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.
Showing at MoMA this week...Cant wait to watch it! "In this seventh and final Sternberg/Dietrich collaboration, the two reveal much about their tortured romantic relationship, in an outrageously sumptuous Spanish setting. This is one of the most beautiful and personal films ever to come out of a Hollywood studio" MoMA.
So artificial, so stylized, it's so suffocating, but it makes me tingle all over with its cinematic power! And plus Dietrich just commands and overwhelming and sensual screen presence. I love how every movement, frame, and gesture is choreographed like a dance. It's absolutely thrilling! Von Sternberg is a master.