Scarlet Empress, The*

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Scarlet Empress, The*

  • 1934 ----- b & w ----- 104 min ----- vhs
  • (Directed by Josef von Sternberg, screenplay by Manuel Komroff presumably based on the diary of Catherine the Great; Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe, Louise Dresser, Maria Sieber) "Josef von Sternberg turned the story of Catherine the Great into what he himself called a "relentless excursion into style;" the decor and the visual motifs became the stars, and Marlene Dietrich was used as a camera subject instead of as a person. She's photographed behind veils and fishnets, while dwarfs slither about and bells ring and everybody tries to look degenerate. The picture is egocentric and empty of drama, yet it has the fascination (and the tediousness) that bizarre, obsessional movies often have."--Pauline Kael [Funded by the Department of Comparative Literature] (Closed-Captioned) (Restricted to use on University of Washington campuses only)
  • Topics: (Europe, History: Russian, East European and Central Asian, Motion Pictures: Features, Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, Women Studies)