Lord Frederick Barker is the British representative to the League of Nations. Current geopolitical tensions, which could lead to war if not dealt with, have him preoccupied with work, he more often than not feeling the need to deal with issues rather than delegate them to subordinates. As such, his wife, Lady Maria Barker, is feeling neglected, Frederick, totally devoted to and in love with his wife, unaware of her feelings. While he is in Geneva for work, she secretly flies to Paris under an assumed name to deal with her emotions with her old friend, the Grand Duchess Anna Dmitrievna formerly of Russia, the only person in Paris who knows her true identity. The Grand Duchess' general role in her social circle is to facilitate good times for others, with unspoken discretion. It is at the Grand Duchess' salon that Maria meets playboy Anthony Halton. While spending the evening together, Maria and Tony fall in love with each other, with Maria, under the circumstances, refusing to divulge ...Written by
The last film for Marlene Dietrich at Paramount under her seven-year contract with the studio. It was not renewed due to a series of recent flops for he films at the box office. See more »
[describing her dream]
I lost you in Paris. The next thing I remember we were here at home and you were beating me.
What did you do?
I'm afraid to tell you.
I liked it. And then you started to kiss me.
And you liked that too?
Better than ever before. You carried me upstairs.
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Marlene Dietrich more irresistible than ever making fools of two men
This is one of Ernst Lubitsch's less conspicuous films, while the performance of Marlene Dietrich in it is the more outstanding. Herbert Marshall is all right, he played against her before in "Blonde Venus" four years earlier, he was a jealous husband even there, but that was Josef con Sternberg, while Ernst Lubitsch is a completely different thing, although both are Viennese, and Marlene Dietrich is German. Melvyn Douglas is the tricky thing here. He makes a perfectly abominable offensive character insisting on constantly importuning on her, and you can't understand how she can tolerate it, but Marlene is Marlene, always superior to any critical situation, and also here she finally provides a solution, but not without the clever psychological empathy with her on the part of Herbert Marshall. Both Melvyn and Herbert appear, however, as perfect dummies at her side, while she makes the entire film worth while and watching. It's very European, while poor Melvyn keeps blundering on without noticing anything of the subtleties going on. She enters as a mystery of an intrigue, but when she has solved the knot she is already gone.
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