Josef von Sternberg's 1934 masterpiece The Scarlet Empress, starring his muse Marlene Dietrich, has been issued on DVD through The Criterion Collection. The film has been transferred digitally, with both the restored images (presented in 1:33:1 full-screen format) and sound registering well, though at times the picture doesn't appear as sharp as one would imagine. The DVD comes with English subtitles, and has its interactive menus set against beautiful images of Dietrich's legendary face. Also included is a stills archive gallery, with over 40 publicity and production photos, as well as images of several original lobby cards from the film's 1934 theatrical release. A 20-minute BBC documentary, The World of Josef von Sternberg, is included, in which the famed director demonstrates his lighting techniques and explains his relationship with his star, all the while letting his harsh and masterful personality shine through. This DVD also boasts a colorful booklet with entertaining and informative essays by historian Robin Wood and filmmaker Jack Smith. More historical information on the star herself would have been appreciated, especially for those unfamiliar with her history with Von Sternberg. Nonetheless, it is a pleasure to have a film such as this available on DVD; though the picture flopped in its initial release, it has gone on to become one of cinema's all-time classics.