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Dishonoured is an under-appreciated masterpiece. Frequently omitted from lists of collaborations between Dietrich and Von Sternberg, the film is absolutely essential to an understanding of the director's artistic technique and the actor's evolution into her status as an icon for every subsequent femme fatale. Von Sternberg applies a rich sequence of layers of style and character that embellish Dietrich's icily stunning allure as an intelligent woman engaged in a deadly quest for more temporal power in the form of top secret military intelligence and empowerment over the men she manipulates. Along the way, his penetrating interpretation of social conventions depicts a chiaroscuro of surrealistic fantasy in contrast with the gritty reality of doom that engulfs his heroine who is ultimately transformed into a martyr to her own - and universal - femininity.