Blonde Venus

1932

Drama

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 57%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 71%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 3589

Synopsis


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July 05, 2018 at 05:26 AM

Cast

Cary Grant as Nick Townsend
Marlene Dietrich as Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones
Hattie McDaniel as Cora, Helen's Maid in New Orleans
Sterling Holloway as Joe, Hiker
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
764.9 MB
988*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 33 min
P/S 4 / 8
1.47 GB
1472*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 33 min
P/S 2 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10

A No Go Back In The Day

Blonde Venus unfortunately turned out to be the one and only collaboration of Marlene Dietrich and Cary Grant. Sad to say though, Grant was not the lead here, just the other man who comes between Marlene and husband Herbert Marshall. There's no real chemistry in this one between any of the principal players and the best scenes are with Marlene and little Dickie Moore playing her son with Marshall.

The best thing about Blonde Venus are Marlene's musical numbers and they're memorable because of the inimitable way she puts over a song. All Dietrich fans should treasure her Hot Voodoo number where Marlene has a gorilla suit on and does a sexy strip out of that costume and gives us a look at voodoo can do to us.

But when its not showing Dietrich's legs off and her husky singing, the film is the story of a woman in love with two men. Husband Herbert Marshall is a research scientist who contracts 'radium poisoning' and needs money to go to Europe for a cure. Dietrich gets the money by doing some entertaining in a seedy dive where she comes to the attention of wealthy playboy Cary Grant. From there the plot progresses to the inevitable Hollywood conclusion with a script that was written by Joseph Von Sternberg who directed the film as well.

Paramount was taking a shot in the dark here with radium poisoning gambit. The plain truth is they didn't know a whole lot about radioactivity then. The discoverer of radium Marie Curie did in fact die of cancer contracted from too much exposure to it. But one didn't just go somewhere for a miracle cure for that sort of thing.

Herbert Marshall was always playing the injured party it seems in a whole lot of his films. He's well remembered for being Bette Davis's husband in The Little Foxes, a much better film than Blonde Venus. I also remember him in When Ladies Meet where he was cheating on Greer Garson with Joan Crawford and he went through the film with an air of innocence that you would think he was the party offended. Marshall had these roles down pat, but he had more to him in his acting repertoire.

Even before The Code was put in place Paramount had a lot of trouble with the Hays Office in getting this one exhibited. Some changes were made that no doubt weakened the plot and the story. Marlene is basically in love with two guys at the same time and that was a no go back in the day.

Blonde Venus didn't do that well at the box office, it was quite a let down from her previous film Shanghai Express. After this one she and Joseph Von Sternberg were separated and she did her next film, Song of Songs with Rouben Mamoulian.

Blonde Venus is great Dietrich who's asked to carry a weak story.

Reviewed by Ron Oliver 10 / 10

Domestic Dietrich

Billed as The BLONDE VENUS, a sultry German cabaret singer will do anything to save her sick husband and care for their child.

Acting under the flamboyant direction of her mentor, Josef von Sternberg, legendary Marlene Dietrich fascinates as a tender mother fiercely protecting her small child, who spends her evenings as a seductive stage siren, captivating audiences in America & France. She is equally good in both postures, her perfect face registering deep maternal love and sphinx-like allure. Dietrich is incredibly gentle crooning an old German lullaby at her son's bedside, while the contrasting image of her emerging from an ape suit to sing 'Hot Voodoo' in a nightclub is one of the Pre-Code Era's most bizarre images.

Two British actors compete for Marlene's attention. Distinguished Herbert Marshall, with a voice like liquid honey, is ideally cast as Dietrich's conflicted husband. Playing a chemist poisoned by radium, his face reveals his humiliation at having to be supported by his wife; later, he manifests pent-up rage when he discovers her 'betrayal.' Cary Grant, just on the cusp of becoming a major film star, plays a powerful political boss whose arrogance mellows as he pursues Dietrich's affections.

Little Dickie Moore, one of the OUR GANG members, is terrific as the infant son who is the bridge between Dietrich & Marshall. Here was a kid who could really act and tug at the viewer's heartstrings. Sidney Toler is amusing as a low-key detective. Gene Morgan, as a talent agent, and Robert Emmett O'Connor, as a theater owner, very realistically portray denizens from the sleazy underbelly of the entertainment world.

Movie mavens will spot some fine performers in unbilled cameos: silly Sterling Holloway as one of the student hikers in the first sequence who discovers Marlene skinny-dipping in the forest; Clarence Muse as a stuttering bartender; dear Mary Gordon as Marshall's informative landlady; big Dewey Robinson as a gruff greasy spoon owner; wonderful Hattie McDaniel as Dietrich's New Orleans maid; and prim Marcelle Corday as Marlene's maid in Paris.

Paramount gave the film lavish, and slightly decadent, production values. The live chickens flapping about in Dietrich's apartment during the French Quarter sequence are a nice touch.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 9 / 10

Solid Film Deserves Being On DVD

This was a very interesting story.....one of the best in the early era of sound. The only negative was that even though time passed, nobody - including the 6-year- old boy (Dickie Moore) - aged!

There were a few other things that didn't make sense, either, but the film is so captivating that one can ignore the gaffs and still really enjoy this. Marlene Dietrich, for instance, is mesmerizing at times. She could - except for those stupid 1930s pencil-thin eyebrows - look absolutely stunning. Make no mistake: she's alluring.

All the lead characters in here did their parts well and Moore, who gained fame as one of the "Little Rascals," is particularly endearing.

The adults, however, all have character flaws: a married Dietrich runs off with a wealthy young Cary Grant while her husband (Herbert Marshall) is off in Europe being treated for radium poisoning. Marshall is understandably bitter when he returns to find out what his wife was up to, but is too hard-hearted about letting his wife see the kid. Grant, of course, is an adulterer.

Despite this soap opera premise, the movie almost plays like a film noir, with sharp dialog, great cinematography and tough characters.

This is another great classic film that, for some reason, is still not available on DVD and deserves to be.

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