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Marlene Dietrich

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 15th, 2011, 4:04 pm

Despite all her affairs or rumours of affairs I can help liking her, there's never been anyone else quite like her, she's refreshing. I recently read a book about Hedy Lamarr, it mentioned Jean Pierre Aumont, on his arrival in Hollywood he was sampling the local delicacies too obviously and was told by a fellow countryman that that kind of behaviour just wasn't done in Hollywood. Seems no one told Marlene or if they did she didn't care.

John Wayne's affair with Marlene took place during the first movie they made together, it had cooled by the time they made their second movie. I wonder if she really said 'Daddy, buy me that'

Spoto's book does claim that Jimmy Stewart made her pregnant, I can't remember how he substantiated it but of all her affairs I find that one the most incongruous, possibly because I know little about Stewart and he's forever linked in my mind with the number of good guys he played on screen, apart from Liberty Valance I've never seen him play anything other than the genuine good guy.

I love the quotes about Fritz Lang. Marlene wasn't the only top ranking actress he had a fling with, looking at the pictures of him, it's hard to see what the attraction was but then I'm not an actress trying to stay at the top of the Hollywood pile, plus he might have had a A1 personality.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby Rita Hayworth » June 15th, 2011, 4:37 pm

charliechaplinfan,

In the past three days; I have reading your thread on Marlene Dietrich with great enthusiasm (and with ChiO and our new Member Libertine) been chipping (and contributing) in on our behalf and I learned a lot from you. I never realized how complex she really is and furthermore she has a very, very interesting life. I'm amazed how much knowledge that you have and really gotten into her life in Hollywood (and beyond) and sharing everything you know about her.

ChiO & Libertine,

That's goes double to both of you. I learned a lot about Marlene from both of you and I do appreciate both of you for sharing your thoughts as well. Keep it up.

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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 16th, 2011, 12:28 pm

There is an interesting documentary that she made at the end of her life, simply called Marlene and directed by Maxmillian Schell, it's a strange documentary, I don't think it does her any favours, for a woman who knew everything about the camera and how it presented her and how she safeguarded that image all those years and the Marlene documentary shows another side of her. It might simply be by that time she was in pain or disorientated and shouldn't have made the documentary or it might be the person she really was. I'm not sure if Schell was exploiting her, for it is interesting or doing her a great service by showing these clips of her most famous performances to a younger audience.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby Libertine » June 16th, 2011, 2:40 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:Despite all her affairs or rumours of affairs I can help liking her, there's never been anyone else quite like her, she's refreshing. I recently read a book about Hedy Lamarr, it mentioned Jean Pierre Aumont, on his arrival in Hollywood he was sampling the local delicacies too obviously and was told by a fellow countryman that that kind of behaviour just wasn't done in Hollywood. Seems no one told Marlene or if they did she didn't care.


Image I think she didn't care... for her that was ordinary behavior. More or less.

charliechaplinfan wrote:John Wayne's affair with Marlene took place during the first movie they made together, it had cooled by the time they made their second movie. I wonder if she really said 'Daddy, buy me that'


I can definitely imagine her saying that. It's very possible. Also suits her sense of humor.

charliechaplinfan wrote:Spoto's book does claim that Jimmy Stewart made her pregnant, I can't remember how he substantiated it but of all her affairs I find that one the most incongruous, possibly because I know little about Stewart and he's forever linked in my mind with the number of good guys he played on screen, apart from Liberty Valance I've never seen him play anything other than the genuine good guy.


Well, in the Riva book you hear about that abortion too, and it happened during the time she had the affair with Jimmy. It seems to be true. Of all the men she had affairs with.. unbelievable!

kingme wrote:ChiO & Libertine,

That's goes double to both of you. I learned a lot about Marlene from both of you and I do appreciate both of you for sharing your thoughts as well. Keep it up.


Thanks a lot! More to come if you like. :) I am still reading about her. Since I've decided to read everything I have about a star in a row - instead of reading about this person and then about another person, like I used to do - I am on this topic since some months. I have also been in the Dietrich exhibition in Berlin lately, and at her grave. Maybe I'll post a pic of her grave if you like soon.

