6.8/10
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12 user 21 critic

The Song of Songs (1933)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 19 July 1933 (USA)
Lily falls in love with the sculptor who leaves her out of fear of commitment.

Director:

Rouben Mamoulian

Writers:

Hermann Sudermann (novel), Edward Sheldon (play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlene Dietrich ... Lily Czepanek
Brian Aherne ... Richard Waldow
Lionel Atwill ... Baron von Merzbach
Alison Skipworth ... Mrs. Rasmussen
Hardie Albright ... Walter Von Prell
Helen Freeman ... Fräulein Von Schwertfeger
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Storyline

Country orphan Lily goes to Berlin to stay with her tippling aunt, and soon meets Richard, handsome sculptor across the street. Persuaded half-reluctantly to pose for Richard, her physical charms (shown as fully as 1933 mores permitted) soon melt away his 'strictly business' attitude, and they become lovers. But Richard, wanting his freedom, connives at her marriage to his wealthy client Baron von Merzbach... whose household includes a jealous former mistress and a susceptible farm manager. Has Richard still a role to play in her life? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the world's great love stories comes to the star who can make it live See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was banned in Nazi Germany because the novel's author was Jewish and because Dietrich refused to work there as long as the Nazis were in power. See more »

Goofs

After putting her aunt to bed with a cup of tea and a bottle of rum, Lily goes to turn off the gas lamp in her room - but the lights on the set go off before she extinguishes the flame of the lamp. See more »

Quotes

Lily Czepanek: Are you making love to me?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wind at My Back: Life on Mars (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Jonny
(uncredited)
Music by Friedrich Hollaender
English lyrics by Edward Heyman
Sung by Marlene Dietrich
See more »

User Reviews

.... And Then He Kissed Her
1 July 2011 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

This picture was a big reversal for Marlene Dietrich. Besides her first picture without Von Sternberg as director, it is the first one in which she goes from ingenue to demi-monde, instead of starting out as one. Here she is cast as a country girl who comes to the big city and befriends a sculptor of nudes (Aherne). She becomes his model, until he kisses her. Then the scales fall from their eyes and she becomes his lover. It is an extremely effective scene.

Matters evolve (or devolve) as a Prussian Colonel (Lionel Atwill) also takes an interest in his model. Atwill, who normally plays diabolical and unsavory types, has one of his best roles as a lecherous soldier and plays it to the hilt. It is a riveting portrayal and commands your attention whenever he is on screen. Alison Skipworth, one of Hollywood's best character actresses, plays her dipso aunt in what is her best role since "Outward Bound".

The storyline is not the thing here but it is fascinating to watch a master like Mamoulian at work and to watch Dietrich play against type, as well as watching the aforementioned Atwill in a performance that is sublime. Those are the surprises, not the plot - it's been done many times before and since.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deep Night See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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