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  • Remake of a 1930 classic that starred Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings in a mismatched love affair. In the remake, Curt Jurgens has the Jannings role of an aging professor who becomes entranced with a tawdry cafe singer (Britt). He marries her and it's all downhill from there. He quickly becomes her toady. Britt as the singer Lola Lola is nothing to write home about, but Jurgens pulls out all the stops as the beleaguered professor whose life quickly falls apart after he becomes involved with the singer and her subculture. His marriage proposal scene is almost painful to watch in its intensity. Theodore Bikel plays the singer's impresario. I would suggest you stick with the original. Dietrich exuded a star power that Britt completely lacks. If you do watch it, watch it for Jurgens' masterful portrayal of a desperate man.
  • This is one remake that is better than the original, even though that original is one of the classics of world cinema. This remake is also fundamentally different. In the original, Lola Lola was the main character. Not only that, but the professor was just a buffoon. Neither character was particularly appealing. Lola was cruel. The professor was a fool.

    In the remake, the professor is the main character and he is treated realistically. (I suspect that this is truer to the Heinrich Mann novel also.) The professor teaches biology, and for years has taught his boys about the birds and the bees--literally, without having a clue of the feelings associated with those birds and bees. Then, he sees Lola and is bowled over. It is easy for her to seduce him. The next morning, he, being a German gentleman, proposes marriage to her. She is touched and flattered and accepts. The school where he teaches is outraged and orders him to give up this plan, but the professor remains true to his intended. He is fired. He tries to get a position elsewhere, but all schools are closed to him. Soon, he has spent all his savings and he and Lola are reduced to poverty. Lola goes back to the cabaret job and supports him. Soon, the management demands that the professor stop being a sponge and earn his keep. ...

    I won't tell you the rest of the story. It is dramatic and moving. This is the definitive version of this story. Lola and the professor are sympathetic, and the movie is far more moving. The production values are high and the movie is in color. When will the owners of this movie see fit to put it on DVD?
  • of romance and rejection. Curd Jurgens as professor Immanuel Rath, a teacher of biology who has led a boring and predictable life as a schoolmaster. His life ceases to be boring when he meets Lola.

    Lola (as portrayed by Anglic beauty May Britt) has led a harsh life- singing in clubs, flirting with available men. This matters little to Professor Rath who becomes obsessed with her. He eventually marries her and resigns from his teaching position. His friend attempts to help him, to no avail.

    In some sense, "The Blue Angel" is more about obsession than love. How can he make her love him?. The professor seems in great pain (indeed it is painful to watch) especially in the final scenes as he performs as a clown.

    Whatever happened to May Britt? She was quite good in this film as the callous, but brutally honest Lola-Lola. Overall this is a very good film. I may have to see the original to see how it compares. It is not a light romantic story, however. 8/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***Some Spoilers*** Tragic story of a proud and principled man's fall from grace and right into the sleazy world of the towns red-light district and just what love, misguided as it was, had to do with it.

    Uptight and very Victorian about sex Landsburg biology professor Immanuel Rath, Curt Jurgens, is shocked to find out that a number of his students have been going down to the docks to get a look at Lola, May Britt, who's preforming as a cabaret dancer at the Blue Angel nightclub. Imannuel determined to stop his students from corrupting themselves by seeing semi-naked women dancing on stage goes down to the Blue Angel himself and instead of getting them, his students, to change their minds and go straight Imanneul himself gets hooked and falls madly in love with the sexy Lola.

    You have to say this for Lola which is that she told the love-sick, when he asked for her hand in marriage, Imannuel that it, their marriage, won't be a bed of roses and in no way took advantage of the foolish old man since she, not him, became the breadwinner of the family with Imannuel resigning from his job as a professor at the city's Northern High school. Being a marriage made in hell, for Imannuel, the former professor slowly lost all his pride as a man of distinction. Ending up as a gofer for Lola and living off her income had Imannuel not being able, or wanting, to get a job teaching since with Lola going from town to town to do her act he could never get to plant his feet in one place long enough to get one.

