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Marlene [Kindle Edition]

Marlene Dietrich
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A fascinating self-portrait of one of the greatest entertainers of Hollywood’s golden age

Film star. Cabaret sensation. Recording artist. Writer. Marlene Dietrich was nothing short of enchanting—and remains so as she chronicles her fabulous rise to stardom in Marlene. From her early career in Germany as a chorus girl to her breakout role as Lola in The Blue Angel to her courageous wartime tours, Dietrich recounts a life that captivates on the page just as she smoldered on the screen. She writes passionately of her friends—including Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and Edith Piaf, among many others—and she shares memories of what she calls her greatest accomplishment: entertaining the Allied troops during World War II. A sustained expression of her bold, sophisticated style, Marlene reminds us why Dietrich remains an international icon and a true Hollywood legend.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Attansio's translation from the German echoes the voice of the actress, famous since the 1930s as the quintessence of glamor and beauty. Yet Dietrich herself and the intimates she writes about remain obscure in the narrative, despite some deeply moving images: she makes palpable, for example, her bewildered pain as a child in Germany during the World War I, experiences that contributed to her sturdy independence. And there is enormous pathos in her recollections of platonic friendship with her beloved Hemingway and with the doomed "sparrow," Edith Piaf. Dietrich writes of entertaining the allied troops during WW II, of her SRO concerts around the world and of her performances on stage and TV. She expresses admiration for Joseph von Sternberg, the director who starred her, an "unknown," in the film classic The Blue Angel. But only by indirection does the memoir disclose the personhood of Dietrich, mother of Maria and wife to the late Rudolf Sieber: "I've done my duty. I've assumed my responsibilities. That's all that counts for me." Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Cosmopolitan.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Dietrich takes pleasure in frequently pointing out mistakes made by her previous "biographers" (she always disparagingly puts the words in quotes), but while Hollywood memoirs have never been known for their accuracy, hers sets a new low standard. To give but two examples: she says (twice) that Ernst Lubitsch wrote the script for the film Desire . He didn't. She writes of starring in Rancho Notorious and then says, "After that, I made Manpower ," when , in fact , Manpower was made 11 years before Rancho Notorious. Shelley Winters's Shelley: Also Known as Shirley ( LJ 5/15/80) showed that an entertaining memoir can be written even with a blithe disregard for facts, but Dietrich also fails on this count. Winters's follow-up memoir, The Best of Times, The Worst of Times , will be published this July . -- Ed. Dietrich refused to appear in the 1984 documentary Marlene; she should have refused to do an autobiography, too.
- John Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 966 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (October 9, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009DA5E68
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,769 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what you'd expect from Dietrich January 17, 2009
The best way to summarize the contents of this book would be to describe it as a compilation of words that attempt to describe Dietrich as she understood herself. It is rather like a journal in that she writes about her thoughts and opinions, honestly and frankly all throughout. There are no tell-all's, this is not that kind of an autobiography. Instead, reading this book will enable one to understand what motivated the woman and the actress, and what values were her priorities in life. It is very straightforward and often inspiring. There is much to learn here, and I can only say a belated thanks to the lady who was willing to share her wisdom and experience with a devoted audience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy October 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Marlene Dietrich was an artist and an icon.
Her looks are familiar even with those that never saw one of her movies, even with those that normally avoid black & white cinema.
Dietrich was in landmark movies, directed by giants among directors.
Together with Garbo, she has come to represent all that was sensual about an era.
And she's been the subject of uncounted biographies.
It is therefore highly refreshing to find a Dietrich biography which cuts through the legend and gets up close and personal with the woman and the artist.
Unsurprisingly, such a biography is in fact an autobiography, penned by Dietrich herself with the open purpose of defusing and setting straights a lot of dubious myths about her career, her life, her choices.
What Marlene (fresh from Open Road Media) gives us is a self-portrait by a highly intelligent, refined lady - someone that almost by chance happened to lend her face and her body to some of the raciest, most seductive and risqué women in movie history.
We discover a woman with a passion for life and a somewhat bemused detachment from her job, not so much insecure about her beauty as dismissive of it. In a pleasant, ironic tone, Dietrich shares details of her life, her opinions on art and literature, her strong political stance, and her reminiscences about the people she worked with.
Joseph von Sternberg stands out as Dietrich's main influence and mentor, and reading about Marlene's experiences allows us to peek behind the scenes during the filming of such masterworks as The Blue Angel or Morocco.
An extraordinary treat for the film buff, and a highly entertaining, moving experience for anyone interested in the true woman behind the glitter of the legend.
Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous!!! February 25, 1999
By A Customer
this book was an awesome insight into the character of one of the twentieth centuries greatest icons. dietrich was a walking contradiction, and her own words show that... but it also helps to add a touch of humanity to an untouchable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by a great legend December 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read the entire book in 1 day couldnt put it down. What an amazing woman so smart and whitty..for any one who wants to learn bout the legend herself and for anyone who wants to learn how it was and how it should be..going into the new year of 2011 this book is a reminder of how classy people where and hard working not so ghetto and lazy like you mrs dietrich..and its december 27 ....marlenes birthday...happy birthday dietrich...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ... June 27, 2014
By Jan B.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A somewhat haphazard read ... unrelated subjects intertwined. Maybe if I were older, living at the time she was popular, I would have found it more fascinating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars read it if you want to know behind the scenes ... October 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
read it if you want to know behind the scenes of her time in the army and on stage. childhood is detailed,but not much about her personal life
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marlene August 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was a great bio but obviously not the whole story. I enjoyed it very much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars September 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great to hear in her own words how things happened the way they did.
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