By Steven Bach
In accordance with six years of analysis and writing, and 2 hundred interviews carried out in 3 languages in a dozen international locations, Bach's definitive biography makes a speciality of Dietrich as either lady and fantasy. includes over a hundred photographs, together with relations pictures by no means earlier than released, a whole bibliography and entire and proper theatre historical past, filmography, and discography.
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Extra info for Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend
Yet Lily is uninteresting. It was once the risk free protection of her functionality that 171 M A R L E N E D I E T R I C H gave the look of "lyric grace" to critics lengthy due to the fact surfeited by way of Steinberg's visible extravagance. For these few who discovered that the single rather fascinating moments in tune of Songs are these close to the top, while she sings "Jonny" with a take-no-prisoners frontal assault, it was once transparent that Marlene Dietrich— the girl she used to be in public mind's eye and generally was once while singing—was extra fascinating than any personality she ever had capability or chance to impersonate as an actress. For the entire "taste" of Mamoulian's construction, the picture—except for the audacity and abandon of "Jonny"—is out of date, even for 1933. This Lily is gelded, now not gilded, and audiences gave it a only lukewarm reception at a field workplace that are meant to have answered ecstatically to all that lyric grace ultimately unshackled from Sternberg. If it really used to be. Marlene were wanting to end music of Songs and go back to Europe to determine for herself the adjustments wrought through the Nazis. the inside track of associates and previous colleagues scattering for shelter to Paris, London, big apple, Vienna, Budapest, or Prague had reached California, and with out Rudi or Sternberg there to percentage her nervousness, she had nodded one evening to Cecil Beaton, sitting at the back of her at a dance live performance by way of Berlin's Harald Kreutzberg. Marlene became from Beaton to his "date," author Mercedes de Acosta, then in Hollywood engaged on the script for MGM's Barrymore-family pageant, Rasputin and the Empress. Marlene smiled shyly, literary pursuits quickening. tomorrow she confirmed up in slacks at de Acosta's apartment, encumbered with white roses. Mercedes de Acosta used to be a girl huge on Buddha, non secular kinship, and greens, whose liaison with Garbo used to be recognized or suspected by means of each person in Hollywood who knew or suspected such issues. She declared herself baffled by means of Marlene's spontaneous homage to her pen and individual. "As [Marlene] entered," she later wrote, "she hesitated on the doorway and checked out me within the comparable shy means [as the night before]. I requested her to return into the room and positioned out my hand. She took it in a virtually army demeanour, bent over it and [explained], 'I desire you'll forgive me. i spotted you final evening within the theater and desired to meet you. i do know only a few humans in Hollywood and not anyone who might introduce us, so I simply figured out the place you reside and that i got here myself. ' " the woman author came across this "charming and informal," and desired to speak about video clips. * * Why now not? She used to be a screenwriter. She was once additionally renowned in Girlkultur circles. Alice B. Toklas is expounded to have remarked, "Say what you'll approximately Mercedes, she's had the 3 most vital girls of the 20 th century. " A wag questioned who the 3rd conquest could have been: Gertrude Stein? Eleanor Roosevelt? Shirley Temple? 172 A P O T H E O S I S " 'Oh, let's no longer speak about photos/ " Marlene acknowledged. " 'I want to inform you anything when you will not imagine i'm mad. . . . You look too skinny and your face so white that it kind of feels to me you're not good.