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On Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Marlene Dietrich, Femme Fatale

@Harriet Kierkegaard@facebook Yeah if you've only seen High Noon and that stuff it's shocking what a tall glass of water he was in his salad days. If you like the two of them together, I highly recommend you check out "Desire," where Marlene has to decide whether she'd rather have a gorgeous strand of pearls or Gary. The two of them don't look like they should inhabit the same planet, but somehow that makes the chemistry really work.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm 1

On Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Marlene Dietrich, Femme Fatale

I took a class on Sternberg in undergrad and I'd heard that when they shot the English-language version of Blue Angel, Dietrich didn't speak English, and had to learn and recite all her lines phonetically, which may add to the strangeness. Also, it was released in the US after Morocco and was something of a flop because of its unhappy ending.

I always thought that the acting at the beginning of Scarlet Empress was the Sternberg/Dietich Janus-figure winking at us. Dietrich's image was born knowing; she never played virgins, and it's hard to believe she ever was one, and that wide-eyed Pollyanna routine is acknowledging that.

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm 1

On Really Good Books About Real People: Part Three

@glitterary I'm not an expert or anything, but I think Tina Brown covers it pretty well. At one point she throws out the theory that Camilla's first husband was the real love of her life, and that she might have married Charles due to financial issues.

For me though one of the most interesting parts of the book is Brown -- a very different kind of woman who got the education and career that was never even in the cards for Diana -- grappling with her subject: trying to do justice to her good points and getting angry with her when she messed up.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 12:59 am 0

On Scala Coeli

@carolita Oh, mine too! When you think about it, that's not surprising at all; there's something so delightfully Ren-Faire-y about Zeppelin.

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm 0

On Scala Coeli

Another fantastic piece, Carolita, and another nod to one of my favorite movies, A Matter of Life and Death! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one wondering why we don't spend more time on the sexy bits in class. I'll have to send this along to all my Medievalist friends.

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm 1

On Really Good Books About Fake Murder

@Lily Rowan It's the only one I haven't read yet, besides Busman's Honeymoon. Good to know I've still got something to look forward to.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm 0

On Really Good Books About Fake Murder

@Lily Rowan Oh, it's the only one I haven't read yet, except Busman's Honeymoon. It's good to know I have great stuff ahead of me; I was getting depressed that there are so few!

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm 0

On Really Good Books About Fake Murder

@catfoodandhairnets There's always some detail that hits a little too close to home, and that makes you about 85% certain that you are doomed to murder someone sooner or later.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm 0

On Really Good Books About Fake Murder

A Dark-Adapted Eye -- oh my goodness. My therapist actually told me to stop reading Barbara Vine novels because they were making me think everyone was cold and sociopathic and nasty.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm 2

On Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Katharine Hepburn's Trousers

Thanks, Anne, for another great one. Glad to know I'm not the only one who can't really get behind Spencer because he's just not Cary. Film studies question: is your title a reference to the Jane Gaines article on Dorothy Arzner?

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm 0