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Emil Jannings, the quintessential German expressionist actor, stars as Professor Rath, the sexually-repressed instructor of a boys' prep school. After learning of the pupils' infatuation with French postcards depicting a local nightclub songstress, he decides to personally investigate the source of such indecency. But as soon as he enters the shadowy Blue Angel nightclub and steals one glimpse of the smoldering Lola-Lola (Marlene Dietrich), commanding the stage in a top hat, stockings and bare thighs, Rath's self-righteous piety is crushed. He finds himself fatefully seduced by the throaty voice of the vulgar siren, singing, "Falling in Love Again." Consumed by desire and tormented by his rigid propriety, Professor Rath allows himself to be dragged down a path of personal degradation. Lola's unrestrained sexuality was a revelation to turn-of-the-decade moviegoers, thrusting Dietrich to the forefront of the sultry international leading ladies, such as Greta Garbor, who were challenging the limits of screen sexuality.
For director Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich it all began with The Blue Angel, one of the masterpieces of Germany's Weimar cinema. This landmark film thrust the sultry and unrestrained Dietrich on an unsuspecting international film audience. She plays the prototypical role of Lola, the singer who tempts repressed professor Emil Jannings (the king of expressionist actors) into complete submission night after night at the Blue Angel nightclub. The film perfectly captures the masochism and degradation of the Weimar Republic, just before the rise of Adolf Hitler. And yet the moral confusion exhibited by Jannings is really due to his own torment. Dietrich is merely an instrument of his innermost desires, standing on stage in top hat, stockings, and bare thighs singing "Falling in Love Again." --Bill Desowitz
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
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