Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) Reviews
It's about a school professor who falls for a variete dancer in the bar "Der Blaue Engel".
Although that may sound like a love story it's nothing like that. No love story would have ever been so dark and cruel to his main character. Emil Jannings' professor is tore down by Lola (the very dancer he even marries) and finds himself ripped off of both his money and his bourgeois attitude.
What's left is a broken man and Jannings is so good at it that he even overshadows Dietrich's performance in my opinion.
Der Blaue Engel is at its best when the two share scenes as in the beginning when the strict and well-educated professor is twisted around her little finger by her sheer beauty and unexpected toughness.
It's a nice flick that I saw incidentally on TV this afternoon, especially the performances and the mood are great although the plot was a bit rushed and disjointed sometimes.
By today's pacing standard, The Blue Angel would probably be 25 minutes shorter, as it drags in some part and takes a while to get started in the beginning. It was released in 1930, the first sound film was released 3 years prior to this, and it becomes obvious they were still in the experimenting stage. Many scenes still work as if it was a silent movie, the acting also, but when the sound is used, it becomes very interesting. The director has a very good idea of what he could do with it and for me that's the most interesting part of the film. I should also mention the use of light, shadows and sets, as there is a little German expressionism here and there, and it's always effective. The Blue Angel might be slow, but it's not boring, cause it has a very interesting story and the character development is very effective.
(1930) The Blue Angel
(In German with English subtitles)
The rise and fall centering on an older respected school professor Immanuel Rath (Emil Jannings)once falling for a young cabaret singer Lola (Marlene Dietrich)!
Although, films with similar themes to this has been made before, such as "Of Human Bondage", "The Heartbreakers" and "The Last Seduction" to name a few, I have to say this one is still the best since alot of older unattractive males of today can relate to the lead guy in question, which questions our choices about life in general about how much are single older men are willing to sacrifice to get a long lasting relationship with any attractive girl twice younger than you! It's also a film about man's only downfall from a woman for which females are normally the victims as a result of men whether it's war, laws, rules etc.. I must confess that I didn't like this film when I first saw it in the 90's since I easily identified with the respected professor and is mostly centered on him than the on Marlene Dietrich whose the center of the film or a goal, but as I grew older I realized that the professor has no one else to blame but himself, and as a reult may end up giving this film a higher rating once I get older myelf!
3 out of 4