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The Song of Songs

A delightful mix of Sternbergian splendour and Mamoulian send-up, this hits exactly the right note of knowingness as Dietrich puts in her first appearance, an innocent peasant maid complete with demure braids and Bible (her favourite reading being the erotic ecstasies of the Song of Solomon). She quickly finds 'him whom my soul loveth' in a sculptor (Aherne) whom she inspires to his masterwork; but financial stringencies being what they are, she is passed on to the eagerly lecherous baron (Atwill) who had commissioned the sculpture; and it only remains for her to achieve a woman's revenge, then find her natural habitat as a sultry chanteuse in a nightclub (where she embarks on the sexy 'Johnny' with all she's got: 'I need a kiss or two, or maybe more...'). Needless to say, Dietrich positively glows with demure innocence or malice aforethought as the need arises - posing shyly in the nude for the handsome sculptuor, or swooping into the arms of an abashed but responsive riding-master - and the whole thing has a glitteringly opulent beauty, sparked with an irresistible sense of the absurd.

Release details

Duration: 89 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Screenwriter: Leo Birinski, Samuel Hoffenstein
Cast: Marlene Dietrich
Brian Aherne
Lionel Atwill
Alison Skipworth
Hardie Albright
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