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
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
Marlene Dietrich had a somewhat restricted vocal range, which forced composer Friedrich Hollaender to tailor the music specifically to accommodate Dietrich's voice. Dietrich's unique singing talent, however, led to a lengthy second career as a concert singer after her film career waned. See more »
There's a lot I can understand. But to risk one's entire future for that kind of woman?
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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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