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The Scarlet Empress (Catherine the Great) (1934)

Directed by

Starring (View all)
Marlene Dietrich Marlene Dietrich
Princess Sophia Frederica / Catherine II
John Lodge John Lodge
Count Alexei
Sam Jaffe Sam Jaffe
Grand Duke Peter
Louise Dresser Louise Dresser
Empress Elizabeth Petrovna
C. Aubrey Smith C. Aubrey Smith
Prince August
Gavin Gordon Gavin Gordon
Capt. Gregori Orloff
Olive Tell Olive Tell
Princess Johanna Elizabeth
Ruthelma Stevens Ruthelma Stevens
Countess Elizabeth 'Lizzie'

Written by (View all)
Manuel Komroff Manuel Komroff
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The Blue Angel Rises

5 years, 9 months ago at Apr 20 22:02
4 votes
This fast-paced historical drama feels like an origin story for Marlene Dietrich's screen persona. In it, she evolves plausibly from wide-eyed innocent to the self-assured stately presence of her later films. The extravagant costumes, sets, and direction compliment fun broad performances from a brash and flirtatious John Lodge and Sam Jaffe, seething with resentment behind his Cheshire cat grin.
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Description: Marlene Dietrich stars in Josef von Sternberg’s feverishly debauched biopic as the spoiled princess Sophia Frederica, who grows up being groomed for greatness and yearning for a handsome husband. Sent to Russia to marry the Grand Duke Peter, she is horrified to discover that her betrothed is a half-wit and her new home a macabre palace where depravity rules. Before long, however, she is initiated into the sadistic power politics that govern the court, paving the way for her transformation into the imperious libertine Catherine the Great. A lavish spectacle in which von Sternberg’s domineering visual genius reaches new height ... (more)
Release date: 7 September 1934
UPC: 715515011822
Tags: Drama (4), 1934 (3), Betrayal (3), Royalty (3), Russia (3), 1930s (3), Dynasty (2), Violinist (2), Historical (2), Empress (2), Candlelight (1), Locket (1), Hate (1), Ambassador (1), Intrigue (1), Forced Marriage (1), Gossip (1), Germany (1), Grand Duke (1), Giving Birth (1)
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