus)
Robert Klein-Lörk ...
Gymnasiast Goldstaub / Pupil
Charles Puffy ...
Wirt / Innkeeper (as Karl Huszar-Puffy)
Kapitän / Captain
Gerhard Bienert ...
Polizist / Policeman


Germany 1924. Middle aged Dr. Immanuel Rath is a literature professor at a boys college. Most of his students don't much like him, often calling him "unrath" - German for garbage. Dr. Rath learns that many of his boys often frequent a cabaret called Der blaue Engel - the Blue Angel - which he believes is corrupting their impressionable young minds. He heads to the Blue Angel himself to catch the boys in the act and shame them into not going again. Over several visits, Rath is able to catch the boys, but in the process he also understands what attracts the boys, namely the headlining performer Lola Lola. Rath falls under Lola's spell, he who falls in love with her - and she seemingly with him - so much so that he wants to marry her and give up his teaching career to be with her on her travels from cabaret to cabaret. Their relationship ends up not being what either envisioned, the question being how they will both deal with their disintegrating relationship and the reasons behind that ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

3 January 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Blue Angel  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,451 (USA) (13 July 2001)


$77,982 (USA) (7 December 2001)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print) | (cut) | (English)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Emil Jannings' first film back in his native country after an abortive trip to Hollywood. Hoping to become a star of American films, Jannings was soundly rebuffed because no one could understand his accent. See more »


Lola Lola: I knew you'd be back. They all come back for me.
See more »


Referenced in Northern Exposure: Heal Thyself (1993) See more »


Kinder, heut' abend, da such' ich mir was aus
Written by Friedrich Hollaender
Performed by Marlene Dietrich
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Indelible images
26 February 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

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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