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
This was Emil Jannings' final English-language film (it was released in both German and English versions - see Alternate Versions). 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 »
I just got through watching The Blue Angel (1930) for the second time in a month. When I was watching the beginning this time, I thought: oh, this isn't as powerful as I remembered. I even thought Jannings was overdoing it a little -- he couldn't be as good as I remembered. And then it absolutely knocked me for a loop all over again.
Bear in mind that I have a tape that cost $3.98. The film looked old and scratchy, the tape quality was bad, and the sound was poor. This is one of the very earliest sound movies and the sound technique was sometimes distracting. After the first 20 minutes, I couldn't have cared less about the technology. The images of this film are burned into my brain. The business at the very beginning with the dead bird and the sugar cube, the caricatures on the blackboards, Lola's reaction to the marriage proposal, the wedding party and, most of all, the entire last half hour of this film -- none of that left me in the three weeks since my first viewing and it lost none of its impact the second time around.
Emil Jannings was just absolutely wonderful. His face in the mirror toward the end is heartbreaking. He doesn't have to say a word. This was Dietrich's debut, and she is great too, but it is Jannings' picture.
Highly recommended. 10/10
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