BTW, Marlene said Hildegard Knef was her best friend. She said, or better, wrote that in her autobiography. She called her "Hildekind" (Hildechild). ;)
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 17th, 2011, 1:37 pm

I'll be fascinated by your findings, what an interesting way to read about someone. Do you hire the books from the library buying only the ones that are out of print or are you a book hoarder like me? Marlene seems to be a good place to start. It's often in books about others that other titbits come out about stars, only I struggle to remember where exactly I read that titbit. I hate sloppy journalism and once I've found an author who does his job properly, researching and cross checking etc I'll usually read all that they've done.

Please do post a picture of her grave. Where is she buried and is she alone or does she rest with Rudy?
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby moira finnie » June 17th, 2011, 2:23 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote: Do you hire the books from the library buying only the ones that are out of print or are you a book hoarder like me?

Believe it or not, Alison, public libraries are free* in the States, thanks in great part to the foresight and generosity of that Scottish immigrant, Andrew Carnegie, who gave millions to establish the library system in America. They are an under appreciated gem in nearly every community in the country.

*Unless of course you forget to bring a book back after taking it out and have to pay fines (usually from 5 cents to a quarter a day). You can also renew books easily to extend your original period having it at home.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby Libertine » June 17th, 2011, 4:19 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:I'll be fascinated by your findings, what an interesting way to read about someone. Do you hire the books from the library buying only the ones that are out of print or are you a book hoarder like me? Marlene seems to be a good place to start.


Ah, our library would only offer one book about Marlene... I never use the library. I own all my books. Most of them are out of print, and in Marlene's case most are in German. I actually started doing this way of reading with Bankhead before... but the way I do it now, it's more... effective..

charliechaplinfan wrote: It's often in books about others that other titbits come out about stars, only I struggle to remember where exactly I read that titbit. I hate sloppy journalism and once I've found an author who does his job properly, researching and cross checking etc I'll usually read all that they've done.


YES! That's the first thing I do in other books, check the index, and look for stories related to others of my favorites. You can imagine, how I am Image if there's no index featured.. I find it very unprofessional.

charliechaplinfan wrote:Please do post a picture of her grave. Where is she buried and is she alone or does she rest with Rudy?


Here it is. Marlene is buried in a nice, small cemetery in Berlin (btw, I am not German, I only visited Berlin ;) ). She is alone in her grave, so to say. Her mother is also buried in this cemetery some rows away in another grave.

Rudi is buried in LA. at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.. Tamara is buried there as well, but they got her birth year wrong on her tombstone - they are not buried together also.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby Gary J. » June 17th, 2011, 4:55 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:There is an interesting documentary that she made at the end of her life, simply called Marlene and directed by Maxmillian Schell, it's a strange documentary, I don't think it does her any favours, for a woman who knew everything about the camera and how it presented her and how she safeguarded that image all those years and the Marlene documentary shows another side of her. It might simply be by that time she was in pain or disorientated and shouldn't have made the documentary or it might be the person she really was. I'm not sure if Schell was exploiting her, for it is interesting or doing her a great service by showing these clips of her most famous performances to a younger audience.


He was hardly exploiting her. He admired her as an actor and as a fellow countryman and he wanted to document her stories before she passed on. Everything was all set up for the interviews when on the day of filming Schell shows up with his crew only to be told that Dietrich had changed her mind and refused to be on film. He had no choice but to film it the way he did.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby Libertine » June 18th, 2011, 4:15 am

Gary J. wrote:
charliechaplinfan wrote:There is an interesting documentary that she made at the end of her life, simply called Marlene and directed by Maxmillian Schell, it's a strange documentary, I don't think it does her any favours, for a woman who knew everything about the camera and how it presented her and how she safeguarded that image all those years and the Marlene documentary shows another side of her. It might simply be by that time she was in pain or disorientated and shouldn't have made the documentary or it might be the person she really was. I'm not sure if Schell was exploiting her, for it is interesting or doing her a great service by showing these clips of her most famous performances to a younger audience.


