MAIL English Version

Marlene Dietrich

Foto: Arthur Benda (D'Ora) (1885-1969)
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Copyright

1901 - 1992

The actress Marlene Dietrich is regarded today as one of the greatest film legends from the golden era of cinema. Only Greta Garbo created a more mysterious ambience round her own person.

Marlene Dietrich was born in Berlin-Schöneberg, her father died very early. After that her mother got married with Edward von Losch who was killed in action in 1917 during World War I.
In the young Marlene Dietrich grew soon the enthusiasm for music and during she went to school she learnt playing violin. Between 1919 and 1921 she studied an the conservatory in Weimar, thereafter in Berlin. But a tenosynovitis let drew her career goal far away. 
In this time Marlene Dietrich earned her money as a photographer's model and took acting lessons at Max Reinhardt's drama school. Her first performances were mostly small or smallest parts at Germany's most important theaters.

In 1922 she came in contact with the film business for the first time when she personified a lady's maid in "So sind die Männer" (22). It followed "Tragödie der Liebe" (23), "Der Mensch am Wege" (23) and "Der Sprung ins Leben" (23).
In 1923 she got married with Rudolf Emilian Sieber and gave later birth to her daughter Maria. 
Again one year later she resumed her work, for the present in comeidies and revues, from 1926 also for the film where she was occupied with minor parts for the time being like in "Manon Lescaut" (26), "Madame wünscht keine Kinder" (26), "Sein grösster Bluff" (27) and "Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame" (28).
In the movie "Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt" (29) she played her first leading role. After that it went in rapid succession. The sound film followed the silent film and Marlene Dietrich was discovered by Josef von Sternberg for his movie "Der blaue Engel" (30).
The film became a worldwide success and Marlene Deitrich followed von Sternberg to America where she signed a contract with Paramount.

There she established her today's glory and shot six more movies with von Sternberg who became her most important director.
To the most succuessful movies of this duo belong "Morocco - Flammende Herzen" (30), "Dishonored - X27/Entehrt" (30), "Shanghai Express" (31), "Blonde Venus" (32), "The Scarlet Empress - Die grosse Zarin/Die scharlachrote Kaiserin" (34) and "The Devil Is a Woman - Die spanische Tänzerin/Der Teufel ist eine Frau" (35).

In the years without von Sternberg followed the well-known films "Desire - Sehnsucht/Perlen zum Glück" (36), "Garden of Allah - Der Garten Allahs" (36) and "Angel - Engel" (37).
After a negative reporting of the Independent Theatre Owners Association, where also Katherine Hepburn and Greta Garbo were indicated as cashbox poison, Marlene Dietrich left the USA and went to the Riviera.

Only in 1939 she came back to the USA and took over the American nationality. She played the leading role in the western "Destry Rides Again - Der grosse Bluff" (39), which expecially attracted attention because of the scene where Marlene Dietrich settled a hard fight with a woman and rolled on the ground of a saloon.
This film helped Marlene Dietrich to get a new image which she emphasized in the following movies "Seven Sinners - Das Haus der sieben Sünden" (40), "The Spoilers - Die Freibeuterin/Stahlharte Fäuste" (42) and "Pittsburgh" (42).

After the success of "Kismet" (44) she acted in post-war years in "A Foreign Affair - Eine auswärtige Affäre" (48) and had a impressive comeback with "Stage Fright - Die rote Lola" (50), which brought her a successful film decade once more. She played in "Rancho Notorious - Engel der Gejagten/Die Gejagten" (51), "Around the World in 80 Days - In 80 Tagen um die Welt" (56), "Witness for Prosecution - Zeugin der Anklage" (57), "Touch of Evil - Im Zeichen des Bösen" (58) and "Judgment at Nuremberg - Urteil von Nürnberg" (61).

After that Marlene Dietrich vanished from the screen, only in 1978 she appeared a last time in "Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo" (78), then she retired from the film business and hid completely in her private life where she spent her last years in Paris.

Other movies with Marlene Dietrich:
Eine Dubarry von heute (26) Kopf hoch, Charly! (26) Der Juxbaron (26) Café Elektric/Die Liebesbörse (27) Prinzessin Olala (28) Gefahren der Brautzeit (29) Das Schiff der verlorenen Menschen (29) Song of Songs - Das hohe Lied (33) Knight Without Armour - Tatjana (36) The Flame of New Orleans - Die Abenteuerin (40) Manpower - Herzen in Flammen (41) The Lady Is Willing (41) Follow the Boys (44) Martin Roumagnac (46) Golden Earrings (46) Jigsaw (49) No Highway/No Highway in the Sky - Die Reise ins Ungewisse (51) Montecarlo - Die Monte Carlo Story (56) Black Fox - The True Story of Adolf Hitler (62) Paris When It Sizzles - Zusammen in Paris (63)