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The Blue Angel (1930)

Der blaue Engel (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Music | 3 January 1931 (USA)
An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Writers:

(novel), | 2 more credits »

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Cast

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
Károly Huszár ...
Wirt / Innkeeper (as Karl Huszar-Puffy)
...
Kapitän / Captain
Gerhard Bienert ...
Polizist / Policeman
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 January 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Blue Angel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$77,982 (USA) (7 December 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print) | (German) | (English)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emil Jannings grew resentful of the special attention director Josef von Sternberg showed to Marlene Dietrich. He would purportedly throw tantrums on set and once threatened to choke the leading lady. See more »

Quotes

Schuldirektor: There's a lot I can understand. But to risk one's entire future for that kind of woman?
See more »

Connections

Remade as Pinjra (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen wünscht Papageno sich!
(uncredited)
(from singspiel "Die Zauberflöte")
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Descent Into Hell
7 January 2002 | by (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – See all my reviews

I think this is more a commentary on the human condition than it is a movie review. von Sternberg presents Professor Rath as pompous, rather inflexible and naive, and then reduces him gradually to a pitiful, self-debasing wretch

  • much like Tyrone Power's character in "Nightmare Alley". Rath, appears


to me, not so much the victim as a drunken jaywalker who wanders out into traffic and is totally shocked when he is hit by a truck. Emil Jannings, without doubt, delivers everything that von Sternberg could have asked for.

I have never been a big Marlene Dietrich fan, but I have to admit that, in this early effort, her utter sexuality and the casual way she dispenses it is hypnotic. Her character is also complex. Between her first encounter with Rath and those final scenes, her attitude toward him changes from amusement and ridicule to concern, pity, and even affection. His return to his home town and his descent into total degradation is painful to watch, yet she chooses this opportunity to humiliate him even further by offering herself to Mazeppa while he watches. I'm baffled.

The corruption and hopelessness of the German cafe circuit is a perfect backdrop for this study of the human condition. When one reaches their absolute nadir - like Rath - there are few choices left. Suicide, violent hostility, or if you are lucky - the determination and will to climb out of the cesspool. Rath was a day late and a reichsmark short. I would like to think that if he had more time he would have made it.


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