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Angel (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 29 October 1937 (USA)
A woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.



(play), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »



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Complete credited cast:
Maria 'Angel' Barker, aka Mrs. Brown
Sir Frederick Barker
Anthony 'Tony' Halton
Christopher 'Chris' Wilton
Grand Duchess Anna Dmitrievna
Mr. Greenwood
Dennie Moore ...
Emma MacGillicuddy Wilton
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Prince Vladimir Gregorovitch (scenes deleted)

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A woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I want love - and I'm going to get it!


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

29 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Engel  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its initial telecast took place in Los Angeles Sunday 11 January 1959 on KNXT (Channel 2). In Phoenix it first aired 16 April 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Minneapolis 29 August 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Toledo 13 December 1959 on WTOL (Channel 11), in St. Louis 15 December 1959 on KMOX (Channel 4), in Grand Rapids 4 January 1960 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Johnstown 11 April 1960 on WJAC (Channel 6), and in Pittsburgh 6 June 1960 on KDKA (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 27 May 2014 as part of the Universal Vault Series, and again 17 May 2016 as part of the Universal Hollywood Icons Collection: Marlene Dietrich. See more »


Maria: Silly how upsetting a little thing like saying goodbye to one's husband can be.
See more »


Featured in Le cinéma passe à table (2005) See more »


Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Played during the opening and end credits
Played on violin by Duci De Kerekjarto (as Duci Kerekjarto)
Played on piano by Marlene Dietrich and by Melvyn Douglas
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

She Met Him in Paris
23 October 2010 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

ANGEL (Paramount, 1937), produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch, returns Marlene Dietrich to sophisticated comedy following her amusing role in DESIRE (1936) as a continental jewel thief. As much as this production could very well have been a cute romantic fantasy of an angel assigned from Heaven out to guide a troubled individual on Earth, what resulted was a domestic story about a bored wife who acquires the pet name of "Angel" from a complete stranger while her husband is away. While Dietrich's DESIRE proved favorable, ANGEL did not.

The story begins on an airplane bound for France where Lady Maria Barker (Marlene Dietrich) registers at the Hotel Imperial. Coming to the Club De La Russia, 314 Rue De La Tour, to visit with an old friend, The Grand Duchess Anna Dmitrievna (Laura Hope Crews), the club's owner steps away to take care of matters, leaving Maria to step into a private sitting room where she encounters Anthony Halton (Melvyn Douglas), an American looking to meet someone for an amusing time in Paris. Mistaken for the Duchess, Maria agrees to show the gentleman around. After dinner, the couple rest on a park bench where Maria, refusing to give her name, finds herself embraced and kissed by a man who not only expresses his true love for her after only a short time, but dubs her "Angel." As breaking away to buy her a bouquet of violets, Halton returns to find his "Angel" gone. Sir Frederick Barker (Herbert Marshall), a British nobleman and delegate to the League of Nations, returns from Geneva to his British home and his wife, Maria. Unaware of her unhappiness and their dull existence together, things begin to change upon the visitation of her husband's wartime friend, a man wanting to meet his "Angel."

Taken from the play by Melchor Lengyel, ANGEL contains some variations lifted from Lubitsch's own 1932 musical, ONE HOUR WITH YOU, where a doctor (Maurice Chevalier) innocently encounters a flirtatious married woman (Genevieve Tobin), who turns out to be the best friend of his wife (Jeanette MacDonald) whom she invited to their home. As with the husband and guest pretending to not to lead on their previous encounter to his spouse, Dietrich's Maria and Douglas' Halton do the same, but on more on a serious nature. Containing less wit than Lubitsch's previous efforts, the supporting cast contains some of the best known "comedy relief" types on screen, ranging from Edward Everett Horton and Ernest Cossart as the household servants, to the daffy Dennie Moore playing Cossart's fiancée, Emma McGillicutty. Interestingly all their roles, which might have given the story some life during some dull stretches, are sadly limited. For one of the film's better assets, there's that fine "Angel" theme score composed by Frederick Hollander.

According to Robert Osborne, host on Turner Classic Movies where ANGEL premiered in January 17, 2002, during its tribute to Marlene Dietrich, Lubitsch and Dietrich both had high expectations for this film. In spite of Samson Raphaelson's promising screenplay, the film's box office failure lead to Dietrich's termination from her home studio. Fortunately the label of Dietrich as "box office poison" didn't last long with her reinvention screen persona in the hit western of DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (Universal, 1939) opposite James Stewart.

Virtually unknown and/or forgotten among the film credits of either Dietrich or Lubitsch, ANGEL did get some exposure through its 1990s distribution on home video through MCA/Universal. Possibly viewing ANGEL more as a drama than a comedy might help accept the film for what it is rather than what it's expected to be. (**1/2)

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