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Blonde Venus (2011)

Marlene Dietrich , Cary Grant , Josef von Sternberg  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Herbert Marshall, Dickie Moore
  • Directors: Josef von Sternberg
  • Writers: Jules Furthman, S.K. Lauren
  • Producers: Josef von Sternberg
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,860 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The glamorous Marlene Dietrich stars as former nightclub entertainer torn between her husband, lover, career and child in Blonde Venus. Helen (Dietrich) returns to the stage billed as "The Blonde Venus" to raise money for her husband Edward (Herbert Marshall) who has been diagnosed with radium poisoning. She soon finds herself powerfully attracted to Nick (Cary Grant), a dashing politician who is captivated by her and offers financial support. After Nick moves Helen and her son into a beautiful apartment, Edward returns unexpectedly from his treatment to find his child and unfaithful wife gone. Featuring a dazzling performance by Marlene Dietrich, this pre-code classic remains one of the screen goddess's most memorable films.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sumptuous and Charming Recipe for Magic! October 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
It was very early one morning, the rising September sun just begining to brightly filter through the windows, when I, not ordinarily accustomed to early rising, wrapped myself in a blanket and sat down to watch "Blonde Venus" soon followed by "Suzy" with Jean Harlow - two films as silly as anything to come out of the Hollywood dream factory. But strangely, that sleepy morning was one of the most warm and pleasurable of my life. Don't ask me just why, but then and there all the ingredients for magic simply clicked.
"Blonde Venus," like so many of Sternberg's films, has been frequently called an excercise in style over substance. I would have to disagee, though the style is of course sumptuous, I would say rather it was a triumph in substance over story, if that can be. In spite of an undeniably soap opera style plot, it can also not be denied its empathy and emotion, generated in no small part by Marlene Dietrich. It is impossible to say just how, but Dietrich in this film has done something truly unique. She has managed to be at one time smolderingly sexy, and yet tender and warm, maternally comforting. These traits should be a natural contradiction, but somehow she subtly blends them, making one seem unthinkable without the other.
It is not a great film, yet it is wonderful. Coupled remarkably well with "Suzy," "Blond Venus" gave me a light and wonderful morning of escapist magic. If you give in at the right time, I should certainly think it would do the same for you.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Voodoo! March 23, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This film really shouldn't work. The story line is too far-feched, the songs too silly, the star too goregeous when supposedly a vagabond. BUT, it Does work, astoundingly, and the reason is that star, Marlene Dietrich. No other could pull this role off. She's both smolderingly sexy and maternal. Vamp, and housewife. Devoted mother, and kept woman. Pleny of contradictions here, and yet she moves through the film as the glue that holds the whole mess together. Of course, the part that this film is famous for is the "Hot Voodoo" number, where Dietrich emerges out a gorilla costume with native girls swaying in time in the background. What nerve! Nobody today would dare anything like that. Herbert Martshall is cast as the husband, and Cary Grant, in am early role, is cast as the swank lover. All it takes is a bit of suspension of disbelief, for some parts, anyway, and this is a movie to enjoy.
Actually, having just watched the film again for the first time in a while, I was struck by Dietrich's presence in the film. I've always considered Dietrich one of the most under-rated actresses of Hollywoods golden era. She seemed very involved and into her role here. Her scenes with little Dicky Moore, her son in the movie, were very touching and sincere. I'm no acting expert by any stretch, but I feel she was wonderful in this role. Perhaps it was the going against type role of mother that turned off many critics of the day. She was, after all, one of the most glamorous and seductive creatures to ever hit Hollywood, so perhaps thinking of her as a loving mother and housewife could perhaps seem to be a stretch. However, Dietrich carried off the role, and carried the movie totally without effort. Watch the film yourself, and see how under-rated this fine actress really was.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGICAL January 8, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Well, this is a very strange movie. For one, it looks like as though it was twice as long and had been edited down, because the scenes are just there, I mean, they don't lose time with useless hanging around. Like, 95% of the shots look like postcards, leave it to this divine being to look fabulous even when she's broke, on the flee and basically a vagabond. She is capable of resurrection even when you thing she's gone. She's unbelievably innocent and yet not so. Marlene Dietrich is AB FAB here, beautiful as always in a very entertaining story that is never boring.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dietrich and Child October 9, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
Once there was a man walking through a forest (Herbert Marshall) when he came upon a dragon sitting in an automobile. He saw that the dragon was protecting a princess taking a bath (Marlene Dietrich). He was taken by her beauty, but she asked him to go away. He asked for one wish, to see her again. Later he saw her at the theater, and she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The two went walking that night, had their first kiss, and decided to get married.

Perhaps this isn't the real story of the couple's first meeting, but it makes a sweet bedtime story for their son (Dickie Moore). Unfortunately, the happy family is soon to be broken up. Marshall is sick due to the radiation he works with in his job. To be cured, he needs $1500 and has no way of obtaining it himself. His wife decides to go back into the theater and makes a swell debut as the "Blonde Venus" with her savage "Hot Voodoo" number. She catches the eye of a wealthy playboy (Cary Grant) who funds her husband's expedition, though he does not know this. When he finds out, she and her son go into hiding so that the family will not be separated.

It is strange to see Dietrich in such a role, but highly entertaining. Her acting style is very different than someone like Joan Crawford who would have been very sentimental in the part. Dietrich is, but in her own way with few exaggerated facial expressions. Marshall is great as the husband, a refined man whose anger burns inwardly. Grant is amusing in his early role, very different than in his later screwball comedies. Moore is wonderful. He is peppered throughout the film doing cute things that children do; he really endears himself to the audience well.

The directing is fabulous. Josef von Sternberg was a master at lighting a set, and each one glows.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Grant
Love my Cary Grant. Doesn't matter what the movie is lol.
Published 23 days ago by dappy
5.0 out of 5 stars BLONDE VENUS VHS
so happy to find a 1940s movie on VHS! Came in a reasonable amount of time, wrapped and unopened. Very happy :)
Published 20 months ago by Molly J
4.0 out of 5 stars Good old style B&W melodrama
While there are a couple of things in this story that don't make a whole lot of sense, I guess they were necessary to move the story along. Read more
Published 20 months ago by JJ
3.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Code Dietrich
A bizarre, visually stunning melodrama - the fifth Marlene Dietrich-Josef von Sternberg collaboration. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Scott T. Rivers
4.0 out of 5 stars Dietrich and Grant in a solid melodrama
BLONDE VENUS is a melodrama that really shouldn't work as well as it does. The recipe for it's success lies solely with Marlene Dietrich. Read more
Published on May 11, 2011 by Byron Kolln
3.0 out of 5 stars Totally Absurd - and Totally Watchable
BLONDE VENUS is a major Hollywood production masquerading as a loony "cult" movie. This jaw-dropping mix of mother love, sex melodrama, and androgynous musical numbers looks more... Read more
Published on September 30, 2009 by Tee
4.0 out of 5 stars delightful Dietrich drama
Like my fellow reviewers have noted, BLONDE VENUS is a melodrama that really shouldn't work as well as it does. The recipe for it's success lies solely with Marlene Dietrich. Read more
Published on March 27, 2008 by Byron Kolln
5.0 out of 5 stars diva of the early films
I like to watch the early motion pictures of the 20th century. It's a new discovery for me. Actresses like Dietrich are talented in every respect of the word. Read more
Published on August 27, 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars SLIGHTLY DUSTY GOLDEN GIRL ...........
Odd story about our Marlena and shall we say an unnamed [notorious] Southern actress who had a clandestine lunch with her during this shoot - AFTERWARDS it took the costumer on set... Read more
Published on August 11, 2001
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