Love the old-time stars
I can't believe she doesn't have a thread! I'll add some pics later, but here's an interesting read on her image -
I'm a huge fan, Madonna reminds me a lot of her in her image making strictness and discipline. I have a few biographies of her too which I've ravenously read, along w/ all the ladies of the era but Marlene is a definite favorite - she was no fool and like I said very disciplined and I admire that about her. She wasn't the most beautiful by any means and definitely not the most talented actress or singer but her career lasted over 60 years! If she couldn't or wouldn't act in movies; she went on tour with sold-out concerts/shows. But then she would always find a way to cameo in a film eventually even later in her life. You just don't find others like her in that capacity; male or female! And I admire what she did for the troops of World War II over in Europe too. I also love Greta Garbo for different reasons and just froth at the mouth at the long-debated rumour of the short affair she and Dietrich had before either of them hit it big and were both still in Europe. Apparently Dietrich openly made fun of Garbo's "oversized genitals" and was always in competition with her and jealous of the heights of Garbo's movie stardom which I'm not sure Dietrich ever surpassed or reached in her time and bad-mouthed her according to my books I've read.Marlene Dietrich and Technology: Did she shape herself, or did it shape her? | Gender and Technology Spring 2009
Marlene Dietrich and Technology: Did she shape herself, or did it shape her?
When you look at a movie star, it’s often easy to forget that their on-screen persona can be radically different from their off-screen one. In today’s information age, where blogs like Perez Hilton exist to inform the public of every discernable aspect of a star’s life, it must be hard to separate the two spheres. Before this constant feed of wardrobe malfunctions and illegal Blackberry hackings, a movie star could maintain a public image while still keeping much of their life hidden. Marlene Dietrich was a complex woman on-screen, and perhaps even more complex when she wasn’t being filmed.
Dietrich was revered for brazenly baring her infamous legs in numerous film roles, and for daring to cover them in men’s trousers in her daily life. Kenneth Tynan once said that “her masculinity appeals to women and her sexuality to men” (Garber, 18), since she embodied both on camera. This duality is particularly evident in the film Morocco, directed in 1930 by Joseph von Sternberg, who would be responsible for helping to mold Dietrich’s public image throughout most of her life. As a cabaret singer in the French-occupied North African country, she donned her iconic tuxedo and top hat and performed a number which ended with the first major cinematic lesbian kiss in history. Once her character, Amy Jolly, was no longer performing, she transformed into a silky seductress in a long satin dressing gown. Dietrich was playing both the masculine and feminine already in one of her earliest major movie appearances. In 1920s Berlin, where she came into her own as an actress, none of this would be shocking. In fact, the Berlin cabaret scene almost demanded some sort of cross-gender performance of its frequenters, and especially of its performers. When Joseph von Sternberg discovered her there and cast her in 1930’s Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel), Dietrich became almost an obsession of his. Through the majority of her career, all publicity photographs of Marlene were directed, lighted, and dressed entirely by von Sternberg. In this way, he could carefully control the image he had created for her, and she in turn could preserve her youth and iconic looks. (Bach, 190-1)
From the beginning of her career, Dietrich was sculpted into an image of arched brows, Cupid’s bow lips, and a nose lighted to perfection with its stark center line. In order to maintain her perfect image, “not a sex object but a sexual and sexualized subject, the narrative and enigma of sex itself” (Garber, 16), Dietrich strictly controlled all images of her that reached the public. Even photographs which she sent to her first husband and the father of her child were intentionally posed and dressed to portray a specific image. Almost all of Marlene Dietrich’s acquaintances, however, knew her as something entirely different from this almost artificial, simultaneously male and female perfection. When an assistant director was taken ill with fever during filming, he awoke in his apartment to find that Dietrich had brought him homemade chicken soup and, finding his surroundings unacceptable, was actually in the process of scrubbing his floor herself. (Marlene Dietrich, xxiii) When she was with her daughter, her features would soften and become more motherly, and when she was with her true friends, she wasn’t afraid to roll her pants legs up and have a rollicking good time. But when she was with von Sternberg, she was willingly subject to his every whim. She would sit for hours in the same position while he painstakingly adjusted the lights, and when he mentioned that she could stand to lose some weight, she placed herself on a tomato juice and cracker diet for a week. (Marlene Dietrich, xxv) Her public image became so important to her that, for the last decade of her life, she did not leave her Paris apartment nor did she allow herself to be photographed. She even refused to appear in a documentary about her life, although she did lend her voice to the production.
As much as she enjoyed life, Dietrich eventually became her own image, and she would allow nothing to tarnish that perfect von Sternberg pose. Marlene Dietrich may have, with Joseph von Sternberg, created that look which had become the key to her success with the technology available to her: photography, lighting, makeup, and costume. But once that look became famous, particularly in America, she was tied to it forever. The technology she had relied on to launch her career had become an inseparable part of her which, if removed or negated, could irreparably damage her. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, image truly was everything, and Marlene Dietrich was one of the greatest and most controversial images of them all.
They even shared lovers like Mercedes de Acosta who of course Garbo had first and who's heart was broken by Garbo only to be picked up and shattered again by Dietrich the well-known man and woman eater. Garbo was cold for other reasons though, not b/c she was purposely cruel with women's or men's hearts but she was just a loner in her life and not really able to connect with anyone that closely. She never had children and lost her beloved sister and father at relatively young ages too.
Anyways, Dietrich and Garbo's rise to stardom did mirror one another, both foreigners to Hollywood; they both had image makeovers, including major weight loss and both had their Svengali's who they would later drop once fame hit for them. But the differences between them are even greater, where Garbo never gave interviews or went to movie premiers or did any promotion for her movies, Dietrich ate up the attention and duties of being a Movie Star. ~ I'll always love the rivalry and love them both equally but I digress....
and here's a fake picture of the two wonders together lol
^Garbo & Dietrich
look at her love for Judy
Oh Schmalice - that photo is like my dream come true. I saw Wild Orchid the other night with Garbo. I had never seen it. Better than chocolate.
Marlene's war efforts were incredible. Her devotion was unmatched.
Wasn't she the one that slept with every woman and man in Hollywood and beyond? She's pretty, I just don't like the way they styled eyebrows back then.
Keep your stupid comments in your pocket!
I never got the hype about her looks. Honestly, I think Marlene was downright ugly. The nose and especially the eyes look so off. The hideous eyebrows only emphasize her weird eyes.
And the pic of her standing next to the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe just confirmed my opinion.
Lenny, they were 25 years apart A) and B) she looks pretty damn good there for a woman in her 50's w/o the help of cosmetic surgery these days
either way, I say she did pretty damn good with what she had
I know Marlene is older but even in her prime she didn't look good to me. All I see is a pancake face with special eyes and a broad nose. So we have to agree to disagree .
She was interesting looking IMO, but way too campy. No vunder der drag qveenz looav her. And as a card-carrying member of the broad nose club, that doesn't bother me either. I just thought her schtick was tiresome and found few of her films enjoyable.
Supposedly she (and Joan Crawford) had some of their back teeth removed to give them that high-cheekbone look.
I think she's really beautiful. Her feature are nto perfect, but very elegant and appealing.
I just don't like the eyebrows and I'd love to see a picture with her natural ones - I don't think that there are many around.
Yes I get the distaste for her nose being broad and all, but as someone w/ a bigger and fuglier nose, I guess I just look past that - well lit at least, she's pretty divine to me
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