Those Cheekbones!

The Scarlet Empress

It’s not hard to understand, even seventy years later, that there was a time when the sight of Marlene Dietrich projected on a large screen threw men worldwide into a tizzy. Famously satirized by Madeline Kahn in Blazing Saddles , Dietrich’s teutonic charm made her one of the few performers to successfully make the transition from silent cinema to talkies during cinema’s earlier days. The Friday Film Forum is screening The Scarlet Empress , one of her many collaborations with director Josef von Sternberg. Sternberg all but worships Dietrich in this lush, extravagent examination of the life of Catherine the Great. The film was a success upon its release and remains a classic example of a Golden Age Hollywood star vehicle. Sit up close to the screen and drown in the botomless limpid pools that Dietrich called her eyes.
Fri., Aug. 22, 7 p.m., 2008

 
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