A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with each other, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.
Caridad de Laberdesque
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
Marlene Dietrich had a somewhat restricted vocal range, which forced composer Friedrich Hollaender to tailor the music specifically to accommodate Dietrich's voice. Dietrich's unique singing talent, however, led to a lengthy second career as a concert singer after her film career waned. See more »
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 »
Falling in love again, never wanted to. What's a girl to do? I can't help it. What choice do I have? That's the way I'm made. Love is all I know, I can't help it. Men swarm around me like moths 'round a flame. And if their wings are singed, surely I can't be blamed.
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Simultaneously shot in two versions (English and German) with the same cast; the German (with English subtitles) version is more popular because of the heavy German accents of the cast in the English language version. English lyrics for the songs were written by Sam Lerner. See more »
This movie should merit a place in the upper region of the 250 top movies, somewhere in the neighborhood of "Citizen Kane" and "Twelve Angry Men". Apparently it is not very well known in the USA.
In Germany and in countries where the German language is rather familiar, it is rightly considered as one of the classics of cinema.
Amazing, that Sternberg, only a couple of years after the invention of the "talky" could produce a masterpiece that has seldom been surpassed. It was this movie that launched the carreer of Marlene Dietrich, with her famous song "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt".
I had seen the movie many years ago. When I saw it for the second time about a year ago, I realized that Emile Jennings acting, as the rather silly teacher at the local grammar school who sacrifies his career because of a cabaret girl, was not less impressive than that of Marlene Dietrich. A pity that I did never see another film with this great actor.
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