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The Scarlet Empress

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Original title
The Scarlet Empress
Running time
110 min.
United States United States
Josef von Sternberg
W. Franke Harling, John Leipold
Bert Glennon (B&W)
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Paramount Pictures
Drama. Romance | Historical. 18th Century
Synopsis / Plot
In this re-imagining of Catherine the Great’s life story, filmmaker Josef von Sternberg and star Marlene Dietrich supply some of the most eye-popping images and outrageously decadent antics in early twentieth century cinema. Dietrich is Princess Sophia from Germany, induced to marry demented Grand Duke Peter (Sam Jaffe), son of the Russian empress. Soon circumstances will transform her from naïve young girl to power-drunk ruler. Von Sternberg lets his sensibilities run riot here, goading star Dietrich to Wagnerian heights and invoking all the extravagant excesses of court life – from sumptuous revelry to depraved tortures.
1934: National Board of Review: Top Foreign Films
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