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on 1 February 2010
This really is vintage studio stuff - Von Sternberg has a wonderful time creating old Seville, although Dietrich as a Senorita takes some swallowing. She is dressed to the nines, gilded to perfection in this her last film for her mentor, the man who made her a star and knew how to photograph her. But it really is Hollywood hokum and Edward Everett Horton as a Spaniard is hard to take, although perhaps his Fred and Ginger years were yet to come. Buy it for the look, for the fact they don't make them like this any more, and more is the pity.
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on 26 June 2012
The Devil Is a Woman is a 1935 romance film produced, directed and photographed by Josef von Sternberg, adapted from the 1898 railway station kiosque novel La Femme et le pantin by Pierre Louÿs. The film was based on a screenplay by John Dos Passos, and stars Marlene Dietrich, with Lionel Atwill, Cesar Romero, Edward Everett Horton and Luisa Espinel (who was the paternal aunt of Linda Ronstadt). The film won the Award for Best Cinematography at the Venice Film Festival.

The story takes place during the Carnival in Spain. Don Pasquale explains to Antonio Galvan that Concha Perez broke his heart. In spite of this warning Antonio falls in love with Concha himself. This leads to a duel with pistols between Don Pasquale and Antonio. Concha begs Don Pasquale not to hurt Antonio, and he shoots into the air. Don Pasquale is wounded by Antonio's shot, but not fatally. Concha asks Antonio to take her to Paris, but then leaves him for Don Pasquale.

Louÿs (1870-1925) was a French poet and writer (of Belgian extraction), most renowned for lesbian and classical themes in some of his writings and known for "expressing pagan sensuality with stylistic perfection". A friend of Gide and Wilde, un décadent; although heterosexual, Louÿs enjoyed homosexual circles. Luis Bunuel last film - Ese oscuro objeto del deseo (1977, 105') - with Jean-Claude Carri'ere as co-scenarist (reviewed here as Sweet, sour on 23/3/2012), uses the same literary source over forty years later.

While completely different in their cinematographic presentation of the story, both Sternberg and Bunuel have turned out lasting masterpieces.

93 - The devil is a woman by Josef von Sternberg (1935, 76') - 28/6/2012
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on 21 June 2013
a beautifully stylized fantasy Spain, in the von sternberg vein, even surrealist. well worth viewing. the anecdote runs that this film scandalized 30s Spain, provoking a diplomatic incident with the u.s
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on 15 September 2014
1st class all round
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on 11 June 2014
Fabulous photography, lunatic plot and some wild performances. But you can see why this was Dietrich's last film with von Sternberg.
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on 10 April 2015
Very dated
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