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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 September 2008
I have owned and watched several versions of this film. I even have the film script. I would say that the Kino two DVD versions is the best presentation so far. I watched both the English and German versions I find the story depressing but the telling of it and the acting fascinating.

A real added plus is the commentary by German Film Historian Werner Sedendorf. He brought up information directly relating to the film at the time it was relevant. Then he left some berating room so you could absorb and experience the information. To many commentaries turn into soap-box discussions or rill in slow times with useful information that however is irrelevant to the film at the time. The film has so much hidden death and lost culture that after the commentary you will have to watch it again.

The English version is not really entirely English. Enough English is presented that the German in-between is clear enough to follow the story. However the German version is spoken clear without mumbling and lacks any slang that would force the casual follower to rush for a dictionary.

The basic story is as Federico Garcia Lorca describes in his play, "The butterfly's Evil Spell", death in disguise of love. Prof. Immanuel Rath (Emil Jannings), a person afraid of life, starts out to save his students, who want to embrace life, from a fate worse than death. In the process he meats an entertainer, Lola Lola (Marlene Dietrich). She inadvertently is the instrument of the Professors downfall from grace.

The magic of the film is more in the telling of the story through acting, sound, and symbolism than the story its self.

The Ufa Story: A History of Germany's Greatest Film Company 1918-1945

Blue Angel, The (Class. Film Scripts S)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2008
What is amazing about this film is that it made an accidental star of Marlene Dietrich and resulted in a later, complete reversal of fortunes for the film's originally-intentioned 'real' star, Emile Jannings. Dietrich was 29 when she made this, and it rocketed her to global mega-stardom, making her the first-ever, truely, German Hollywood star.

The Blue Angel showcases the glory of Germany's pre-Nazi, wonderful, Expressionist cinema, laying bare the reality of decadence with glimpses of the lingering poverty, dirt, social inertia, shabbiness, a post World War One legacy. The film strips the life of cabaret performers bare: it was often little more than giving a cursary veneer of acceptable artistry for the all-present seedy, sexual side, which Germany's rich had a voracious appetite for.

The film is a powerful reminder of how the high can fall and ruination can have a beautiful, sweet but deadly allure. The film truly shocked and provoked, was way ahead of its time, and songs like 'Ich bin die fesche Lola' and 'Nimm dich in acht vor blonden Frauen', encapsulate a breathy and naughty sensuality, which is far more shattering than anything we could ever dream of attempting now.

A seminal work and proof that Germany was THE powerhouse of Expressionist masterpieces before the tragic arrival of Nazism. If anything, Dietrich was one of the few who went on to vindicate the reality of the 'good' German.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
This film is fascinating for many reasons but certain adjustments are necessary, first it was one of the first “talkies” and that accounts for the constricted sound quality, the limited but acceptable quality of the film, and directing style in transition from silent to talkie.
Blue Angel was filmed twice concurrently, once in English and once in German, this review applies to the German (considered the best version) with sub titles.
However with minimal adjustment for social morals of the late twenties and the film is thoroughly engrossing. Emil Jannings as the tentative Professor Rath teaching at a boy’s prep school, pathetically guarding his authority as a teacher is a beautifully acted portrait of a man descending into degradation and despair.
Lola as acted by Marlene Dietrich in her first and most unforgettable talking role is to my mind a wilful and thoughtless young woman. There is more of Sally Bowles (Cabaret) than manipulative dominatrix.
Marlene Dietrich’s screen test is fascinating as she sings “You are the cream in my coffee” sounding very like the adorable Annette Hanshawe who was at the height of her fame in 1929 (check out the CDs).
Also the songs filmed in 1972 show the astonishing beauty of the actress at the age of 71, almost more striking than her more plump appearance in 1929.
Don‘t be put off by the 1929 date, this film is timeless.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I have liked this movies since I got a 16mm copy back in the 1970s in both German language & later English language version. I have since had a Laserdisc, DVD and now a Dual Format Blu Ray?DVD set from UK. The German language version has been restored but the English language version is still a bit rough, a sign of the surviving materials. There are extras like a trailer and a screen test with the star Marlene Dietrich and some Dietrich concert material round out this release. Also in the film is actor Emil Jannings playing a college professor who checks out the rough club Lola(Dietrich) sings and dances in after seeing post card that had some fluff glued to the panties of the girls and a whiff of air blows up the fluff. The Prof falls for the young Lola marries her and gives up teaching and joins the show!!!!! A lover of Lola is the matinee idol Hans Albers who had been on the stage with Dietrich. Also in the film(at Ufa in Neubabelsberg) was Kurt Gerron who died in a concentration camp in the 1940s.

