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The Blue Angel PG rating

Marlene Dietrich is sensational in her breakthrough role as Lola Lola, star attraction of The Blue Angel beer hall.

Drama 1930 103 mins

Director: Josef von Sternberg

Overview

Marlene Dietrich is sensational in her breakthrough role as Lola Lola, star attraction of The Blue Angel beer hall. Raunchy, witty, self-possessed, Lola exudes erotic power. ‘Beware of blonde women,’ she sings, but no one heeds this advice – neither her schoolboy fans, nor their sexually repressed teacher (Jannings) whose moral outrage dissolves in lust. Loosely based on a novel by Heinrich Mann, Sternberg’s masterpiece is a dazzling construct of enigmatic lighting, décor and sound, featuring real-life stars of Weimar cabaret (Gerron, Valetti) and the now classic songs of Friedrich Hollaender. For leftist critics it lacked satirical edge, yet it conjures a transgressive realm that recalls the paintings of George Grosz and Otto Dix. An enduring classic; its subversive vitality is undiminished.