Notes on film: The Blue Angel

8 October 2008

“A little flirting is alright but always remember she’s a predator.”

The Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel) is one of Germany’s most significant films. It is reportedly the first German sound film and when it was made the filmmakers simultaneously made a (superior) German language version and an English language version. It was made towards the end of the Weimar Republic period (1919-1933) and contains many of the characteristics of German Expressionism, a style that dominated the era, in particular the fantasy, horror and science fiction films. But most significantly, The Blue Angel was the first film that director Josef von Sternberg worked on with Marlene Dietrich. Their pairing is still regarded as one of the all time great director/actor collaborations in film history. Together they created Dietrich’s unique star persona, a mixture of masculinity and femininity, sensuality and stylised camp.

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