On the eve of World War II (1939) English officer Ralph Denistoun is in Nazi Germany on an espionage mission to recover a poison gas formula from Prof. Krosigk. He is helped by Lydia and ... See full summary »
A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Moran, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl. ... See full summary »
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was first telecast in Seattle Wednesday 17 June 1959 on KIRO, in Minneapolis 28 August 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Philadelphia 16 November 1959 on WCAU (Channel 10), and in Los Angeles 8 January 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 6 February 2012 in tandem with Shanghai Express (1932) by Turner Classic Movies and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and has also enjoyed an occasional airing on cable TV on TCM. See more »
Young Lieutenant - Firing Squad:
I will not kill a woman! I will not kill any more men either! Do you call this war? I call it butchery! You call this serving your country? You call this patriotism? I call it murder!
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One up front negative: Victor McLaglen as a dashing, adventurous Russian officer is very badly miscast.
This is a World War I Mata Hari genre film with Marlene Dietrich recruited by the Austrian Secret Service to spy for them against the Russians. Like the other Von Sternberg/Dietrich collaborations this is all about visual texture and Marlene's incredible persona (which is very much due to her equally incredible talent). Both come together perfectly in the amazing masked ball scene full, full, full of confetti, long twisted streamers, costumed revelers, and uncurling paper party-horns that you blow through to make a high pitched little squeal.
In one remarkable scene Marlene is hypnotic just saying, "No." "Yes." "Noooo." and "Maybe." In another her dialog is a hilarious and inimatable series of "Meowwws." I don't remember her singing in this one but she plays the piano with abandon. Nevermind the plot, this is a film you watch because it is a great vehicle for one of film's greatest, if not the greatest, stars and because it is great cinema.
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