Dietrich herself claimed THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN as her personal favourite from among her collaborations w/ von Sternberg. Is it their greatest collaboration? Almost nobody would say it is, but I might. It's probably their least fundamentally characteristic. It is fleet, anarchic, ironic, and occasionally outright hilarious. It can stand next to the best of Lubitsch. Dietrich operates here as pure unobstructed virtuoso.
The Devil Is a Woman is a masterpiece made by maverick filmmaker Josef Von Sternberg. Starring the ravishing Marlene Dietrich in her prime, who plays a real heartbreaker of men, the film, taking place in Spain at the turn of the 20th Century, involves an older man who is a captain and a younger man who is a revolutionary bond over Dietrich's Concha Perez. [cont.]
Is the devil a woman? Take the 7 Sternberg-Dietrich films as a package, and you can go mad trying to decide how they feel about sex, because every pain, joy, and contradiction of desire is on display. This final film is the most brutal, a metaphor for movie love goddesses that leaves you unsure which manipulator to root for. I'll say this, though: they ended their creative partnership on the perfect line of dialogue.
un film d'ambientazione turistico-etnica con un'impostazione decisamente barocca, un sovraccarico d'immagine quasi soffocante: per ampi tratti ricorda le cineversioni di opere liriche d'antan (anche qua non ci risparmia il numero canoro). La Dietrich fa il suo anche solo con la sua presenza, il resto dei personaggi è vittima di stupidera amorosa. In sostanza una cartolina d'altri tempi trascurabile **1/2
This is a quite a good film that gets smaller when compared to other Von Sternberg's works. The aesthetic composition is commendable, and Dietrich offers a strong performance, but "The Devil Is a Woman" lacks some of the expressive vigor and profoundity that Josef von Sternberg usually displays in his films.
Very interesting to watch, story-wise, after having learned a bit about the working relationship between von Sternberg and Dietrich and now knowing that this would be the last time they would work together. I think that at least five other collaborations between the two top this film, but it still has enough of the magic that they were apparently able to bring out in each other. Dietrich is just so damn seductive.