15 February 2010 | JLRMovieReviews
Marlene Dietrich and Rene Clair...ooh la la!
You see a wedding dress floating in the ocean, and the story begins of how it came to be there. Marlene Dietrich lives basically upon the kindness and generosity of men. She sets her sights on Roland Young (from "Topper"), who has scads of money. She also has a particular habit of fainting, which she uses to her advantage, whenever it serves her purpose or whenever she doesn't know else to get out of a particular situation. Roland starts to pursue her, but doesn't realize he was already picked from the beginning. She tries to be hard to get, but just enough to get what she wants.
Enter Bruce Cabot who of course meets her in such a way as to antagonize her without them actually seeing each other. When her plans get mixed up with Roland and her reputation gets compromised by a rumor, she resorts to drastic measures.
I had never seen this and loved it, obviously by my rating. Marlene and Bruce's chemistry, its use of time and place, the imagery and colors of the clothes of the time, and its expressive grand music made for the most perfect 80 minutes spent on a movie in a long time.
Featuring a slew of recognizable faces including Mischa Auer, Andy Devine, Franklin Pangborn, Melville Cooper, Laura Hope Crews ("Aunt Pittypat" from "Gone with the Wind"), Anne Revere (Oscar winner for "National Velvet" as the mother), and Eddie Quillan, this is one movie not to be missed.
Eddie Quillan? You don't know him? Sure, you do. You've seen him. You just didn't know it. He was a prolific supporting actor in movies in bit parts like this one and also made memorable appearances in 50s and 60s TV shows, like "The Addams Family." His most famous role was probably that in "The Grapes of Wrath."
Directed by Rene Clair who also made "Le Million", which I reviewed, and "A Nous La Liberte," (some say that is his masterpiece, but I have yet to see, but will) this is yet another example of Dietrich at her sexiest, and all Dietrich fans and film lovers should buy the Marlene Dietrich DVD collection with this on it and sit back and see one of the greatest screen icons ever!