The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
Minutes before her wedding to Duke Otto Von Seibenheim, Countess Helene Mara flees, on a whim, to Monte Carlo, where she hopes her luck will save her poor financial state. There, Count ... See full summary »
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 »
Imagine a movie set in Paris directed by Ernst Lubitsch, the masterful director of such Parisian sexual innuendo comedies as Ninotchka, The Love Parade, The Merry Widow (1934 version), One Hour with You, and Design for Living. Imagine as the male lead Melvyn Douglas, who was so great in Ninotchka. Imagine as the female lead one of the great European stars of the cinema, a magnificent beauty like Garbo or Dietrich. Imagine that it concerns a Russian countess living in exile in Paris.
But don't imagine that it's another Ninotchka. Far from it. It's Angel, in which all those ingredients that two years later would go to make one of the great Hollywood comedies, with Garbo and Douglas directed by Lubitsch, instead made for one very dull semi-comedy.
Where to put the blame?
The script, certainly, which isn't funny and never seems to know where it's going. Are we supposed to sympathize with Dietrich's character because she's abandoned by her husband, or condemn her for considering infidelity?
The men at Paramount who approved it, and who should have spotted a bomb in the making. It is seldom funny. We seldom care about the characters. (Why did Paramount keep starring Herbert Marshall in pictures? He is just not interesting.) One or two scenes are mildly clever, which was probably Lubitch's doing. The rest verges on stale melodrama. The end isn't convincing.
Taken all together, I'd say forget it. This is one Angel that never takes flight.
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