Dietrich used to tell reporters that she had made no films before this one but this is far from true and I have some of them.

There is said to be a French version made at the same time but I can find no trace of it. Dietrich was fluent in French & English by the time she made this film, her last in Germany and on he day the film was released on April 1 1930 she was on the way to New York and Paramount to join Angel's director, Josef von Sternberg who had been on loan to Ufa for the film.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2001
The first time I saw The Blue Angel was around 1970 in Los Angeles. It and "The Threepenny Opera" were for a long time my favorite films. Unfortunately the sound on the Blue Angel film is terrible, but remember that this film was produced only three years after the first "talkie". In any case it's good that there are English subtitles.
The film is about Prof. Emmanuel Rath, the high school teacher who falls in love with Lola Lola, the local night club singer. (I understand that someone thought the name Lola was sexy, so the name Lola Lola had to be twice as sexy.) He loses his job, and his self-esteem. Emil Jannings portrayal of Dr. Rath is superb. I suppose I should despise Lola Lola, but in Marlene Dietrich's portrayal, she is not only beautiful, but also rather sympathetic. In fact you can't help but fall in love with Marlene Dietrich in the course of the film. When she sits there on stage and sings for Emil Jannings up in the balcony, it's clear that neither he nor we have a chance against this enchanting woman. The song is the famous "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt". The film is of course more than just this scene, but I'm afraid I'm going to wear out the tape at this spot, and my wife has started to complain as well, wondering if I'm not going to get tired of the film. My reply is "Never!"
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2001
This film shot Marlene Dietrich to fame, but did little for the career of Emil Jannings. True, Dietrich's performance is scintillating, but it is Janning's portrayal of a man obsessed that completes this masterpiece. The pacing of the film is perfect. There is not a moment, during the Professor's slow decline into utter humiliation and degradation, that the characters are less than convincing. In my opinion, the moment of pathos at the end of the film, when the broken Professor seeks the small comfort of his old classroom, is still just as shocking as some of the more visceral images of recent films. Absolutely brilliant. A must buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2000
Never ever go down to the edge of town is advice that professor Unrat should have taken. But he does, on the pretext of taking in hand his chargelings,and there he is seduced by the haughty nightclub singer Lola. Marlene lights up every frame with her sensuous derisive presence. Emil Janning's fumbling flustered portrayal of Professor Unrat is magnificent.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
For all the mythmaking about Dietrich, the surprisingly rarely revived The Blue Angel actually rests on Emil Jannings expressive shoulders, offering yet another of his great men laid low, in this case by the love of a bad woman. It's good but somewhat overfamiliar, and it's surprisingly overlong - not fatally so, but enough for your attention to be stretched at points. Jannings has a field day, although it's strange to note what an influence his performance seems to have had on British TV comedians: his cockcrowing nervous breakdown at the end conjures up images of Little Britain while his mooning reaction to Falling in Love Again seems a virtual template for Benny Hill.

Both versions of the film are included on the 2-disc DVD and both are well worth a look. The far from negligible, slightly shorter English-language version has better dialogue and Dietrich seems a lot more confident with English than German, especially in the musical numbers, although Hans Albers' accent is quite horrible and the scene where the Prof loses his job seems less convincing stripped of almost all of its dialogue. But the German version has the edge for allowing just a little bit more room for the camera to catch the odd subtleties.

An impressive collection of extras (including some painful live performamces from an elderly Dietrich, a very brief 1971 interview clip as well as her original screen test for the film and original and reissue trailers) are included. Most of these are carried over to Eureka's Masters of Cinema Blu-ray, which includes both cuts of the film but replaces the original audio commentary by Werner Sudendorf on the German cut with a new one by Tony Rayns and adds a video essay by Tag Gallagher and a 48-page booklet with an account of the making of the film by Von Sternberg, but loses the DVD's cene comparison, stills gallery and copious onscreen production notes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2014
This Blue Angel "Blue Ray" edition is superb for us who do not yet have an all region DVD Blu-Ray player the regular DVD included here uses the same print, from the crisp and detailed mesh in Dietrich's stockings to the fine detail in the men's suits this is the print that surpasses the KINO version! I'm so please to have this edition to end my search for the ultimate edition of this classic! I do recommend this version for all who love this Von Sternberg classic., do yourself a favor and purchase this version as you'll be amaze!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2013
I'll abstain from critiquing the film, but I must say this is a must see, must own! The Dietrich-Jannings dynamics is splendid, Dietrich is sexy and the story heart wrenching.

Probably one of the finest blu-ray releases, partly due to the packaging. This out-does the Kino release by miles!

Highly recommended!!
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