Marlene Dietrich

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by charliechaplinfan »

Thanks for that link Moira. I've known about her kindnesses to soldiers but to hear of someone's personal experience, it's truly lovely.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by moira finnie »

From what I can recall of the few hints he let on to us kids, Dad was a leg man, too, so that probably made him more susceptible to Dietrich's wiles too!

Did you know that for decades after the war, whenever a veteran came back stage at her shows she kicked all the big shots out of her dressing room and would reminisce with them for hours? I think it may have been a part of her life she wanted to remember, though there may have been many other days she forced herself to forget, compartmentalizing her life "like a man."
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

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She was a complex woman, the more I read the less I understand about what made her tick. I think her nationality was important to who she was, she lived in Berlin during the First World War, worked for 10 years in Berlin which in the twenties must have been an education and was completely opposed to the Nazis, I think she must have carried the shame of Nazi Germany with her. I don't understand what made her so promiscuous but I've got to admire her stamina.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

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I've finished reading Donald Spoto's biography of Marlene. Her marriage seemed to make tremendous sense and worked for Rudi and Marlene but poor Tami who was Rudi's long time partner was eventually confined to an asylum, it made me wonder if the lack of not being a wife to the man she lived with contributed. Rudi was financially compensated by Marlene, she paid all the expenses, even Tami's medical bills, I guess I'm saying I can understand her and marvel at how many lovers she had but can't understand him. Maybe I'm not as progressive as I thought :lol:
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by charliechaplinfan »

I've watched two of Marlene's later films in the last couple of days, Stagefright and A Foreign Affair. She is magnificient in both, although filmed not far apart in A Foreign Affair she is a younger spirit, a rather jaded one because of the war, a fascinating and bewitching chanteuse, in Stagefright she's the Grand Dame of the stage, she appears middle aged. The difference may be because Marlene had become a grandma before Stagefright and was rethinking her image, which she obviously rethought again once her one man act came along. I don't care if Marlene's fabulous figure in her later years was all bodystock and bugle beads, she retained that certain something for far longer than her contemporaries.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by Mr. Arkadin »

Two I very much recommend:

http://tinyurl.com/2cdn7fx

http://tinyurl.com/2cl5dor

Those prints are Region 2 and look great (I don't know why they haven't been issued over here). They also have Song of Songs (1933), which I desperately want! Talk about a wild Precode!
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by charliechaplinfan »

I have a copy of The Blue Angel but it's the English version, I've heard the German version is the best. Is it very different from the English version? I can rent it off my rental service, I wonder if the film lost something of it's Berlin cabaret feeling in it's translation to English.

Tonight I watched Marlene by Maxmilliam Schell. I'm not sure she did herself any favours making the documentary, which was very good. Even though we don't see her, we hear her voice and it's the voice of an old lady, first heard in German, so I wasn't sure it was her, she's cantankerous too, not so much the generous Dietrich spirit that I've read about.

I have Song of Songs, it's a very racy precode and Marlene does look fabulous in it.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

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Though I would say Dietrich was at her most beautiful in about 1936 or 1937, I think she is so beautiful in Song of Songs, with her hair pulled back softly. I cannot remember the movie at all except for how she looked in it.

I don't think Marlene was exactly bad for her image, but at the same time, it is a very sad movie to watch. I'm still glad she did it.

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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by charliechaplinfan »

Yes, I'm glad she made it. I haven't seen her last film and don't think I would want to, I understand her reluctance to be seen in her old age, afterall she'd bewitched the public for many years and that's how she wants to be remembered. It's always looked cruel to me those pictures of Garbo, chasing her to get a picture, for what, to show the public that Garbo gets old just like everyone else.

There were a couple of moments when I wished she hadn't said what she said. The biggest one was when she said they'd weighed men and women's brains and the woman's was half the size of a man's. I wished she hadn't said that. I also thought she was quite a sad figure. I didn't believe that she still travelled a lot at that time and I felt she was distanced from her daughter.

Those images are lovely. I do believe she posed in the nude for that statue.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

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I agree... perhaps it is wishful thinking, but I was thinking at the point when she said that about women's brains that it almost wasn't really her speaking - just her age and a cantankerous spirit wishing to shock. I wonder if she would have said the same thing as a young woman, or if her life was really that conflicted?
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

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Marlene Dietrich as Lydia in one of my favorite guilty pleasures, "Golden Earrings"
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

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I see her as leading the way in the thirties, in the way she chose to lead her life, yet she was a supporter of marriage and the traditional role for women. She liked to be the German housefrau and then could flit back to being glamourous star. The biography I read said she behaved like that for all the men in her life, nuturing them and cooking and cleaning for them. She often was attracted to men who needed looking after, John Gilbert and Jean Gabin. Her affair with Gilbert is perhaps the strangest, she kept his picture for many years, fainted at his funeral, behaved like his widow. She was a very complex woman.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by phil noir »

charliechaplinfan wrote:Tonight I watched Marlene by Maxmilliam Schell. I'm not sure she did herself any favours making the documentary, which was very good. Even though we don't see her, we hear her voice and it's the voice of an old lady, first heard in German, so I wasn't sure it was her, she's cantankerous too, not so much the generous Dietrich spirit that I've read about.
It's years since I've seen that documentary, but I have an abiding memory of the end, where Maximillian Schell can't take any more of her 'difficult' personality, and abruptly gets up and leaves.

'Schell, come back,' cries Dietrich. 'No man has ever walked out on me.'

Am I remembering it correctly?
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by JackFavell »

You know, I just realized that my mother in law, who is from Germany too, always has a tendency to say the same types of things. I have heard her over and over again say that she is "just a stupid woman" (emphasis on the word woman) when it is apparent that she is anything but that. I don't know if it is something ingrained in that generation of German citizens... to think of women as inferior, only there to prop up men in their important work, but it could be.

Complex is right. Perhaps this is what makes us watch Marlene. She is a fascinating subject.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Post by Libertine »

I call myself a Dietrich fan. She is a complex woman. I hate and like her at the same time. She was a b****, let's face it. She must have been the most promiscuous person in Hollywood ever. Having several affairs at the same time. Must say though, I am impressed by her time management. She also, and that speaks for her, almost never hid her other affairs. Every one knew that she was seeing others, but she hurt so many men... it made me often wonder how she could be so selfish.

I adore her for her work during the war. Despite the fact that she wanted everyone to think she "served" some 3 years, while it was "only" about 1 1/2 years. Anyhow, no one did as much as she, it was brave, and surely the right thing to do for the romantic Marlene. What would give her more pleasure than to kiss a soldier who might die the next day? Other than that she was really against the Nazi's and wanted to boost the moral, to be there and entertain.

Marlene was always trying to perfect her legend. Her autobiography is a hoot. You can not believe a word she wrote. She wants you to think that she was sooooo naive, and that she was nothing without the help of people like von Sternberg. It's true, he created her look, her image in the beginning, but Marlene would have never done something she didn't like.

I haven't read all the former posts here, but I noticed that someone said he read the Donald Spoto biography. I read that one only 2 months ago. It shows you Marlene a bit one dimensional. If you can get hold of the book by Stephen Bach, do so. It's the best book on her for sure, next to the Maria Riva book. Sure the Riva book just shows you the raw and (probably) real Marlene... but she was no angel, and that is how Maria saw her. It really gets you into her life. Like you're there.. mostly when Maria writes about the 30s.

Ah, so much to write about this woman.. will stop for now.
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