He was hardly exploiting her. He admired her as an actor and as a fellow countryman and he wanted to document her stories before she passed on. Everything was all set up for the interviews when on the day of filming Schell shows up with his crew only to be told that Dietrich had changed her mind and refused to be on film. He had no choice but to film it the way he did.


She really made it complicated for him. First this talking in English at these days, talking in German at those days, no filming... not of her, nor of her apartment. And, wow, her replies... she was often very.. direct, a bit rude. It does her, indeed no favors. At times she sounds like not sober, and as we know, Marlene was a friend of alcohol and pills later in her life. You can hear it. It's sad. And she was not very cooperative. Of course he would ask her about her career, her movies, etc. Why being surprised and so stubborn about talking about them. And why deny to have a sister, when he's showing her the photograph?

BUT, you know as soon as the recorder was off, she was a different person. She chatted and was humorous, friendly to the crew. She had prepared something for them to eat, etc. When the recorder was turned on again... there she was - la Dietrich.

Didn't she even say he shall go back to Mama Schell and learn manners? LOL

Btw, Schell and Marlene are no countrymen. Schell was born in Vienna/Austria, and is an Austrian as well as a Swiss citizen. I don't want to correct you, only thought you might want to know. :)
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 19th, 2011, 11:33 am

I don't think he meant to exploit her, it's just felt exploitative. I admire the image Marlene kept up over all those years and how hard she worked at it, sustaining it through the years and all her live shows but this final documentary was skewed as to how I see everything that preceded it.

I love books, I own many but also hire from libraries. I try to rent from libraries first to get an idea of whether I like the author and would read or use as reference again. Books without indexes are a dissappointment. I admire your tenacity at reading everything available that you can get your hands on. Are these German books recent publications or do they give you a view on how she was viewed by the German public in the years after the war. Do you also watch the movies in tandem to your reading?

I'm suprised in a way that she chose Berlin as a resting place. Perhaps she never really assimilated in America or given her later travels found that she was more at home in Europe then ultimately in Berlin.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 19th, 2011, 11:36 am

moirafinnie wrote:
charliechaplinfan wrote: Do you hire the books from the library buying only the ones that are out of print or are you a book hoarder like me?

Believe it or not, Alison, public libraries are free* in the States, thanks in great part to the foresight and generosity of that Scottish immigrant, Andrew Carnegie, who gave millions to establish the library system in America. They are an under appreciated gem in nearly every community in the country.

*Unless of course you forget to bring a book back after taking it out and have to pay fines (usually from 5 cents to a quarter a day). You can also renew books easily to extend your original period having it at home.


They must run along similar lines as our libraries. It's great now their catalogues are online, I can search from my home rather than going down and pouring over a microfiche. Are your libraries public funded these days or do you still rely on benevolent people?
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby moira finnie » June 19th, 2011, 11:54 am

The libraries are largely publicly funded, though people who can afford to donate too. Carnegie basically started the library system, but the towns and cities where they were located have always been primarily funded by the citizens via taxes and are free to all who are residents, though anyone can use them for research onsite or as a lovely escape. It's just my opinion, but libraries seem to be one of the last items that should be cut in this economic era. People need them more than ever.

I do like the fact that I can order books through my library and download ebooks on the computer, though I prefer the look and feel of real paper and print rather than the nook or ipad.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby Libertine » June 20th, 2011, 2:20 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:I don't think he meant to exploit her, it's just felt exploitative. I admire the image Marlene kept up over all those years and how hard she worked at it, sustaining it through the years and all her live shows but this final documentary was skewed as to how I see everything that preceded it.


Yes, I agree. It left a bitter taste. And, it shows her in a negative light. But you can hear how stubborn she was. It's quite fun though.

charliechaplinfan wrote:I love books, I own many but also hire from libraries. I try to rent from libraries first to get an idea of whether I like the author and would read or use as reference again. Books without indexes are a dissappointment. I admire your tenacity at reading everything available that you can get your hands on. Are these German books recent publications or do they give you a view on how she was viewed by the German public in the years after the war. Do you also watch the movies in tandem to your reading?


