Blonde Venus | Chicago Reader

Blonde Venus

Rated NR 94 minutes 1932

Even Josef von Sternberg had his off days. Blonde Venus (1932), his fifth film with Marlene Dietrich, is drawn in Sternberg's characteristic chiaroscuro, but nothing seems to be happening beneath the (admittedly elegant) surface. Dietrich is permitted her only sympathetic role—as a woman who leaves her husband (Herbert Marshall) because she thinks she's no good for him—but this type of melodramatic pathos seems unsuited to Sternberg's sensibilities. One unfortunate scene, with Dietrich singing “Hot Voodoo” dressed in an ape suit, has predicated several generations of supercilious camp. With Cary Grant and Sidney Toler.

Film Credits

Director: Josef von Sternberg

Writer: Josef von Sternberg

Producer: Josef von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant, Dickie Moore, Francis Sayles, Robert Emmett O'Connor, Gene Morgan, Rita La Roy, Sidney Toler, Morgan Wallace, Gertrude Short, Dewey Robinson, Davison Clark, Brady Kline, Clifford Dempsey, Sterling Holloway, Al Bridge, Mary Gordon, Cecil Cunningham, Hattie McDaniel, Marcelle Corday and Kent Taylor

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