Song of Songs

Song of Songs

Director: Rouben Mamoulian, Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill

Cast: Rouben Mamoulian, Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill

     
 
Song of Songs was the first Marlene Dietrich vehicle not directed by Dietrich's "Svengali," Josef von Sternberg. The star plays a zaftig German peasant girl who becomes a nude model (anything to get her out of those ill-fitting 1890s costumes!) She falls in love with a struggling sculptor (Brian Aherne), but her ambitions get the better of her and she

Overview

Song of Songs was the first Marlene Dietrich vehicle not directed by Dietrich's "Svengali," Josef von Sternberg. The star plays a zaftig German peasant girl who becomes a nude model (anything to get her out of those ill-fitting 1890s costumes!) She falls in love with a struggling sculptor (Brian Aherne), but her ambitions get the better of her and she marries a hedonistic baron (Lionel Atwill). Leaving her husband, Dietrich sinks further down the social scale by becoming a cabaret singer. She is eventually reunited with the sculptor, but not before smashing the nude statue based on her voluptuous frame, thereby symbolically purging her checkered past. Song of Songs was based on a Herman Sudermann novel, previously adapted into a stage play and then filmed twice during the silent era.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Those who feel that Marlene Dietrich was merely a beautiful figure whose performances were molded only by director Josef von Sternberg should take a look at Song of Songs, which contains some of Dietrich's finest (if often overlooked) work. Granted, she was once again working with a strong director (Rouben Mamoulian in this case), but it's clear that this was a woman who not only had abundant talent but had a clear sense of how to act specifically for the camera. Observe the many ways she looks at the camera, always embracing it, but doing so with a tremendous variety -- sometimes tenderly, sometimes angrily, sometimes teasingly, sometimes aloofly. Dietrich also gets a chance to show some range here, creating a character who changes from naïve and trusting to one who is cynical and world weary -- and making all aspects of the character quite believable. For his part, Mamoulian's direction is a bit more "conventional" than usual but enormously effective nonetheless. If he's not able to draw a very lively performance from Brian Aherne, he compensates with his work from Lionel Atwill, Alison Skipworth, and Helen Freeman. Add in some evocative Victor Milner cinematography and some stunning sculptures, buttressing a sturdy screenplay, and the result is an enormously entertaining drama in the Dietrich manner.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/2014
UPC:
0025192097522
Original Release:
1933
Source:
Universal Mod
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:30:00
Sales rank:
15,512

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marlene Dietrich Lily Czepanek
Brian Aherne Richard Waldrow
Lionel Atwill Baron von Merzbach
Alison Skipworth Frau Rasmussen
Hardie Albright Walter Von Prell
Helen Freeman Fraulein von Schwartzfegger
Wilson Benge Butler
Richard Bennett Actor
James Marcus Actor
Hans Schumm Butler
Morgan Wallace "Admirer"
Eric Wilton Butler

Technical Credits
Rouben Mamoulian Director,Producer
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Leo Birinski Screenwriter
Leo Birinsky Screenwriter
Hans Dreier Art Director
Nathaniel W. Finston Musical Direction/Supervision
Karl Hajos Score Composer
Edward Hayman Songwriter
Samuel Hoffenstein Screenwriter
Frederick Hollander Songwriter
Victor Milner Cinematographer
Milan Roder Score Composer

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