“The Blue Angel” is a 1930 German tragicomedy film directed by Josef von Sternberg. The film tells the story of an older and respected high school professor, Immanuel Rath (played by Emil Jannings), who becomes infatuated with a young cabaret singer, Lola Lola (played by Marlene Dietrich), after visiting her nightclub, “The Blue Angel.”
Rath becomes obsessed with Lola, attending her performances night after night and showering her with gifts. Eventually, he convinces her to leave her life as a performer and run away with him. They marry and settle down in his hometown, but their relationship quickly deteriorates as Rath becomes increasingly jealous and possessive of Lola. She eventually grows tired of his controlling behavior and resumes her career as a performer, leading to a final confrontation between the two.
The film was highly influential and made a star out of Marlene Dietrich, who would go on to become one of the most iconic actresses of the 20th century. The film’s themes of obsession and the dangers of romanticizing those from different social classes resonated with audiences at the time and continue to be relevant today.
Josef von Sternberg
Heinrich Mann, Carl Zuckmayer, Karl Vollmöller
Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron