As promised in my previous post, here is a list of my favorite Josef Von Sternberg, starting with the great films with Marlene Dietrich (all of which are great) and continuing with his other projects.
Films with Marlene Dietrich
- The Blue Angel, or Der Blaue Engel in Germany (1930)
- Morocco (1930), with the French Foreign Legion in North Africa
- Dishonored (1931), about Mata Hari
- Shanghai Express (1932), a train ride through China during a civil war
- Blonde Venus (1932), with Dietrich’s famous “Hot Voodoo” dance number
- The Scarlet Empress (1934), my favorite, with Dietrich as Catherine the Great of Russia
- The Devil Is a Woman (1935), Dietrich as a Spanish femme fatale a la Carmen
- The Salvation Hunters (1924), a great beginning to Von Sternberg’s career
- Underworld (1927), a superb gangster film
- The Last Command (1928), Emil Jannings as a Czarist general who becomes an actor in Hollywood
- The Shanghai Gesture (1941), with Gene Tierney in a Chinese gambling casino
- Duel in the Sun (1946), signed by King Vidor, co-directed with Von Sternberg
In closing, I want to recall a run-in I had at Dartmouth with an Anti-Semite who insisted that Von Sternberg was born in Brooklyn and that his real name was Jo Stern. As if that meant anything! It turns out that the “Von” in his name is a fantasy, but he was born in Europe and came to America as a child.