CLICK HERE TO WATCH the three-and-a-half minute screen test that Marlene Dietrich made for ‘The Blue Angel’ in 1929. This is presumably the first time a camera fully captured the multi-faceted genius of this ground-breaking performer. The film’s director, Josef Von Sternberg, also directed the test and used two angles; a close-up of Dietrich singing ‘You’re The Cream In My Coffee’ accompanied by a lame (intentionally) off-screen pianist, and a wider angle showing Marlene coming around front of the piano, climbing on its lid and sitting down in order to show an ample view of her legs. In three and half minutes Von Sternberg (referred to simply as ‘Sternberg’ on the front slate) captured three of her contrasting personalities; charming chanteuse, vicious adversary and fetching seductress. Be sure to watch the very last couple of seconds when, after the tail-slate, Dietrich breaks character, giggles and tells the guy playing the piano that she’s ‘sorry’. For what? Acting so well that she scared him? Stepping on his piano keys? Only she, and presumably the piano player, knew to what she referred. And, most likely, Von Sternberg…


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