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
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
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 »
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 »
Professor Immanuel Rath (Curt Jurgens)is a martinet botany professor at a German high school who finds post cards bearing the likeness of Lola-Lola (May Britt), "The Blue Angel", in the ... 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 »
[to stuffy Professor Immanuel Rath, who is dressed in a clown suit]
Your boys should see you now.
See more »
Proper and respectable Emil Jannings, a teacher at a boys high school takes quite an interest in their moral well being. Seems there's this naughty establishment called The Blue Angel in his town where women have been known to entertain in various states of undress. Some of his boys have some postcards of one of the dancers and Jannings catches them with it. After confiscating the material, Jannings decides to go down to the Blue Angel and tell them not to be catering to minors.
Of course he takes one look at the subject of those naughty postcards and since it turns out to be Marlene Dietrich, he realizes his own education has been sadly neglected.
He's spotted the kids in the establishment, but they've spotted him as well. From an authoritarian figure, Jannings is now a figure of derision and has no authority in or out of the classroom. He marries Marlene and tours with her company as a clown. A return to his hometown proves to be more than he can bear.
Though Marlene Dietrich became an international sex symbol from this film and got a Hollywood contract as a result, the film is really the story of Jannings, his downfall, his humiliation, his degradation. Their respective career paths were really meeting halfway in this film. She was going to America on the strength of this film, Jannings was returning to Germany where he became a very big star and leader of Adolph Hitler's amen corner in German cinema
In the supporting cast is also Kurt Gerron who is a magician and manager of the troupe of entertainers Marlene and Jannings are part of. His life had the worst tragedy of all, as a Jew he met death in Auschwitz, but not after undergoing a lot of humiliation before. Not unlike what Jannings had in the film, but this was real life.
The Blue Angel is a milestone film for many people and in an indirect way for Adolph Hitler as well since he got his biggest film star from the cast. Still though it's a stunning bit of cinema with performances that still hold up very well today.
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