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The Blue Angel (1930)

Der blaue Engel (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Music | 3 January 1931 (USA)
An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Writers:

Heinrich Mann (novel), Carl Zuckmayer | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emil Jannings ... Prof. Immanuel Rath
Marlene Dietrich ... Lola Lola
Kurt Gerron ... Zauberkünstler Kiepert / The Magician
Rosa Valetti ... Guste Kiepert / The Magician's Wife
Hans Albers ... Mazeppa / The Strongman
Reinhold Bernt Reinhold Bernt ... Der Clown / The Clown
Eduard von Winterstein Eduard von Winterstein ... Schuldirektor / The Director of School (as Eduard V. Winterstein)
Hans Roth Hans Roth ... Hausmeister / The Caretaker of the Secondary School
Rolf Müller Rolf Müller ... Gymnasiast Angst / Pupil
Roland Varno ... Gymnasiast Lohmann / Pupil (as Rolant Varno)
Carl Balhaus Carl Balhaus ... Gymnasiast Ertzum / Pupil (as Karl Balhaus)
Robert Klein-Lörk Robert Klein-Lörk ... Gymnasiast Goldstaub / Pupil
Károly Huszár Károly Huszár ... Wirt / Innkeeper (as Karl Huszar-Puffy)
Wilhelm Diegelmann ... Kapitän / Captain
Gerhard Bienert Gerhard Bienert ... Polizist / Policeman
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Storyline

Germany 1924. Middle aged Dr. Immanuel Rath is a literature professor at a boys college. Most of his students don't much like him, often calling him "unrath" - German for garbage. Dr. Rath learns that many of his boys often frequent a cabaret called Der blaue Engel - the Blue Angel - which he believes is corrupting their impressionable young minds. He heads to the Blue Angel himself to catch the boys in the act and shame them into not going again. Over several visits, Rath is able to catch the boys, but in the process he also understands what attracts the boys, namely the headlining performer Lola Lola. Rath falls under Lola's spell, he who falls in love with her - and she seemingly with him - so much so that he wants to marry her and give up his teaching career to be with her on her travels from cabaret to cabaret. Their relationship ends up not being what either envisioned, the question being how they will both deal with their disintegrating relationship and the reasons behind that ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German | English | French

Release Date:

3 January 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blue Angel See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,451, 15 July 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$77,982, 9 December 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print) | (German) | (English)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many actresses from the stage and screen were considered for the role of Lola Lola. Early contenders were Gloria Swanson, Phyllis Haver, Louise Brooks, Brigitte Helm, Lya De Putti, Lucie Mannheim, Trude Hesterberg, Käthe Haack and Lotte Lenya. Leni Riefenstahl later claimed to have been considered for the role, but her claim is dubious. Director Josef von Sternberg chose Marlene Dietrich, with whom he was by then having a love affair. See more »

Goofs

When the professor returns to his class and the boys burst out in uproar, the drawing on the blackboard shows three lines with Lola's name. The director, drawn by the noise, enters the class and now there are only two lines. After the class is dismissed, the third line has returned. See more »

Quotes

Lola Lola: Well, well, what are you doing in my bedroom?
Prof. Immanuel Rath: I presume you are the artiste Lola Lola.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lola (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen wünscht Papageno sich!
(uncredited)
(from singspiel "Die Zauberflöte")
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Descent Into Hell
7 January 2002 | by howdymaxSee all my reviews

I think this is more a commentary on the human condition than it is a movie review. von Sternberg presents Professor Rath as pompous, rather inflexible and naive, and then reduces him gradually to a pitiful, self-debasing wretch - much like Tyrone Power's character in "Nightmare Alley". Rath, appears to me, not so much the victim as a drunken jaywalker who wanders out into traffic and is totally shocked when he is hit by a truck. Emil Jannings, without doubt, delivers everything that von Sternberg could have asked for.

I have never been a big Marlene Dietrich fan, but I have to admit that, in this early effort, her utter sexuality and the casual way she dispenses it is hypnotic. Her character is also complex. Between her first encounter with Rath and those final scenes, her attitude toward him changes from amusement and ridicule to concern, pity, and even affection. His return to his home town and his descent into total degradation is painful to watch, yet she chooses this opportunity to humiliate him even further by offering herself to Mazeppa while he watches. I'm baffled.

The corruption and hopelessness of the German cafe circuit is a perfect backdrop for this study of the human condition. When one reaches their absolute nadir - like Rath - there are few choices left. Suicide, violent hostility, or if you are lucky - the determination and will to climb out of the cesspool. Rath was a day late and a reichsmark short. I would like to think that if he had more time he would have made it.


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