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The Devil Is a Woman (1935)

Approved | | Comedy , Drama , Romance | 1935 (Turkey)
A young man is warned by a captain about a temptress; nonetheless, he finds himself falling in love with her.

Writers:

Pierre Louÿs (novel) (as Pierre Louys), John Dos Passos (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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On TV

Airs Fri. Nov. 16, 12:00 PM on TCM

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Ray Milland, Marlene Dietrich, Murvyn Vye
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlene Dietrich ... Concha Perez
Lionel Atwill ... Capt. Don Pasqual 'Pasqualito' Costelar
Edward Everett Horton ... Gov. Don Paquito 'Paquitito'
Alison Skipworth ... Senora Perez
Cesar Romero ... Antonio Galvan
Don Alvarado ... Morenito
Tempe Pigott ... Tuerta (as Tempe Piggott)
Francisco Moreno Francisco Moreno ... Alphonso (as Paco Moreno)
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Storyline

Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In a café the older man details his encounters with the heart breaker that his younger friend has only just met at the parade. Forewarned, the young man swears he will avoid the fate of his friend, but rushes all the same to his evening rendezvous. A dreamlike story of frustrated, lost romance, spoken in the past tense, never really resolved. Written by <cantor@sirius.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Kiss me .. and I'll break your heart!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1935 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

Caprice Espagno See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 1971 film interview with Swedish television, her first television interview, Marlene Dietrich claimed that this was her favorite film that she had made with director Josef von Sternberg. In later years, she would go on to say that it was her all-time favorite out of all of her films. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Don Pasqual 'Pasqualito' Costelar: Aren't you afraid of anything, Concha? Have you no fear of death?
Concha Perez: No. Not today. I feel too happy. Why do you ask? Are you going to kill me?
See more »

Connections

Version of The Female (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Capriccio Espagnol, Op.34
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Played during the opening credits and as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Devilishly good
25 April 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The partnership of actress Marlene Dietrich and director Josef Von Sternberg was a justifiably famous one, and could even be seen as iconic (personally do consider it so). They did seven films together, starting with 1930's 'The Blue Angel' (perhaps the most historically significant) and ending with 1935's 'The Devil is a Woman', all of which ranging from good to outstanding (the weakest to me being 'Blonde Venus and that was still good).

Of which 'The Devil is a Woman' is one of their best, along with 'Shanghai Express' and 'The Scarlet Empress'. It does end on a bit of a curiously odd note and it's a tad over-stuffed in places. All that aside, 'The Devil is a Woman' to me was a great film with a huge amount to admire.

First and foremost, Dietrich. She was never more beautifully captured on film than in her collaborations with Sternberg and 'The Devil is a Woman' is not an exception. As with her previous films with him she looks luminous, not just lavishly made up and costumed but gorgeously photographed. As for her acting, once again she is fun to watch but also brings a vulnerability to her role which helps make the role a real character.

She is very well supported by Lionel Atwill, excelling in an atypical sympathetic leading role (more familiar with him as a supporting actor), and Cesar Romero's usual suave charm proves crucial in making the most of a character not quite as interesting as Dietrich's and Atwill's. Edward Everett Horton is hilarious. Sternberg's direction is as accomplished as ever.

Can always count on a Sternberg film to be visually beautiful, and 'The Devil is a Woman' does not disappoint. Not just the striking use of light and shadow lighting and the sumptuous settings and costuming but especially the cinematography, which is often enough to take the breath away. The music score is stirring yet not intrusive.

Scripting is sophisticated and humorous, and the story is compelling and actually has more depth than one would think. The erotic, sensual atmosphere intoxicates too.

In summary, a devilishly good film, what a film to go out on for Dietrich and Sternberg. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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