Marlene Dietrich filmography

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A still from Shanghai Express (1932). Josef von Sternberg used butterfly lighting to enhance Dietrich's features.

Marlene Dietrich (27 December 1901 – 6 May 1992) was a German and American actress and singer.

In the 1920s, she acted on the Berlin stage and in silent films, making her film debut in 1922. She was propelled to international fame by director Josef von Sternberg, who cast her as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel (1930). The film's commercial success brought her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the United States.

Paramount sought to market Dietrich as a German answer to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Swedish actress Greta Garbo. Her first American film, Morocco (1930), directed by Sternberg, earned Dietrich her only Academy Award nomination. She would appear in several other films directed by Sternberg, including Dishonored (1931), Blonde Venus (1932) and Shanghai Express (1932).

Dietrich and Sternberg's last two film collaborations, The Scarlet Empress (1934) and The Devil Is a Woman (1935)—the most styled of their collaborations—were their least successful at the box office. Her first sound film without Sternberg was 1933's The Song of Songs, directed by Rouben Mamoulian, although she and Sternberg would later work together another two times.

Without Sternberg, Dietrich—along with Joan Crawford, Mae West, Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn and others—was labeled "box office poison" after the film Knight Without Armour (1937) proved a box office failure. In 1939, however, her stardom was revived when she played a cowboy saloon girl in the Western comedy Destry Rides Again opposite James Stewart, singing "See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have".

While Dietrich arguably never fully regained her former screen glory, she continued performing in films, including appearances for such distinguished directors as Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, in successful films that included A Foreign Affair (1948), Stage Fright (1950), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Touch of Evil (1958) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Her final film appearance was as herself in the 1984 documentary Marlene.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich as the ninth-greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema.


Silent feature films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1919 Im Schatten des Glücks Unknown Unconfirmed role
1923 The Little Napoleon Kathrin
1923 Tragedy of Love Lucy
1923 Man by the Wayside Kramerstochter
1924 The Monk from Santarem Unknown
1924 Leap Into Life Mädchen am Strand
1925 Dancing Mad Dance extra
1926 Manon Lescaut Micheline
1926 Madame Wants No Children Dancer Uncredited
1927 A Modern Dubarry Kokotte
1927 The Imaginary Baron Sophie
1927 Heads Up, Charley Edmee Marchand
1927 His Greatest Bluff Yvette
1927 Café Elektric Erni
1928 Princess Olala Chichotte de Gastone
1929 Dangers of the Engagement Period Evelyne
1929 I Kiss Your Hand, Madame Laurence Gerard (Lucille in the US)
1929 The Woman One Longs For Stascha
1929 The Ship of Lost Souls Ethel Marley

Sound feature films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1930 The Blue Angel Lola-Lola Separate German and English versions were shot simultaneously.
1930 Morocco Mademoiselle Amy Jolly
1931 Dishonored Marie Kolverer
1932 Shanghai Express Shanghai Lily
1932 Blonde Venus Helen Faraday
1933 The Song of Songs Lily Czepanek
1934 The Scarlet Empress Princess Sophia Frederica / Catherine II
1935 The Devil Is a Woman Concha Perez
1936 I Loved a Soldier Anna Sedlak Unfinished film
1936 Desire Madeleine de Aupre
1936 The Garden of Allah Domini Enfilden Her first Technicolor film
1937 Knight Without Armour Countess Alexandra Vladinoff
1937 Angel Maria Berker
1939 Destry Rides Again Frenchy
1940 Seven Sinners Bijou Blanche
1941 The Flame of New Orleans Countess Claire Ledoux
1941 Manpower Fay Duvall
1942 The Lady Is Willing Elizabeth Madden
1942 The Spoilers Cherry Malotte
1942 Pittsburgh Josey "Hunky" Winters
1944 Kismet Jamilla
1944 Follow the Boys Herself
1946 Martin Roumagnac Blanche Ferrand
1947 Golden Earrings Lydia
1948 A Foreign Affair Erika von Schlütow
1949 Jigsaw Herself Uncredited cameo
1950 Stage Fright Charlotte Inwood
1951 No Highway in the Sky Monica Teasdale
1952 Rancho Notorious Altar Keane
1956 Around the World in 80 Days Saloon hostess Cameo
1956 The Monte Carlo Story Maria de Creveçoeur
1957 Witness for the Prosecution Christine Vole (Helm) / Cockney woman
1958 Touch of Evil Tanya
1961 Judgment at Nuremberg Frau Bertholt
1962 Black Fox: The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler Narrator Voice
1964 Paris When It Sizzles Herself Uncredited cameo
1978 Just a Gigolo Baroness von Semering
1984 Marlene Herself Voice

Short films[edit]

Year Title Notes
1928 Die gluckliche Mutter Dietrich biographer Steven Bach notes that the release of this film has not been verified.
1935 The Fashion Side of Hollywood Promotional short film publicizing costumes designed by Travis Banton.
1937 Screen Snapshots Series 16, No. 7
1943 Show Business at War
1944 Memo for Joe


Complete list of television appearances (excluding news footage):

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1932 Academy Awards Best Actress Morocco Nominated
1958 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Drama Witness for the Prosecution Nominated
1958 Laurel Awards Top Female Dramatic Performance Witness for the Prosecution 2nd Place
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Motion Picture Won
1962 David di Donatello Awards Special David Judgment at Nuremberg Won
1980 German Film Awards Honorary Award Won
2003 Online Film & Television Association OFTA Film Hall of Fame Won


External links[edit]