Sunday, 17 July 2011


MMarlene Dietrich named this as her personal favourite among her films and it is easy to see why, although for me it falls just short of SHANGHAI EXPRESS and THE SCARLET EMPRESS. There have been at least eight or nine versions of this story - one starring Bardot and a much more diistinguished version by Luis Bunuel - his last film. Of these three the Dietrich version directed by her Svengali, Josef Von Sternberg is my favourite. The central character, the beutiful Conchita, is a tiotal bitch and surprisingly (for Thirties Hollywood) the film does not try to palm the audience off with any redeeming features as she puts poor old Lionel Atwill (in one of his finest performances) through hell. Sternberg's direction is exquisite and as in all his films it is obvious he never knew the meaning of the word excess when it came to set decoration. Cesar Romero and Edward Everett Horton are fine in support roles. I look forward to MOROCCO.


Cerpts said...

Gotta love Dietrich! This one I've yet to see; however it has been sitting in my queue. It looks like I need to move it up to the top now.


I loved this film too I am a total Marlenaphile and she is so deliciously cruel in this role. For me there are elements of Carmen in the character.Viva la Diva.