109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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david hare
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#176 Post by david hare » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:42 pm

Robert Harris confirms Shanghai Express still sports the cut dialogue. This soeaks to the paucity of either care or budget Criterion allocates to some of its product.

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Roscoe
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#177 Post by Roscoe » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:54 pm

Might it also speak to the non-existence of the missing footage?

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david hare
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#178 Post by david hare » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:16 pm

It exists, even if it's not held onshore in the USA, it exists. THey just haven't tried hard enough.

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#179 Post by JAP » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:47 am

Regarding a possible UK release
Jon Mulvaney wrote:To the best of my knowledge, the Dietrich/von Sternberg set isn't yet on the schedule to be released on Region B Blu-ray.
So, maybe?...

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Yaanu
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#180 Post by Yaanu » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:06 pm

RogerEbert.com has published a review of the box set.
The best Criterion box sets like “Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project” and “Dekalog” serve as film classes that people can take at home. These are sets that you can spend days with, not just revisiting classic films but dissecting and learning about them in a way that makes not only these movies more interesting but can impact the way you view all cinema. This is one of the best Blu-ray box sets of the year.
Unfortunately, they don't give starred reviews to box sets of DVDs/BDs.

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#181 Post by Orlac » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:59 pm

dwk wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:55 pm
Beaver on Blonde Venus
What is his obbsession with sticking in nude shots into the reviews, even something as random as a bathing scene?

mteller
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#182 Post by mteller » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:36 am

I am 100% certain Tooze types his reviews with one hand.

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#183 Post by Werewolf by Night » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:47 pm

It's gonna blow your mind when you learn the site is called "DVD Beaver"

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hearthesilence
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#184 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:53 pm

So I guess Tooze was browsing through Mr. Skin, and then it dawned on him - "what if Robert A. Harris ran this site?"

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#185 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:43 pm

Halfway through the set -- and utterly impressed (speaking as one who has never seen any of these films before).

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HJackson
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#186 Post by HJackson » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:04 am

And if you're watching them in chronological order, the best is yet to come!

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#187 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:30 pm

I found Blonde Venus a bit of a let-down. Some lovely cinematography -- but much more plot-heavy than its 3 predecessors. And I just don't have any sort of positive response to Herbert Marshall (here or anywhere else -- including Trouble in Paradise). Looking forward to the last two. And the ending struck me as remarkably perfunctory.

As an aside, Sternberg's vision of "New Orleans" struck me as genuinely weird.

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#188 Post by swo17 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:32 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:30 pm
And I just don't have any sort of positive response to Herbert Marshall (here or anywhere else -- including Trouble in Paradise).
Not even in The Good Fairy?

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#189 Post by Lowry_Sam » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:55 pm

HJackson wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:04 am
And if you're watching them in chronological order, the best is yet to come!
because they saved the best for last.

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Drucker
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#190 Post by Drucker » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:23 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:30 pm
I found Blonde Venus a bit of a let-down. Some lovely cinematography -- but much more plot-heavy than its 3 predecessors. And I just don't have any sort of positive response to Herbert Marshall (here or anywhere else -- including Trouble in Paradise). Looking forward to the last two. And the ending struck me as remarkably perfunctory.

As an aside, Sternberg's vision of "New Orleans" struck me as genuinely weird.
I've never seen Dishonored, but Blonde Venus is the one I found weakest as well when I watched the Dietrich Glamour Collection. In fact I can barely remember it except for that last scene!

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#191 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:32 pm

Never saw Good Fairy.... Hard to imagine Marshall as anything but stolid....

Loved Dishonored.

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domino harvey
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#192 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:36 pm

Yeah, but you haven't seen him sharpen a pencil yet

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#193 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:35 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:36 pm
Yeah, but you haven't seen him sharpen a pencil yet
Undeniably true.

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#194 Post by whaleallright » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:47 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:30 pm

As an aside, Sternberg's vision of "New Orleans" struck me as genuinely weird.

You can replace "New Orleans" with just about anything and I think this would hold!

Blonde Venus has some of the most memorable scenes, moments, and iconic images of their collaboration, but it's perhaps a bit less than the sum of its parts. Along with The Scarlet Empress it's certainly the one that has sustained the most commentary from feminist film scholars, though!

Michael, do you not like Marshall in The Little Foxes? That's a poignant performance if ever I saw one....

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#195 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:05 pm

I have managed to miss Little Foxes somehow -- despite loving Blitzstein's Regina (a shamefully neglected "modern" opera, perhaps the best American one).

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#196 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:37 am

Disappointed by Scarlet Empress. I thought this was basically a big dumb Hollywood spectacular, albeit with incredible (in multiple senses) art direction and impressive cinematography. I found it historically beyond stupid and dramatically unimpressive. Dietrich seems to have been mostly wasted in her part here. Its hard for me to reconcile this with Sternberg's other films. Overall, I strongly preferred the first 3 Sternberg-Dietrich Hollywood collaborations. (Nice 1971 interview of Dietrich as an extra on this disc, however).

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#197 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:52 am

Thought Morocco was really really dull, though the musical numbers were enjoyable and the shabby set for much of the film was the star of the show. Also, one of the shining early examples of carefree onscreen cuckoldry I've ever seen - Adolphe Menjou is the apple of Dietrich's eye for what, 20 seconds?

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#198 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:00 am

It was strange seeing Menjou as a nice guy in Morocco. I enjoyed the performances as well as the sets -- and was hardly bothered by the thin plot (rather have too little than too much, frankly).

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#199 Post by Omensetter » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:46 am

Morocco is definitely the most static of the suite; he basically quadruples his camera movements thereafter and discards with male leads.

Dishonored is the one I keep returning to, though. I hadn't seen it before this set as it seems the odd one out when people discuss these films (I'm likely wrong, but Michael Kerpan's above comment seems the first mention of the film in this thread). Empress is a staggering masterpiece, but Dishonored is just straight-up fun. For portions of the film, Dietrich feels like she barely wants to be in the movie even as she's commanding it, there's an all-timer cinematic cat (in a medium that skews toward the more on-cue dogs), Dietrich in disguise as a dimwitted peasant maid, and that glorious, glorious ending that absolutely engorged me with glee. This is probably the one I'll show to those who haven't seen a Dietrich/von Sternberg film before.

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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#200 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:14 pm

Dishonored might be my favorite of these (but Docks of New York still remains my favorite Sternberg film).

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