For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.

Rocco's rating of the film The Scarlet Empress

A glistering, black-hearted historical epic unlike any other, filled with spoofery, satire and camp. It often feels like the actors are drowning in Von Sternberg’s baroque mise en scene and furious montages, but above them all stands Dietrich—a scornful goddess cast in pure marble who takes her rightful place among the carven, suffering saints of the palace in the film's barn-burner of a finale. Sternberg's finest.