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Blonde Venus (1932)

Not Rated | | Drama | 28 October 1932 (Hungary)
A cabaret singer takes up with a millionaire to pay for her gravely ill husband's operation.

Writers:

Jules Furthman (by), S.K. Lauren (by)
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Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Ray Milland, Marlene Dietrich, Murvyn Vye
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlene Dietrich ... Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones
Herbert Marshall ... Edward 'Ned' Faraday
Cary Grant ... Nick Townsend
Dickie Moore ... Johnny Faraday
Gene Morgan ... Ben Smith
Rita La Roy ... Taxi Belle Hooper
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Dan O'Connor
Sidney Toler ... Detective Wilson
Morgan Wallace ... Dr. Pierce
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Storyline

American chemist Ned Faraday marries a German entertainer and starts a family. However, he becomes poisoned with Radium and needs an expensive treatment in Germany to have any chance at being cured. Wife Helen returns to night club work to attempt to raise the money and becomes popular as the Blonde Venus. In an effort to get enough money sooner, she prostitutes herself to millionaire Nick Townsend. While Ned is away in Europe, she continues with Nick but when Ned returns cured, he discovers her infidelity. Now Ned despises Helen but she grabs son Johnny and lives on the run, just one step ahead of the Missing Persons Bureau. When they do finally catch her, she loses her son to Ned. Once again she returns to entertaining, this time in Paris, and her fame once again brings her and Townsend together. Helen and Nick return to America engaged, but she is irresistibly drawn back to her son and Ned. In which life does she truly belong? Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What could she do but flee from love? She loved two men at once! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

28 October 1932 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Indiscretion See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video: cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fifth, out of seven, feature-film collaborations between Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg. See more »

Quotes

Nick Townsend: Why don't you cool down and run along? We don't want any trouble.
Big Fellow: Yellow, huh?
Nick Townsend: Yes, maybe I am. As a matter of fact, I'm scared stiff. And being reasonably certain that someone's gonna get a punch in the jaw, I'm going to make sure it isn't me.
[punches him]
Minor Role: Are you goin' back for more, or will we go home, ya big stiff? Come on Mary.
Big Fellow: [as he's being picked up off the floor] Who hit me?
Dan O'Connor: Sorry this happened, Mr. Townsend.
Nick Townsend: Oh, that's all right, O'Connor, I rather enjoyed it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown with a background of water reflected at a swimming hole. As the credits end, we see women swimming in the swimming hole. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original German release and some television prints of "Blonde Venus" exclude the opening scene, where Herbert Marshall encounters Marlene Dietrich and friends "skinny-dipping" in a lake. See more »


Soundtracks

Scherzo from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
(uncredited)
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of Dietrich's best
6 December 1998 | by Teach-7See all my reviews

Josef von Sternberg would, no doubt, dismiss this film as one of his lesser works. Yet, to me,"Blonde Venus" sort of defines his relationship with Marlene Dietrich. The combined attraction of the harlot-mother gives Marlene's acting both sexual radiance and that intimate, moody quality that is so unique to her.

Just watch her in the scenes with her baby boy. She is lovely, glamorous, yet totally attentive to the child's needs, protective and unselfconscious in a way that only Carole Lombard (see "Made for each other" for evidence) managed back in those days. Her presence is so strong that she makes the male stars seem awkward and rigid. Herbert Marshall looks ill at ease, (probably from lack of directorial attention) while Cary Grant sails through the movie, unblessed by inspiration.

This is Marlene's film, through and through. The plot is silly beyond words (suffering in mink, writ large!) but Marlene makes it memorable. Her close-ups in the scene at the railway-station when she realizes she has lost her family tells it all. A lost soul with nowhere to go but down. Von Sternberg (or some intrusive producer) tacked on a happy ending, but the movie really ended there, on a bench. The rest is just wish-fulfilment.


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