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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 »
On the eve of World War II (1939) English officer Ralph Denistoun is in Nazi Germany on an espionage mission to recover a poison gas formula from Prof. Krosigk. He is helped by Lydia and ... See full summary »
American chemist Ned Faraday marries a German entertainer and starts a family. However, he becomes poisoned with Radium and needs an expensive treatment in Germany to have any chance at being cured. Wife Helen returns to night club work to attempt to raise the money and becomes popular as the Blonde Venus. In an effort to get enough money sooner, she prostitutes herself to millionaire Nick Townsend. While Ned is away in Europe, she continues with Nick but when Ned returns cured, he discovers her infidelity. Now Ned despises Helen but she grabs son Johnny and lives on the run, just one step ahead of the Missing Persons Bureau. When they do finally catch her, she loses her son to Ned. Once again she returns to entertaining, this time in Paris, and her fame once again brings her and Townsend together. Helen and Nick return to America engaged, but she is irresistibly drawn back to her son and Ned. In which life does she truly belong? Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cary Grant said that Josef von Sternberg directed him not really much during the filming, but taught him the most important thing. On the first day Grant came on the set, von Sternberg looked at him and said, "Your hair is parted on the wrong side." So Grant parted it on the other side and kept it that way the rest of his career. See more »
This was a very interesting story.....one of the best in the early era of sound. The only negative was that even though time passed, nobody - including the 6-year- old boy (Dickie Moore) - aged!
There were a few other things that didn't make sense, either, but the film is so captivating that one can ignore the gaffs and still really enjoy this. Marlene Dietrich, for instance, is mesmerizing at times. She could - except for those stupid 1930s pencil-thin eyebrows - look absolutely stunning. Make no mistake: she's alluring.
All the lead characters in here did their parts well and Moore, who gained fame as one of the "Little Rascals," is particularly endearing.
The adults, however, all have character flaws: a married Dietrich runs off with a wealthy young Cary Grant while her husband (Herbert Marshall) is off in Europe being treated for radium poisoning. Marshall is understandably bitter when he returns to find out what his wife was up to, but is too hard-hearted about letting his wife see the kid. Grant, of course, is an adulterer.
Despite this soap opera premise, the movie almost plays like a film noir, with sharp dialog, great cinematography and tough characters.
This is another great classic film that, for some reason, is still not available on DVD and deserves to be.
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