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240 Ratings


Directed by Josef von Sternberg
United States, 1931
Drama, War, Romance


Marlene Dietrich is a Viennese street prostitute when she’s recruited to become a spy and is given the code name X-27 by the head of the Austrian Secret Service. After telling her to use her feminine assets to trap her army officer victims, she’s got is to gather evidence against a colonel.

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Dishonored Directed by Josef von Sternberg

Critics reviews

A story of danger and death; it’s a war film in which the crucial battles are psychological ones that are fought in back rooms. Dietrich plays a spy, or, rather, a prostitute who becomes a spy—Agent X-27, to be specific; she boldly and slyly uses her powers of seduction to expose enemy spies and extract their secrets. It’s also a sort of musical, in which Dietrich deploys the music-hall artistry that’s essential to “The Blue Angel” and gives it a deliriously political angle.
May 30, 2017
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What are people saying?

  • tidal waif's rating of the film Dishonored

    A Kingdom for a Kiss! reads Dietrich's cynically cavalier flag waved w/ gambling largess drawn on the fortune's breaking wheel from settled to convicted via coup & rock bottom. Her deredevil funambulism is virtuosity without affiliation. Did they execute a traitor's slip of faith or its insuperable /inseparable body that could turn lethal if hired on enemy's side? And don't lead our saintly soldiers into temptation..

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Dishonored

    Why is she taking her cat with her on spy missions? And the cat goes to jail with her? Pretty silly but Marlene is amazingly wonderful, a force of nature. And this is all about her, so sure cat on spy missions, whatever. I kinda think this is a comedy more than a drama, tho.

  • Jason's rating of the film Dishonored

    DISHONORED bears witness to what is of course a star persona going stratospheric. But Dietrich is an abstract manifestation of something so deep it is practically fuggin' geological; you'd almost expect her to stop bullets. So much early sound cinema is stilted and stagey, but Von Sternberg, when not delivering his patented closeups of unerring sublimity, provides a mise-en-scène of busy morphogenesis. Wild, lava.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Dishonored

    I saw the final scene in my childhood and it has stayed in my memory since. In Renoir's 'La Grande Illusion', social class's bonds are stronger than nationality, in 'Dishonored', love takes precedence on loyalty. Masterpiece.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Dishonored

    Visual rapture, as should be expected from Sternberg—every shot feels like it should be mounted on a wall. I love the setup for a sexual allegory, but as sexual allegories go, it's curiously passionless. The interactions between Dietrich and McLaglen are so stiff and stilted that I had to wonder if Sternberg was up to something I just couldn't see. For a vision more perversely alive, seek out The Scarlet Empress.

  • Warren Spratley's rating of the film Dishonored

    I think this is the 19th consecutive 5-star movie I've rated, & what a phenomenal one it is. Sternberg and Dietrich are aware of the elusiveness of reality, and of its physical presence. At times, Dietrich--the way she moves,speaks, is lit, is directed--seems to almost pierce through matter into some other dimension. But the force of the material world-its customs and its traditions to boot--always pulls her back.

  • Dave's rating of the film Dishonored

    Was going to be a 3/5, because quite honestly the story is a mess and, surprisingly, not all that interesting...that is, until the last 20-25 minutes or so. Then all of the elements that make a great von Sternberg film come together perfectly, as atmosphere and photography give an atmospheric and dramatic edge to everything. Not near his best, but still a must for fans of the director.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Dishonored

    Dietrich was a master of mystique whilst Sternberg turned cinematography into an artform. An engaging film if not their collaborative magnum opus. 3.5

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