Marlene Dietrich: What Films to Start With

Roxana Anton
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If you think about endless inspiration sources, even for today's artists and influencers, what comes instantly to a girl's mind are the classic icons of Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich.

I know a few artists who obviously got their inspiration from Marlene Dietrich: Patricia Kaas, Madonna.

In her early years, Madonna was so much inspiring and posing like Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe. That is very obvious, for instance, in her music videos Vogue or Material Girl.

The becoming Pop Queen was searching for the perfect image of the powerful, talented, independent American woman. She found it in the two: Marlene and Marilyn, and completed it with her own personality.

Dietrich was the first German actress to become famous in Hollywood.

Throughout her career, Dietrich constantly reinvented herself, starting as a cabaret singer, choir girl, and actress in German films in 1920s Berlin, a Hollywood star throughout the 1930s, and eventually a performer. becoming one of the idols of the twentieth century. (source: Wikipedia)

Dietrich was known for her humanitarian contribution during World War II. For her mission in raising the morale of soldiers, Dietrich received numerous honors from France, Israel, Belgium, and the United States. (source: Wikipedia)

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her ninth in the list of the most important female stars in classic Hollywood. (source: Wikipedia)

Below, a few movies that you will like for sure, to be introduced to Marlene Dietrich's work, personalities, roles, and charisma. She opened a path to stardom indeed.

Morocco (1930)
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In her first Hollywood film, directed by Josef von Sternberg, Marlene Dietrich plays Amy Jolly, a cabaret singer with a tumultuous past who has just returned from Paris to Morocco.

Here, she meets Tom Brown, who enlisted in the Foreign Legion to get rid of the painful memories that haunted him. Trying to seduce him, Amy ends up falling in love with Tom and giving up, for his sake, a very rich protector. (source:

Blonde Venus (1932)

Also directed by Josef von Sternberg, the film is starring Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, and Cary Grant.

Like in many of her films, Marlene performs a few musical numbers.

Stage Fright (1950)

Alfred Hitchcock returns in this film to one of his favorite themes: a man unjustly accused of a crime tries to prove his innocence, without anyone taking him seriously.

Jonathan Cooper (Richard Todd) is accused of killing a man, and the evidence and witnesses call him the main suspect and even the undoubted culprit.

In the face of these very serious accusations, the man finds that the best solution would be to run away and hide to his ex-girlfriend, Eve, the only one willing to help him and believe him. The woman listens to the story that incriminates Jonathan's current girlfriend, actress Charlotte Inwood, played by Marlene Dietrich, and decides to open an investigation on her own, which will endanger her life.


Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

The film was co-adapted and directed by Billy Wilder and starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich.

Set in the Old Bailey in London, the picture is based on the 1953 play of the same name by Agatha Christie and deals with the trial of a man accused of murder.

The plot allowed Marlene to play a very beautiful, extraordinary woman, who puts in place an entire act to save the man she loved.

A very nice role, to discover the actress Marlene Dietrich's true talent.

Touch of Evil (1958)

This magnificent noir was written and directed by the famous Orson Welles, who also stars in the film.
Initially dismissed by film critics, Touch of Evil found popularity among European audiences and won top awards at the 1958 Brussels World Film Festival. During the 1970s, its reputation was renewed and it is now widely regarded as one of Welles's best motion pictures and one of the best classic-era film noir. (source: Wikipedia)
It was also selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". (source: Wikipedia)
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