    We get to see poor Imannuel hit rock bottom when after sponging off both Lola and her boss, the manager of the troupe that she works with, Kelpert (Theodore Bikel) he's forced to finally get a real job. Instead of doing odd jobs like sweeping up the place Iannuel finally lands a decent job, at the cabaret, when the shows clown Dono, Wolfe Barzell, suddenly passes away. Told by Kelpert to make a fool of himself in front of the people of Landsburg, who knew him all his of his life, was a bitter pill to swallow for Imannuel but now with no pride or dignity left he reluctantly agreed to do it.

    At the opening night show Imannuel was resigned to play the straight-man, or clown, to Kelpert who sticks pins in him and cracks eggs over his head. When Imannuel sees his wife Lola, who up until then was so understanding of what he was going through, off-stage making out with her former but what seems like now new lover Rolf, Fabrizio Mioni, the poor guy just couldn't take it anymore. Breaking down and chirping like a chicken, as Kelpert cracked eggs over his head, in front of a shocked sell out crowd Imannuel had a complete and total emotional breakdown .

    I couldn't understand Lola's actions that lead her husband Imannuel to completely break down and make a fool of himself in front of the whole town of Landsburg. She knew what he was going through inside by being humiliated on the stage so why rub salt into his wounds by making out with Rolf right in front of him?

    Imannuel now a total wash-out and unable to even tie his own shoelaces is rescued from this hell that he, and no one else, imposed on himself by his good friend the administrator of the school, Northern High School, where he used to work principle Harter, John Bannor. We get to see as the movie ends Hater taking Emannuel back home to the school that he taught at for some 24 years.

    Sad story that in real life is very common among men, and women, who suppress their deepest and most personal sexual urges, by trying to be holier then thou then everyone else, only to have them explode in their face when their finally confronted with them. Like the very prudish and proper Immanuel Rath was to sadly find out in the movie "The Blue Angel".
  • rudy-4613 September 2003
    There are not many remakes that can hold a candle to the original but this one is an exception. A well made production with fine performances from Jurgens and May Britt, who shines as showgirl Lola Lola. Ms. Britt did a wonderful job recreating the old Dietrich role and in my opinion was much better.
  • abfab5029 November 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    I enjoyed the original "Blue Angel" with Marlene Dietrich. I happened onto the remake with May Britt and Curt Jurgens and I was bowled over. Curt Jurgens absolutely broke my heart with his portrayal as the professor who fell for "Lola-Lola". In his lowest depression when he explains the composition of a flower to the little student boy as he sits on a bench in a park, I burst into tears. When he loses it totally as the stage magician makes him a fool, dressing him as a clown, breaking eggs over his head, making him crow. I have never seen such an emotional yet silent collapse in my cinematic viewing. Curt Jurgens was fantastic in this movie and above all the "STAR" of the movie. May Britt? Yes, she did her part and she did it well. But that tragic professor? Jurgens was magnificent. Maginificent.
  • Unnecessary remake that gets most of what made the original distinctive wrong.

    While May Britt is a very pretty girl she possesses none of the magical allure nor cheap commonness that Marlene Dietrich brought to the part of Lola-Lola. Without those essential elements explaining her ability to ensnare the professor so utterly that he throws his life away on her the picture has an empty center. Also updating the setting to the 50's removes the air of decadent decay that hung over the first's Weimar Germany.

    There are some good things chief among them Curd Jurgens's lead performance. His slow slide into degradation is compelling and he's the reason to see the film but Dmytryk's direction is listless and therefore the film is uninspired.

    Interesting to see John Banner who was best known as the simple-minded Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes cast here as an erudite educator. He's also quite good in his small role.

