Retrospective on the career of enigmatic screen diva Marlene Dietrich.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Annie Albers ...
Herself
...
Herself (voice)
Bernard Hall ...
Himself
...
Himself
Marta Rakosnik ...
Herself
Patricia Schell ...
Herself
Ivana Spinell ...
Herself
William von Stranz ...
Himself
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Storyline

Acclaimed, award-winning filmmaker Maximillian Schell reconstructs the life and career of the enigmatic film diva. This is accomplished through use of archival footage and commentary from the actress recorded at her home. Schell's job was complicated by the aging actresses's stipulation that her face not be photographed directly. Written by duke1029@aol.com

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Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

2 March 1984 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Lähikuvassa Marlene Dietrich  »

Box Office

Gross:

$852,676 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Maximilian Schell got Marlene Dietrich to agree to appear in this documentary only on the stipulation that she not be photographed as she looked at the time. Instead, we only hear her in interviews. See more »

Goofs

The documentary states that "Dietrich" was the maiden name of Marlene's mother. This is completely untrue. Wilhelmina Dietrich was born Wilhelmina Felsing. Dietrich was the name of Marlene's biological father, Louis Dietrich, after whose death Wilhelmina married Eduard von Losch, who thereby became Marlene's stepfather. See more »

Quotes

[Last line, to director Maximilian Shell about this film]
Marlene Dietrich: You never sell that in America.
See more »

Connections

Features Dishonored (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a glimpse of the woman behind the facade

On very few occasions did Marlene Dietrich drop the well-constructed mask of her eternal beauty. She was the daughter of a soldier, and very rarely showed (real) emotions. Max Shell was able to give us a glimpse of the woman behind the facade in this breathtaking documentary (even though Marlene did not allow their conversations to be filmed, a sound-recording is all we get from the 83 year old legend). It is certainly not a flattering portrait. Marlene is rude and impatient, and she tells all kinds of lies. But at the end of the documentary there are a few extremely touching moments: Her sudden joy when she sings songs from her ´Berliner Platte´ (the Berlin album), a film-clip from her last movie ´Just a gigolo´ (1978), and her emotional reaction to the favorite poem of her mother, read by the director. When Shell finally breaks her defence mechanism, we hear an old and tired woman, tired of being perfect for more than six decades. And every time it breaks my heart to think how hard it must have been to keep up the facade that was Marlene Dietrich.


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