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Marlene Dietrich on TCM Pt.2: A Foreign Affair, The Blue Angel, Manpower

Marlene Dietrich on TCM: Shanghai Express, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is A Woman Raoul Walsh's unpretentious Manpower (1941) is a surprisingly entertaining drama about a love triangle featuring good-time gal Marlene Dietrich and unlikely partners Edward G. Robinson and George Raft. As an ex-Nazi chanteuse/black marketer (photo), Dietrich nearly steals the show in Billy Wilder's post-war Berlin-set A Foreign Affair (1948); I say nearly because Jean Arthur is Dietrich's equal as the goody-goody American congresswoman who learns that goody-goodiness may take you far at work (at least in the movies) but not in life. In the hands of someone like Ernst Lubitsch, A Foreign Affair would have been a humorously romantic masterpiece, cleverly and subtly interweaving the personal, the social, and the political. As it is, the comedy works great whenever Arthur and Dietrich are on-screen; else, A Foreign Affair suffers from Wilder's heavy hand; lapses in judgment in Wilder,

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