    A foolish decision to remake something so closely associated with one particular legendary figure. A losing proposition from the start, something that Marilyn Monroe, Spencer Tracy & Fredric March-all of whom were offered the roles first and rejected them obviously realized. Why bother when you know from the start your film will never measure up.
  • I was very impressed with this movie. Wonderful love story. It held my attention the whole time. When I first started watching it, I thought to myself it was going to be very boring, but only after a few minutes, it captured my attention and there was no getting away from the TV. Very well acted by both lead actor and actress. I loved this movie so much and thought May Britt did such a wonderful job that I researched her on the internet and was shocked to find out that she was married to Sammy Davis, Jr. I suggest anyone who likes a good plot as well as a love story watch this movie.
  • I have seen the movie exactly one time, shortly after it came out. At the time, I had never seen the original version, nor did I know anything about the story. The Blue Angel was the 2nd movie of a double feature, and I almost didn't stay for it! The story is an old German folk tale, but it is so reflective of what can and does happen in life. A big regret, for me, is that the May Britt version has, as far as I can determine, never been put on video tape or disc. When I, finally, got to see the old, original movie, I thought it was very poorly done -- corny humor in places where I didn't feel it was appropriate. I'm surprised at the fame the original created and the lack thereof for the remake. - bearandgrinnit
  • Curt Jurgens is magnificent! I don't even remember watching Mai Britt as LOLA-LOLA as I was so enthralled with Jurgens' performance. He was absolutely marvelous! Catch Curt in the movie he stars with Ingrid Bergman, as a Chinese warlord. And also in "Mephisto's Waltz" with Alan Alda. Curt is an all consuming and ultimo actor.

    And the fact Curt Jurgens was in a Nazi prison camp for one year at the end of WWII and survived is amazing. What a story he has lived. What he could have told of his life. There is also a website where Curt tells of his near-death heart attack in which he was experiencing the "out and in" of death, whilst demons were grabbing at him to take him away from the living. Fantastic!

    BOYD
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just caught this on Fox Movie Channel, and can only wonder what the execs were smoking! Bad enough this turkey is stuffed with unnecessary exposition, but the ending destroys the whole point of the story! Folks, it doesn't get any sillier than Sgt. Schultz coming to the rescue!

    In the original, Lola Lola was a heartless bitch, but Dietrich made her utterly captivating. Britt, OTOH, was dull and annoying. And she was tone-deaf! How this got past Dmytryk and his music director is beyond me! It was Rath's vanity as much as his lust that caused his downfall, but Jürgens is too busy trying to look pathetic. How else can I put it? Everything about this Angel is wrong, all wrong!
  • miajamison21 February 2003
    This movie, as noted above, sucks you in and sticks in your mind forever after having seen it. True, there is a love story in there somewhere, but there's also terrible cruelty. A great mix of tenderness and brutality.

    A definite for any movie-watching night.
  • During the 1950s, it became fashionable in Hollywood to revisit film classics of the 1930s that, however, all turned out to be vastly inferior to the originals and are now quite hard to come by. The film under review is one of them and, amusingly enough, the copy I landed – sourced from a pan-and-scanned Fox Movie Channel TV screening – is preceded by a snippet from the opening credits of John Huston's THE ROOTS OF HEAVEN (1958)!

    Coming almost 30 years after the film that had turned Marlene Dietrich into an international sensation, the color remake updates the setting to a more contemporary one but then follows its prototype in a disheartening scene-by-scene fashion for most of its running time! The pointlessness of the venture is doubly exposed by the fact that director Josef von Sternberg had already filmed the movie in English at the same time that he made the superior German one (which had also been the nation's first Talkie).

    Although May Britt and Curd Jurgens are decent enough as the central couple, they are no match for Dietrich and Emil Jannings in the original and, indeed, I kept wondering how much better the film would have played had it been shot a decade later with Max Von Sydow and iconic chanteuse Nico (of "The Velvet Underground & Nico" fame) in the lead! Jurgens was an international star who had been brought to Hollywood two years previously for Nicholas Ray's BITTER VICTORY and remained in demand for the rest of his life (he died of a heart-attack in 1982). Britt (who is still alive today and turns 78 today!) had started out in Italy – her most notable film there being Raffaello Matarazzo's THE SHIP OF CONDEMNED WOMEN (1954) – but she subsequently came to Hollywood and appeared in the likes of WAR AND PEACE (1956) and THE YOUNG LIONS (1958; also for Fox and Dmytryk) before landing the role of Lola-Lola; afterwards, she made little of consequence – except for her penultimate film, HAUNTS (1977) – and is now chiefly remembered for the stir her 1960 marriage to Sammy Davis Jr. had created in those less tolerant times. Frankly, Jurgens' students are a rather uninteresting lot here, and it is left for character actors like Theodor Bikel (as Lola-Lola's employer) and John Banner (as Jurgens' empathizing principal) to come off best among the supporting cast members.

