The Five Best Marlene Dietrich Movies of Her Career

If you’re struggling to find any recollection of Marlene Dietrich in your memory don’t feel too bad since it took her a while to really get rolling when it came to her career and the level of fame she eventually found in show business. In a sense she was never quite the massive star as others of her era but she was undoubtedly noticeable since she did create a persona that people came to identify as someone that was worth paying attention to and was larger than life. Her final years however were spent in seclusion as her health began to deteriorate and the world largely began to forget about her. Marlene did manage to participate in a documentary about her life but refused to be filmed for it, no doubt wishing to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible. In the end she has left behind a legacy worth remembering even if a lot of people have to be reminded of who she was.

Here are the five best movies from her career.

5. Witness for the Prosecution

It’s not too often that you see a lawyer being fooled not just by their client but by their client’s wife as well in order to get the client off the hook for murder. In this movie however the love of Christine for Leonard forces her to lie to the lawyer and then discredit her own lie in order to enact double jeopardy once the trial is over and her husband has been found not guilty. In a surprising twist though Christine’s husband replies that he’s leaving her and she ends up stabbing him to death, which prompts the lawyer to declare that he’s now going to defend Christine. See? The kooky stories we have now have their basis in older movies.

4. Blonde Venus

Love certainly makes people do strange things now and again, but especially when the moment becomes desperate. When Helen takes money from Nick to fund her husband’s treatments so that he can survive the radium poisoning that’s killing him she’s wracked with guilt at the prospect but when Helen falls in love with Nick you can imagine the reaction no matter that she did it out of love. The idea of sending a mother away and not allowing her to see her son is something that might drive many people to blame the father and call him a tyrant, but in this story the unfortunate truth is that neither of them are the hero or the villain, they’re simply people trying to make sense of a bad situation and making mistakes as most anyone would.

3. Morocco

Sometimes the old movies really make it clear that they were the pioneers when it came to certain story lines and how they came to be on the screen since Amy and Tom are the type of characters that you see quite often but don’t always recognize thanks to the different writing that comes across through various bits of dialogue. In this movie however there almost appear to be parallels within Marlene’s life. In a big way the older movies have shown us a lot more in terms of story than those that have come since and it’s usually only when we notice this that we can tell what’s missing.

2. The Blue Angel

Sometimes the life you have isn’t as bad as it seems when compared to the life you might have if you try to extend beyond your means. Rath finds this out the hard way after suffering through a great deal of disrespect in his life as a teacher, only to fall in love with The Blue Angel. After leaving his job however he becomes so dependent on her that it becomes more than a little pathetic as he continues to sink lower and lower, becoming not only a figure of ridicule but a jealous and very angry man that eventually tries to choke out his own wife, the object of his obsession, on stage. In the end he dies clinging to a part of the life he left behind.

1. Shanghai Express

Past relationships can be a messy bit of business but now and again they can be useful as well since Harvey and Shanghai Lily had a thing going on a while back before meeting on the train during this movie. When their train is taken over by a local warlord however the two are forced to do what they can in order to escape and to avoid being harmed in any way. By the end they’ve helped one another and while Lily and Harvey do still have feelings for each other she insists that they both need to love unconditionally, which is what ends up happening as the credits roll.

She was a very influential person in Hollywood, but trying to tell people who she is today takes some doing.


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