The Blue Angel (1930)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Music


The Blue Angel (1930) Poster

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.


7.7/10
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  • Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings in The Blue Angel (1930)
  • Emil Jannings in The Blue Angel (1930)
  • Emil Jannings in The Blue Angel (1930)
  • Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel (1930)
  • Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings in The Blue Angel (1930)
  • Wilhelm Diegelmann and Emil Jannings in The Blue Angel (1930)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Josef von Sternberg

Writers:

Heinrich Mann (novel), Carl Zuckmayer, Karl Vollmöller, Robert Liebmann, Carl Winston (english dialogue)

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User Reviews


7 June 2007 | bkoganbing
9
| Humiliation, Degradation, Despair
Proper and respectable Emil Jannings, a teacher at a boys high school takes quite an interest in their moral well being. Seems there's this naughty establishment called The Blue Angel in his town where women have been known to entertain in various states of undress. Some of his boys have some postcards of one of the dancers and Jannings catches them with it. After confiscating the material, Jannings decides to go down to the Blue Angel and tell them not to be catering to minors.

Of course he takes one look at the subject of those naughty postcards and since it turns out to be Marlene Dietrich, he realizes his own education has been sadly neglected.

He's spotted the kids in the establishment, but they've spotted him as well. From an authoritarian figure, Jannings is now a figure of derision and has no authority in or out of the classroom. He marries Marlene and tours with her company as a clown. A return to his hometown proves to be more than he can bear.

Though Marlene Dietrich became an international sex symbol from this film and got a Hollywood contract as a result, the film is really the story of Jannings, his downfall, his humiliation, his degradation. Their respective career paths were really meeting halfway in this film. She was going to America on the strength of this film, Jannings was returning to Germany where he became a very big star and leader of Adolph Hitler's amen corner in German cinema

In the supporting cast is also Kurt Gerron who is a magician and manager of the troupe of entertainers Marlene and Jannings are part of. His life had the worst tragedy of all, as a Jew he met death in Auschwitz, but not after undergoing a lot of humiliation before. Not unlike what Jannings had in the film, but this was real life.

The Blue Angel is a milestone film for many people and in an indirect way for Adolph Hitler as well since he got his biggest film star from the cast. Still though it's a stunning bit of cinema with performances that still hold up very well today.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marlene Dietrich's screen test for this film survives. In it, she pretends to upbraid her pianist, played by Friedrich Hollaender, the film's composer. She then sings the chorus of "You're the Cream In My Coffee" a number of times, in English, after which she climbs on the piano, hitches up her skirt (to show her legs) and sings, in German, a torch song called "Why Cry" by Peter Kreuder, a well-known song-writer who supervised the film's orchestral arrangements. As the test ends, Dietrich breaks character and apologizes to Hollaender.


Quotes

Lola Lola: What do you want?
Prof. Immanuel Rath: I'm here on official business. You're corrupting my pupils.
Lola Lola: Really? Think I'm running a kindergarten?
Lola Lola: What's wrong, cat got your tongue?


Goofs

When the professor returns to his class and the boys burst out in uproar, the drawing on the blackboard shows three lines with Lola's name. The director, drawn by the noise, enters the class and now there are only two lines. After the class is dismissed, the third line has returned.


Alternate Versions

Simultaneously shot in two versions (English and German) with the same cast; the German (with English subtitles) version is more popular because of the heavy German accents of the cast in the English language version. English lyrics for the songs were written by Sam Lerner.


Soundtracks

Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen wünscht Papageno sich!
(uncredited)
(from singspiel "Die Zauberflöte")
Music by
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Music

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