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
According to producer Erich Pommer, Josef von Sternberg wanted Lucie Mannheim as Lola Lola but the producer didn't think she could carry such an expensive production. Also considered were Trude Hesterberg (mistress of author Heinrich Mann) and Brigitte Helm. 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 »
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 »
Today, most people know this film as featuring Marlene Dietrich's signature tune "Falling in Love Again." But it was the first sound film to be made in Germany; and is the first great sound film to be made anywhere. Although it exists also in an English version that was made at the same time, both Dietrich and Jannings give better performances in their native language; and, as the sound is rather poor, it is easier to follow in German with the English sub-titles. Jannings was the first actor to win an Academy Award (though not for this film) and his performance as the professor who is lead to ruin by a femme fatale remains one of the memorable film performances. Fans of Dietrich should not miss this film which brought her international success. This is one of those films that only grows with continued viewing. If you were fond of Cabaret, then this is the real Germany between the World Wars. Highly recommended.
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