Der Blaue Engel
1930 / 104m - Germany
Drama, Music
The Blue Angel poster


February 20, 2021


One of Marlene Dietrich's most prestigious German films. I don't think I had seen a film with her before, can't say I'm terribly impressed with her performance here. She's certainly not the most alluring burlesque dancer ever caught on film, and that's about the entire point of her character.

The central romance is pretty iffy. A poorly aged professor tries to keep his students away from the Blue Angel, a local burlesque bar. But when he ventures in himself, he falls in love with the top girl there, who inexplicably falls for him too. It's one of the worst couples in film history, but clearly that didn't bother von Sternberg.

The musical acts aren't great and the drama/romance lacks subtlety, but the burlesque setting is rather fun and the mood is quite light, at least during the first hour or so. It doesn't redeem the film, but it makes it a bit easier to sit through. Far from great, but I don't think the film really aspired to be great either.