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3.9
263 Ratings

Angel

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
United States, 1937
Comedy, Romance

Synopsis

Marlene Dietrich and Melvyn Douglas in “the ritziest of all the Lubitsch comedies: the most discreet, the most soft-spoken, the one with the most impeccable manners.”—James Harvey

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Angel Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
Ernst Lubitsch serves medicinal bitters in the champagne flutes of this terse, elliptical, comedy-tinged yet pain-seared romance.. Lubitsch contrasts Frederick’s sexless gravity with Anthony’s seductive frivolity; with suavely piercing touches of erotic wit, he points ahead to the modern audacities of “Belle de Jour” and “Last Tango in Paris,” and to the higher irresponsibilities that make life worth living. In Lubitsch’s world, all politics is sexual.
June 09, 2017
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That intimacy comes to the fore in Angel, a film that failed in its own time and has sometimes been dismissed as an ill-advised attempt to make a weepie in the high 1930s tradition. I would see it rather as a beautiful application of comic style—dry and precisely trimmed off at the edges—to the sympathetic treatment of three rather frail humans caught up in a melodramatic situation.
June 01, 2017
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Lubitsch is running a grand experiment in ANGEL, one that, frankly, doesn’t succeed. In trying to make the build-up to the coming war refract within a love triangle, ANGEL wants to find a visual political eroticism, a way to build on Lubitsch’s expertise in subtlety to imply a solution to a problem that couldn’t be solved directly. That he couldn’t pull it off is testament only to the ambitions at hand, for the film itself is one of his most heart-rending and powerful.
May 02, 2014
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