Synopses & Reviews
One of the most famous images in cinema is from The Blue Angel
(1930). Lola Lola (Marlene Dietrich), in revealing black suspenders, sits on a beer-barrel clasping an upraised knee with both hands while she leans slightly back. Though not Germany's first sound film, The Blue Angel
was the most prestigious and expensive by far. Director Josef von Sternberg had been lured back from Hollywood and, together with acting star Emil Jannings and producer Erich Pommer, he set about making an adaptation of Heinrich Mann's novel Professor Unrat.
The technically dazzling result is a subtly claustrophobic study of a man's downfall and a milestone in European cinema.
In his comprehensive study, S. S. Prawer reconstructs the production history of The Blue Angel, showing how Sternberg's virtuoso visual style was amply supported by an immensely talented team of actors and technicians. Prawer goes on to provide a detailed analysis of the film's aesthetics and to show how the grave political situation in Germany reverberated in its seemingly airtight world.
Dietrich at her most iconic--a fascinating look at this masterpiece of decadance and twisted desire.
This comprehensive study reconstructs the production history of The Blue Angel, showing how Sternberg's virtuoso visual style was amply supported by an immensely talented team of actors and technicians. The book also analyzes the film's aesthetics.
About the Author
S. S. Prawer is Taylor Professor Emeritus of German Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Caligari's Children: The Film as Tale of Terror (1980) and Breeches and Metaphysics: Thackeray's German Discourse (1997), among other books.