Country orphan Lily goes to Berlin to stay with her tippling aunt, and soon meets Richard, handsome sculptor across the street. Persuaded half-reluctantly to pose for Richard, her physical ... See full summary »
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
The local building-contractor Martin Roumagnac is fascinated by the fashionable Blanche Ferrand. To impress Blache, Martin presents her with a villa. However, this ruins him financially. ... See full summary »
A murderous thief on the run with stolen loot forces a poor rancher to guide him across the desert into Mexico. Accompanying them is the rancher's wife, who happens to be the killer's former girlfriend.
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 »
Country orphan Lily goes to Berlin to stay with her tippling aunt, and soon meets Richard, handsome sculptor across the street. Persuaded half-reluctantly to pose for Richard, her physical charms (shown as fully as 1933 mores permitted) soon melt away his 'strictly business' attitude, and they become lovers. But Richard, wanting his freedom, connives at her marriage to his wealthy client Baron von Merzbach... whose household includes a jealous former mistress and a susceptible farm manager. Has Richard still a role to play in her life? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Interesting to see Dietrich, early in her Hollywood career, working with a director other than her Pygmalion, Josef von Sternberg. The latter director provided beautiful but often-static set-ups for framing her, while Mamoulian's musicality and fluid camera release her. (Think also of his direction of Garbo in "Queen Christina," and that film's famous scene in which she moves lovingly and rhythmically--it was timed to a metronome-- around the bedroom, watched by her lover. )
I think this is one of Dietrich's best performances. She passes through many phases, from naive young girl to earthy woman. Her song "Johnny" is sublime--and moving, when she angrily tears into the second chorus after spotting in the audience the lover who had abandoned and disillusioned her.
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