A notorious prostitute named Shanghai Lily (Marlene Dietrich) runs into her former flame (Clive Brook) while traveling on a train from Peking to Shanghai. When a revolutionary (Warner Oland) and his men commandeer the train and hold Owen hostage, Dietrich realizes she can intervene to save his life — but will this be enough to win back his love? –filmfanatic.org
Born in Vienna, director Joseph von Sternberg spent much of his youth in New York; his entrée into show business was as a film repairer for the World Film Company of Fort Lee, NJ. After returning to Austria to complete his education, he joined the U.S. Signal Corps as a photographer in 1917, then took assistant director jobs after the end of World War I. It was either actor Elliot Dexter or an anonymous producer who suggested that Sternberg would go farther in the industry if he affixed a “von” to his last name, à la Erich von Stroheim. Von Sternberg went whole hog in creating a “genius” veneer, adopting a strutting, imperious attitude, dressing in regulation beret and puttees, and even growing an obnoxious little mustache so he would be certain to be hated and feared. This posturing tended to obscure his genuine cinematic gifts, especially in the field of photographic lighting and composition (at one point, he was the only director permitted to carry an American Society of Cinematographers… read more
Esta pelicula contiene unos los mejores encuadres de Marlene Dietrich en el cine y la escencia de los personajes que la hizo la famosa femme fatale del cine. Lo mejor es el descenlace de una pelicula que parece no va a ninguna parte, con un ritmo soso y personajes de relleno. Destaca la fotografía y el sonido, un constante sonar del tren sobre los dialogos.
Fine new issue of the Brooklyn Rail, a sprawling list, news and more.
"He's a chin." Such was Josef von Sternberg's summation of Clive Brook, delivered when Marlene Dietrich asked what her leading man in Shanghai
A couple of weeks ago, trying to encapsulate the appeal of Dario Argento's Inferno, I quoted Martin Scorsese on Mario Bava: "I...like Bava's
Directed by Josef von Sternberg. Here's a little secret about Josef von Sternberg: the man's talent and reputation for baroque pictorialism
THE GALLOPING COW It's well known that Marlene Dietrich preferred to forget the silent films she made before Von Sternberg's The Blue Angel
Each of the Notebook's writers were given the opportunity to submit two lists of their ten favorite films of 2008. One is restricted to films