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The Blue Angel

Der blaue Engel

Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Germany, 1930
  • German
  • English


Immanuel Rath, an old bachelor, is a professor at the town’s university. When he discovers that some of his pupils often go into a speakeasy, The Blue Angel, to visit a dancer named Lola Lola, he comes there to confront them, but meets Lola herself…

Our take

Over seven films, director Josef von Sternberg and actress Marlene Dietrich traced a path of lush, scandalous romantic fantasies from Germany to Hollywood. The Blue Angel, their first film together, made Marlene a star overnight.

The Blue Angel Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Our audiovisual essay, The World and Its Image, takes a different angle on Sternberg’s immense cinematic achievement. Getting away from the humanist, psychological bias of much film criticism, it investigates patterns and resonances relating to what is precisely non-human, and phantasmic, in The Blue Angel. Sternberg said it himself: the cinema is a "theater of shadows.
February 14, 2017
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In this postwar, expressionistic look at German vaudeville, Jannings and Dietrich are a picture-perfect comedy team.
March 09, 2016
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The walrus and the mink, a Germanic love story. (“Das ewig Weibliche zieht uns hinan,” as the old joke goes.) Josef von Sternberg at UFA is a wry ringmaster working an arena of knowingly heavy symbolism, like the maid who sees the dead parakeet in its cage and throws it away with a shrug.
August 31, 2015
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