I wish our libraries had any books which are interesting for me. But, I am not on the lucky side... also it's not free like it's in other countries. But I could live with 50 cents a book... still, there are none. LOL

Most of the German books I have about her are either recent publications, or not available in English at all, like the "MD Adressbuch" (address-book), or "MD Ihr Weg zum Chanson" (Her Path to Chanson). There exists a book about her and Leni Riefenstahl (well, not the BOTH, but both are topic of the same book), and how they were seen by the press and public during the lifes. I do not have it yet, but a friend has, and it seems quite interesting.

This weekend, shame on me, I didn't watch a Marlene movie, but I try to watch them while reading.. I still have many books ahead of me. I don't know if I'll make it, reading all.. but I'll try. LOL

charliechaplinfan wrote:I'm suprised in a way that she chose Berlin as a resting place. Perhaps she never really assimilated in America or given her later travels found that she was more at home in Europe then ultimately in Berlin.


Are you really surprised? She never really liked the USA. Or let's say, because I think it is more to the point, she never really felt home in the USA. She had her apartment in Paris since a long time when she decided to stay there for the rest of her life as a hermit. And, so many things in the US were so different from the European life-style. She loved Germany, she loved Berlin, she hated the Nazi's. And probably the fact that her mother is also there... was a reason to lie there. It says a lot, that she's not in the same grave as Rudi.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 21st, 2011, 3:21 pm

What country do you live in Libertine, if you don't mind divulging?

I'm not surprised about her resting place being in Europe, although I'd have expected Paris. I think America was fun at first, like it was for many emigres but she yearned for European ways. She was parted from her Mother for so long and I admire her for making her choice ie. to have nothing to do with Germany under Naziism and deal with the loss of her mother. Why do you think she denied her own sister?

I didn't know ebooks were available for download. it's a good thing but like you Moira, I'd rather have a good old fashioned book.

Where has Errol Flynn gone Moira? I'm not complaining, i like walter Huston. I was watching September Affair today and Walter Huston sang the September Song, a very original rendition but sounded like he had lived every word.
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Re: Marlene Dietrich

Postby Libertine » June 22nd, 2011, 10:47 am

charliechaplinfan wrote:What country do you live in Libertine, if you don't mind divulging?


I live in Austria. I honestly wondered when I'd be asked, because I always mention German books. :D But, well, I am not German... 8)

charliechaplinfan wrote:I'm not surprised about her resting place being in Europe, although I'd have expected Paris. I think America was fun at first, like it was for many emigres but she yearned for European ways. She was parted from her Mother for so long and I admire her for making her choice ie. to have nothing to do with Germany under Naziism and deal with the loss of her mother. Why do you think she denied her own sister?


Things like orange juice for breakfast were totally strange for her... the American food, the American lifestyle... back then, more than now, the life-styles and attitudes towards life must have been very different between the USA and Europe.

Fun... she had lots of fun in Berlin too, I think she missed Berlin and Germany a lot in the beginning of her career in Hollywood. And remember how she didn't like to go, but because she trusted von Sternberg and Rudi, she went to Hollywood. She wanted to return at first, but the rise of the NSDAP to power changed that.

She was on the safer side though, so it was easier for her to make the desicion to not return to the US and to be actively anti-Nazi (I am so glad she was!). Her husband and child, and she herself were in the USA and safe. She had her mother and sister in Germany, but they didn't want to move, and her brother-in-law as well as her nephew (children are easy to manipulate) were, in the end, pro-Nazi it seems. For sure another reason why she denied her own sister - in public. Another one was that she was incredibly shocked when she found out her sister, of whom she only knew was in Bergen-Belsen, was actually living in that town, and not in the concentration camp. Her husband and she had a cinema there, and also SS men were regular guests of it. She must have known what did happen over there.

I think Marlene was shocked and didn't want to have to talk about this ever in the public. So how to avoid questions like that most easily? From then on, there was no sister. But Elisabeth (her sister) and she stayed in contact. She got regularly royalities from Marlene's record-sale. She made sure she gets money and they exchanged letters. Elisabeth was even grateful for being not mentioned by MD in public.
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