    Although the director had this to say on the movie in his autobiography, "It was a film none of us had to be ashamed of, but the rule still holds – never remake a classic, even a minor one", the truth is that his handling (exacerbated by the strict adherence to the original and the addition of a couple of musical numbers) is mostly an indifferent one. Screenwriter Nigel Balchin – who would soon be penning the underrated and ambiguous semi-Western THE SINGER NOT THE SONG (1961) – takes care to portray Jurgens' sterile, ordered life (by repeatedly showing him strategically meeting his Headmaster on their way to school) before his unheralded meeting with Lola-Lola but then proceeds to alter the main characters in such a way that we are led to a lame upbeat ending far removed from the powerfully poignant one depicted by Jannings and Sternberg in 1930. In fact, here Britt pities Jurgens' final degradation (parading as a clown in front of his townspeople) and purposefully kisses her young former flame in front of him – an act which precipitates his quitting the sleazy milieu and march onward, accompanied by Jurgen's ex-boss, towards the prospect of regaining his old position as schoolteacher! Ultimately, it is in Leon Shamroy's garish cinematography (with blue understandably dominating the color scheme) that the film's major asset is to be found…but whether that relative advantage over the Sternberg version is enough to compensate for its many shortcomings is another matter entirely!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Copyright 1959 by 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. New York opening at the Paramount: 4 September 1959. U.S. release: September 1959. U.K. release: October 1959. London opening at the Carlton, Haymarket. Australian release: 29 October 1959. 9,677 feet. 107 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: Immanuel Rath (Curt Jurgens) is a martinet botany professor at a German high school who finds postcards bearing the revealing likeness of Lola-Lola, "The Blue Angel" (May Britt), in the possession of his pupils. That evening, he goes to the café where she is appearing to see if any of his pupils are there, and spots two of them. In the course of chasing them, he meets Lola and the manager of the troupe, Kiepert (Theodore Bikel). He returns the next evening and becomes involved with Lola, the first woman he has ever known.

    NOTES: This film is a remake of the 1930 German film that brought international fame to its director, Josef von Sternberg, and its two stars, Emil Jannings and Marlene Dietrich... In the original "Blue Angel", the degraded schoolmaster went insane and died sitting at his desk in the classroom where he had once taught.

    This new "Blue Angel" was Jack Cummings' first production for 20th Century-Fox after working many years for M-G-M, where he started as an office boy and worked his way up to produce such well-received movies as "Kiss Me Kate", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", "The Last Time I Saw Paris" and "Teahouse of the August Moon".

    VIEWERS' GUIDE: Adults.

    COMMENT: As you might expect, this remake cannot handle a candle to the von Sternberg version in any department — script, direction, cinematography, sets or acting. In fact, this labored, lethargic, intolerably slow-moving re-make manages the seemingly impossible task of being deadly dull, despite the alluring presence of May Britt, a charmer to rival Dietrich if ever there was one!

    To go through the problems, one by one: Script: Changing the ending of the story and updating it was a big mistake. Direction: Flat, lifeless and pedestrian. Cinematography is too colorful and postcard-like. It tends to eschew the creation of mood and atmosphere in favor of an almost M-G-M musical approach. Sets and costumes are attractive, but not in keeping with the story. Aside from May Britt, who makes a valiant attempt not to imitate Dietrich (which would have been a mistake) but to flesh out Lola-Lola with her own seductively appealing personality, the acting is a disaster. Jurgens' portrayal is not only almost entirely superficial but downright boring and dull, whilst Theodore Bikel succeeds in being repulsive without any saving graces of charisma.

    In all, as said above, this re-make would be a total write-off were it not for May Britt, a charmer to rival Dietrich if ever there was one!