Next on the list from the Dietrich and Von Sternberg set is Dishonored, from 1931.
In Austria, during the first World War, Marie Kolver (Marlene Dietrich), a widow and prostitute, is convinced to help her country, acting as a spy (code-named “X-27”). She is asked to uncover a traitor within the Austrian Secret Service. She succeeds, and when he is caught, he commits suicide. However, he had been working with a Russian agent, Captain Kranau (Victor McLaglen), who proves himself a little harder to catch. When he escapes, she has to go to the Russian headquarters to help find information that could help them fight against the Russians, and ends up falling for Captain Kranau.
Not having read much about this one beforehand (or, if I had read anything, I had long forgotten it), this one ended up being a very pleasant surprise. It is, as you probably guessed from the description, a bit of a spy movie. However, if you’re imagining an action movie, or anything resembling the James Bond movies, then you would be disappointed here. There is pretty much no fighting, and while X-27 is a prostitute-turned-spy, we never actually see her sleeping with anybody (which keeps it a LITTLE more kid-friendly, although I would have a hard time seeing little kids sitting still long enough for this movie). But, as I said, I do like this movie, and would recommend it very much!
The movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Criterion Collection, and is one hour, thirty-one minutes in length.
My Rating: 8/10
Previous Page: Morocco (1930)
Main Page: Dietrich & Von Sternberg In Hollywood
Next Page: Shanghai Express (1932)