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The Blue Angel: Kino Classics 2-Disc Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray]

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The crowning achievement of the Weimar cinema, The Blue Angel is an exquisite parable of one man's fall from respectability. This exclusive two-disc set from Kino Classics includes both the newly-restored German version and the English version, both in high definition.

Emil Jannings (The Last Laugh, Faust, Othello), the quintessential German expressionist actor, stars as Professor Rath, the sexually-repressed instructor of a boys' prep school. After learning of the pupils' infatuation with French postcards depicting a local nightclub songstress, he decides to personally investigate the source of such indecency. But as soon as he enters the shadowy Blue Angel nightclub and steals one glimpse of the smoldering Lola-Lola (Marlene Dietrich), commanding the stage in top hat, stockings, and bare thighs, Rath's self-righteous piety is crushed. He finds himself fatefully seduced by the throaty voice of the vulgar siren, singing ''Falling In Love Again''. Consumed by desire and tormented by his rigid propriety, Professor Rath allows himself to be dragged down a path of personal degradation. Lola's unrestrained sexuality was a revelation to turn-of-the-decade moviegoers, thrusting Dietrich to the forefront of the sultry international leading ladies, such as Greta Garbo, who were challenging the limits of screen sexuality.

Product Details

  • Actors: Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings
  • Directors: Josef von Sternberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Silent, Subtitled
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: December 17, 2013
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00F878KC0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,838 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I already reviewed Kino's single disc Blu-ray of THE BLUE ANGEL which only includes the original German language version, so I'll avoid delving into details about it on this Ultimate Edition. Suffice to say that it is identical to the earlier release.

What's special about the Ultimate Edition is that it offers - for the first time on Blu-ray - the rarely seen English version on a second disc. It has the actors speaking their lines phonetically, although portions of dialog not crucial to the narrative are left in German. The English version utilizes a few different camera angles and is also about three minutes shorter, but not because of any missing scenes; the translation of the dialog was streamlined to make it easier on the actors. This was especially true about Emil Jannings who hardly knew any English at all, whereas his co-star Marlene Dietrich knew enough to get by. In fact, Dietrich was the most versed in English than anyone else in the cast.

Having ordered my copy directly from Kino, I was able to receive it before the street date of December 17th. Since THE BLUE ANGEL is high on my list of favorite films, I didn't hesitate in ordering the Ultimate Edition, even if it meant doubling up on the German version. It's worth it because the quality of the English version is gorgeous; I would even say it's better than the German in sharpness and brightness, with very pleasing grain configuration. It also has less wear and the soundtrack is a bit more crisp. As much as I love Dietrich's original rendition of "Falling in Love Again", I think her English version of the song projects an even more haunting quality.
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The iconic opening theme is missing for a few seconds as the opening titles roll. This was not the case in the previous DVD release. I can't believe Kino would let this out the door without correcting it! Quality control, please?
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The film has been cleaned up quite a bit, but still suffers from thousands of micro scratches on each frame, giving it the appearance of "noise" and reducing the contrast levels. Understandably, it is next to impossible for a human to clean up these sorts of films, but eventually computers will be able to predict what the film looked like originally, remove the scratches and totally restore the film. But it's not going to happen anytime soon.
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The Blue Angel: Kino Classics 2-Disc Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray]
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