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The Song of Songs Photos

Movie Info

After the death of her father, Lily (Marlene Dietrich) travels to Berlin to stay with her aunt, Frau Rasmussen (Alison Skipworth), and becomes acquainted with sculptor Richard Waldow (Brian Aherne) while working in her aunt's bookstore. He asks her to be his model, and despite her initial reluctance, she agrees to pose nude. They soon fall in love, but Richard's fear of commitment stands in the way of a relationship, so he decides to set her up with a baron -- with unexpected consequences.

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Critic Reviews for The Song of Songs

All Critics (6) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (1)

  • In Mamoulian's hands Marlene Dietrich gives the performance of her career, achieving through restraint an impressiveness seldom achieved in her former films.

    February 3, 2021 | Full Review…
  • The main pleasure in the film is Dietrich's performance.

    June 23, 2020 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…
  • The Song of Songs isn't a perfect film by any stretch, and at times its gender relations are extraordinarily problematic, but it does give insight into Dietrich's range, the humor underlying some of her persona, and the nuance underlying her image.

    March 25, 2020 | Full Review…
  • It's hard not to admire the gutsiness of what Mamoulian achieves here, crafting a film that is ultimately a critique of itself and the very audience that's watching it.

    March 21, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • There is a fine atmospheric quality to the picture that is tight and consistent, and there is more music underlying the story than you may realize, hut, even so, it is disappointing.

    June 13, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The first Marlene Dietrich film not directed by Josef von Sternberg still has some of the Sternbergian sophisticated romantic touch.

    September 14, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Song of Songs

  • Jul 28, 2017
    The plot to this film is pretty simple, but wow, Marlene Dietrich is fantastic in the leading role, and director Robert Mamoulian makes the most of his actors and the script in crafting a beautiful film. Dietrich skillfully handles her role which shifts from a naïve young country girl, to a model and lover of a sculptor, to the unhappy wife of an older man, and lastly to a cabaret girl. Her performance is especially impressive for the time, when over-acting and exaggerated facial gestures were common; Dietrich by contrast is polished and smooth, sexy in a sultry, understated way, and quite a singer on top of all that. Director Robert Mamoulian, who also directed the brilliant Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1931, pulls all the right strings here, and there are some beautiful shots, examples of which are shifting clouds in front of the moon and sunlight reflecting off the water as Dietrich is out riding. The movie is also elevated by quotes from the poetry of the Biblical book of the Song of Songs, and it's a nice mix of sophistication and pre-Code naughtiness. The scene when Dietrich disrobes for a nude modeling session, where Mamoulian cuts to sculptures to represent her body, brings a smile. The plot itself isn't going to blow you away, but Dietrich will. Very enjoyable.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer

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