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Blonde Venus (1932)

Not Rated | | Drama | 23 September 1932 (USA)
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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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:

From the lips of one MAN to the arms of another! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was released on DVD 4 April 2006 as on of 5 titles in Universal's Marlene Dietrich: The Glamour Collection, as a single 1 July 2014 as part of the Universal Vault Series, 19 April 2016 as one of 18 [Paramount] titles in Universal's Cary Grant: The Vault Collection, and again 17 May 2016 in the Universal Hollywood Icons: Marlene Dietrich Collection, and, since that time, has also enjoyed occasional airings on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies. See more »

Goofs

Check is shown on screen written to Helen Jones. This is her stage name so not sure how she will cash the check. See more »

Quotes

Taxi Belle Hooper: So you're the Blonde Venus. Don't tell me you thought of that label all by yourself.
Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones: No. Mister O'Connor told me it would help me in my work.
Taxi Belle Hooper: He would. He didn't have to think up any name for me when I helped put this dump on the map. My name's Taxi Belle Hooper. Taxi for short.
Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones: Do you charge for the first mile?
Taxi Belle Hooper: Say, you trying' to ride me? Don't get the wrong idea. They call me Taxi because I won't ride in nothin' else. Safety first, that's my motto. Good drinking partners always make bad drivers....
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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 »

Connections

Featured in Marlene Dietrich: Shadow and Light (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Go Home And Tell Your Mother
(uncredited)
Written by Dorothy Fields (as Fields) and Jimmy McHugh (as McHugh)
Played on a pianola during cafe scene.
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User Reviews

 
A No Go Back In The Day
5 June 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Blonde Venus unfortunately turned out to be the one and only collaboration of Marlene Dietrich and Cary Grant. Sad to say though, Grant was not the lead here, just the other man who comes between Marlene and husband Herbert Marshall. There's no real chemistry in this one between any of the principal players and the best scenes are with Marlene and little Dickie Moore playing her son with Marshall.

The best thing about Blonde Venus are Marlene's musical numbers and they're memorable because of the inimitable way she puts over a song. All Dietrich fans should treasure her Hot Voodoo number where Marlene has a gorilla suit on and does a sexy strip out of that costume and gives us a look at voodoo can do to us.

But when its not showing Dietrich's legs off and her husky singing, the film is the story of a woman in love with two men. Husband Herbert Marshall is a research scientist who contracts 'radium poisoning' and needs money to go to Europe for a cure. Dietrich gets the money by doing some entertaining in a seedy dive where she comes to the attention of wealthy playboy Cary Grant. From there the plot progresses to the inevitable Hollywood conclusion with a script that was written by Joseph Von Sternberg who directed the film as well.

Paramount was taking a shot in the dark here with radium poisoning gambit. The plain truth is they didn't know a whole lot about radioactivity then. The discoverer of radium Marie Curie did in fact die of cancer contracted from too much exposure to it. But one didn't just go somewhere for a miracle cure for that sort of thing.

Herbert Marshall was always playing the injured party it seems in a whole lot of his films. He's well remembered for being Bette Davis's husband in The Little Foxes, a much better film than Blonde Venus. I also remember him in When Ladies Meet where he was cheating on Greer Garson with Joan Crawford and he went through the film with an air of innocence that you would think he was the party offended. Marshall had these roles down pat, but he had more to him in his acting repertoire.

Even before The Code was put in place Paramount had a lot of trouble with the Hays Office in getting this one exhibited. Some changes were made that no doubt weakened the plot and the story. Marlene is basically in love with two guys at the same time and that was a no go back in the day.

Blonde Venus didn't do that well at the box office, it was quite a let down from her previous film Shanghai Express. After this one she and Joseph Von Sternberg were separated and she did her next film, Song of Songs with Rouben Mamoulian.

Blonde Venus is great Dietrich who's asked to carry a weak story.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

23 September 1932 (USA) 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
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