And here we are, for the last movie in the Dietrich And Von Sternberg set, the 1935 movie The Devil Is A Woman.
At a carnival in Spain, young revolutionary Antonio Galvan (Cesar Romero) meets Concha Perez (Marlene Dietrich), who invites him to join her later that evening. Evading the authorities, he meets an old friend, Captain Don Pasqual (Lionel Atwill). When Antonio told him about Concha, Pasqual related his own experiences with her. He told how they met, and how he fell for her while she toyed with him, taking his money and openly flaunting her affairs with other men. In spite of the captain’s story, Antonio still goes to meet her, which drives a wedge between them.
I will admit, how well this movie works at least partly depends on how any individual views Marlene Dietrich and her beauty, otherwise it can be very frustrating to watch Lionel Atwill’s Captain Pasqual so infatuated with her. Of course, as they say, “there’s no fool like an old fool.” And speaking of old fools, we come to my biggest complaint about this movie: not enough Edward Everett Horton (Governor Don Paquito)! In his usual screen persona as an exasperated bumbler, his governor is more annoyed with the police for arresting a lot of people during the carnival than he is with the people that were thrown in jail! He provides some much-needed comedy relief, but his brief appearance at the beginning and slightly more substantial appearance at the end are, for me, too little. I know his screen persona well enough that I wasn’t surprised to find that Dietrich’s character had him wrapped around her finger, too! In spite of my “complaint,” I did like this movie, and I do recommend it.
This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Criterion Collection, and is one hour, twenty minutes in length.
My Rating: 8/10
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