Blonde Venus

Blonde Venus

Directed by Josef von Sternberg • 1932 • United States
Starring Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant

Josef von Sternberg returned Marlene Dietrich to the stage in BLONDE VENUS, both a glittering spectacle and a sweeping melodrama about motherly devotion. Unfolding episodically, the film tells the story of Helen (Dietrich), once a German chanteuse, now an American housewife, who resurrects her stage career after her husband (Herbert Marshall) falls ill; she then becomes the mistress of a millionaire (Cary Grant), in a slide from loving martyr to dishonored woman. Despite production difficulties courtesy of the Hays Office, the director’s baroque visual style shines, as do one of the most memorable musical numbers in all of cinema and a parade of visionary costumes by von Sternberg and Dietrich’s longtime collaborator Travis Banton.

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Blonde Venus
  • Blonde Venus

    Directed by Josef von Sternberg • 1932 • United States
    Starring Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant

    Josef von Sternberg returned Marlene Dietrich to the stage in BLONDE VENUS, both a glittering spectacle and a sweeping melodrama about motherly devotion. Unfolding episodically, the fil...

Extras

  • The Marlene Dietrich Collection

    No one collected Marlene Dietrich memorabilia more avidly than Dietrich herself, and by the end of her life she had amassed a giant treasure trove of costumes, art, and documents, which eventually found a home at the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin. In this 2018 interview, curator Silke Ronneburg d...

  • Deborah Nadoolman Landis on BLONDE VENUS

    In this 2018, Deborah Nadoolman Landis, director of the David C. Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design at UCLA, discusses the importance of costume designer Travis Banton, whose contribution to the creation of actor Marlene Dietrich’s star image is arguably as important as that of directo...

  • The Fashion Side of Hollywood

    This 1935 short film by the Paramount publicity department features the head of costumes at the studio at the time, Travis Banton, and a silent Marlene Dietrich modeling the clothes he designed for her.