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Marlene Dietrich stars in "The Blue Angel" Monday

Oct. 27, 2006

KALAMAZOO--The German Film Series at Western Michigan University continues its fall schedule with film legend Marlene Dietrich starring in the 1930 classic "The Blue Angel," at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30, in 3209A Kohrman Hall. The movie is presented free of charge and open to the public.

Based on the novel by Heinrich Mann and directed by Josef von Sternberg, "The Blue Angel" ("Der Blaue Engel") is the story of Immanuel Rath (played by Emil Jannings), a high school teacher. Rath discovers that some of his students frequent a disreputable nightclub, "The Blue Angel," to see a dancer, Lola Lola (Dietrich). He goes to "Der Blaue Engel" to confront his students, but he is quickly infatuated with Lola, which ultimately leads to his ruin.

Two versions of "The Blue Angel" were filmed simultaneously with the same cast, one in English and one in German, and both the English title and version of the film are far more widely known. Ironically, many film critics consider the lesser-seen German version to be better.

"Der Blaue Engel" was the first major film role for Deitrich and propelled her that same year to Hollywood, where she became one of the highest-paid actresses of the 1930s. Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1937. During World War II, she actively supported the Allied war effort, for which she was reviled in her native Germany until after her death. Her final major film role was opposite Spencer Tracy in 1961's "Judgment at Nuremberg," a story of the Nazi war-crimes trials. She died in 1992 at age 90 in Paris. She is buried near her birthplace, in Berlin.

All films in WMU's German Film Series are free and open to the public. All are presented in German with English subtitles and begin at 7:30 p.m. in 3209A Kohrman Hall.

Fall 2006 German Film Series

Tuesday, Sept. 12, "Downfall" ("Der Untergang")

Tuesday, Sept. 19, "Head On" ("Gegen die Wand")

Monday, Oct. 2, "Yasemin" [canceled]

Monday, Oct. 16, "Ali: Fear eats the Soul" ("Angst Essen Seele auf")

Monday, Oct. 30, "The Blue Angel" ("Der Blaue Engel")

Tuesday, Nov. 14, "Run Lola Run" ("Lola Rennt")

Tuesday, Nov. 28, "The Educators" ("Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei")

For more information about the German Film Series, contact Dr. Olivia Gabor-Peirce, assistant professor of German, at olivia.gabor@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3036.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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