The Blue Angel: Remastered Standard Edition [Blu-ray]
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
Kino's region-free DVD contains both the German and the English versions of the film, each on a separate disc. Both versions look very clean for a 71-year-old film, although just a tad less sharp than I would have liked. The English version looks a bit cleaner still. The supplements include a side-by-side comparison of the two versions (with the German version shown on the left), and the English version indeed looks better. The German version is supported by optional, white-on-black-bar English subtitles. The black bars, of course, cover up part of the picture. I would suggest Kino use white, black-bordered lettering for subtitles in the future instead.
The German version runs 102 minutes, and has a few scenes that are not shown in the English version due to censorship (such as the moment when Lola rotates her body to reveal her bare back side to her nightclub audience). The English version runs 100 minutes. Although it was supposedly made for English audiences, only Dietrich's role is all English-speaking, while the other actors speak a combination of both languages -- English for important dialogs, German for less important ones.
The included audio commentary on the German disc is a mild disappointment. Although historian Werner Sedendorf's analytical comments are excellent, he just does not speak often enough. Long stretches of silence are frequent.Read more ›
With the aid of english subtitles, we are introduced to Dr. Immanuel Rath, an esteemed professor of an upper-class German prep school. A stern and authoritative man, his feathers are ruffled severely when he learns some of his students have been neglecting their studies in favor of visiting a night club, the Blue Angel, on the more sordid side of town to hear a beautiful singer named Lola Lola.
When Rath confronts Lola, he becomes smitten with her. An infatuation which will eventually lead to his own professional and personal downfall.
Emil Jannings (the first person ever to win a Best Actor Oscar) is marvelous as the stuffy and destructive Rath, and his ham-handed pirouette into complete emotional and physical breakdown is mesmerizing. Dietrich is equally fundamental in her role as Lola, slowly seducing, not just her fellow characters, but the audience too, with her entralling presence.
Is it any wonder this film lives on?
This special edition offers complete versions of both the German and English editions of the film. The German version is from a very fine print. It has good detail but is occasionally a bit contrasty. It has marked fine grain throughout, which the compression required for DVD struggles with. If you focus on the grain, it appears to move in fits and starts, giving the subliminial appearance that the picture is constantly going into brief digital pauses. Well, no matter, its still very good. The sound is also fine if slightly muffled.
From what I can tell, the English version is from the original camera negative, with one or more prints used to fill in missing or damaged sections. The print(s) are generally as good as that used for the German version, but thankfully without the graining. Where the negative was used, which I estimate is almost 2/3 of the film, the picture quality is truly superb. The sound quality is more variable. When it is good, it is excellent for the vintage. However, many sections suffer from distortion, which exacerbates the difficulty in understanding some of the thick German accents.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A haunting classic; that, I'm sure was the inspiration of a good number of follow on movies.
Yes, it is B&W; yes, the acting is dated; but the black humour will never go out... Read more
Beautiful (but depressing) movie. Emil Jannings' performance is unforgettable. Stay away from bad women, guys (moral of the story).Published 1 month ago by Seana Cranston
Dietrich's break-out film performance. Timeless sad story. Jannings (the Professor) was terrific. A "must see" for every film buff. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent precursor to film noir. A distinguished college professor falls under the spell of a femme fatale singer with disastrous results.Published 4 months ago by Michael W. Rickard II
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