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The Devil Is a Woman (1935)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  1935 (Turkey)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,641 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 20 critic

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 »

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(novel), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Devil Is a Woman (1935)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Gov. Don Paquito 'Paquitito'
Alison Skipworth ...
Senora Perez
...
Antonio Galvan
Don Alvarado ...
Morenito
Tempe Pigott ...
Tuerta
Francisco Moreno ...
Alphonso (as Paco Moreno)
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Storyline

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 a café the older man details his encounters with the heart breaker that his younger friend has only just met at the parade. Forewarned, the young man swears he will avoid the fate of his friend, but rushes all the same to his evening rendezvous. A dreamlike story of frustrated, lost romance, spoken in the past tense, never really resolved. Written by <cantor@sirius.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Kiss me .. and I'll break your heart!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1935 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Caprice Espagno  »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Maximilian Schell's documentary Marlene (1984), Marlene Dietrich said that this was her favorite of all her films. See more »

Quotes

Concha Perez: Mother says no flies enter a closed mouth.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Woman and the Puppet (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Then It Isn't Love
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Leo Robin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dietrich, A Devious & Dangerous Delight
17 April 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A young Spanish radical in old Sevilla learns that THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN, when he falls hopelessly in love with a mysterious female.

Mesmerizing & hypnotic, this is a film which arouses all the senses. Dreamlike in its visuals & nightmarish of plot, it presents imagery so persuasive as to be practically palpable. Director Josef von Sternberg & writer John Dos Passos constructed a miniature madhouse for the mind, in which the viewer gladly finds himself consigned.

Fascinating, coy, deceptive, utterly alluring, Marlene Dietrich dominates the film as an icy-hearted harlot who strews her pathway with the broken bodies & wasted lives of the men she's betrayed. With heavily lidded eyes peering out of her disturbingly beautiful face, she is the very picture of sardonic seduction. Wisely, the film allows her a moment of amusement (for the viewer), letting her perfectly sum up her philosophy in the comic song ‘Three Sweethearts Have I.'

Dietrich's two leading men are both excellent. Lionel Atwill, sadly ignored today, once again exhibits the depth of his acting talent; Hollywood's propensity to place him in horror films often obscured his abilities. Here, he shows us a man fully aware of his complete degradation. Cesar Romero, in one of the finest roles of his early career, more than adequately carries on the tradition of the Latin Lover, but with a twist - here is a romantic hero who is not strong enough to escape from the web of the female spider.

Peevish & pompous, Edward Everett Horton is thoroughly amusing as a flustered Spanish bureaucrat.

Two wonderful English character actresses enliven the proceedings in small roles: Alison Skipworth as Dietrich's disreputable matriarch and Tempe Pigott as an old one-eyed harridan.

Movie mavens will spot Edwin Maxwell as the manager of the cigarette factory and Charles Sellon as a professional letter writer, both uncredited.

Von Sternberg created a masterwork of cinematic symbolism, with innuendo so rife it is incredible it passed the Production Code. In every way, the film is a worthy follow-up to his previous collaboration with Dietrich, the orgiastic SCARLETT EMPRESS (1934).


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