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BLONDE VENUS


HoldenIsHere
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What a wonderful movie!

I saw it for the first time last night and was blown away. Marlene Dietrich was truly a "star" presence. I loved her line to "Taxi Belle": "Do you charge for the first mile?"

 

Seeing the risque elements in this film make me wonder how movies would have developed if the Code had never been enacted.

 

And I'm always impressed with how "natural" and moving Dickie Moore is.

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A great movie, one of the few oldies in which a woman can sleep around -- because she's doing it to make money to cure her husband's illness! Let's not forget Hattie McDaniel and the browsing white man, this film another work of art by Von Sternberg.

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It's too bad the "Hot Voodoo" number couldn't have been saved for later in the film -- perhaps as a flashback. Keep the audience waiting!

 

That's what was done in GILDA. Rita Hayworth tantalizes us by singing a bit of "Mame" in the nearly deserted club, but we don't see her knockout strip tease (partial, at least) until late in the movie.

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*Blonde Venus* was the highlight film of the week for me. Dietrich was so unbelieveably beautiful in this film. The Gorilla suit number was fabulous, but seeing her in the White Tuxedo number was sublime.

 

For me this is the best role Dickie Moore ever had. He was so unbelievably adorable and so convincing. Herbert Marshall looked so young in this one and understated, (and a pre-cursor to his role in the later version of *The Letter* as the hurt husband) Cary was about as charming as a man can get. Outstanding performances, but no matter what, impossible to take eyes off of Marlene Dietrich and yes Swithin, you're right, another Von Sternberg work of art. THANK YOU TCM for showing *Blonde Venus* in the 8pm slot :)

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Most definitely a wonderful movie. This was the first time of viewing it. My wife was in tears by the emotional ending. Dietrich was extraordinary and uncannily beautiful. Such eyes!! All the actors were terrific. Was there ever a man more handsome than Cary Grant!! I 100% want to watch it again.

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As I've mentioned probably too often, Dickie Moore (and Jane Powell) lives across the street from me. Haven't seen him for a while, though. It would be nice to have him introduce the film, instead of just being on a panel with ex-child stars, as he has been.

 

Face -- I don't think having the "Hot Voodoo" number later in the film would be as effective. The words sort of set the tone for one side of Dietrich's personality: "I'm going to blazes, I want to be BAD!"

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Terrific movie and surprisingly moving.

 

Also, a great fantasy -- Cary Grant pays me $300 to spend the night with him. If it weren't for the child, I wouldn't have gone back to Marshall if I were Marlene.

 

BTW, I had just seen the Chinese film The Goddess earlier this fall. Some aspects of that story are very similar to Blonde Venus, but Blonde Venus is much more glamorous, of course.

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To all the previous posters:

I KNOW RIGHT? LOL

Love Dietrich in anything and love this film. The gorilla suit, Dickie Moore, Hattie McDaniel (can NOT believe she was uncredited! no wait, it was the early 30's and I totally can) etc, etc. I was a little annoyed about the husband being so stiff-necked and non-understanding (for an example of a great pre-code understanding husband, check out Robt Montgomery as Tallulah Bankhead's husband in Faithless ) but it did allow Dietrich go flee across the soft-focused Depression South in marvelous Travis Banton-designed "streetwalker" garb!

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Yes, Blonde Vensus is a well made movie with many things to like about it, but I didn't like how the ending was done.

 

Of course maybe I just didn't get it. Did she really just change her mind at the last second? I really hope not, but that appears to be what happened. (I say "I really hope not" because that is so unrealistic and therefore poor plot development).

 

To me a better ending would have the plot communicating to us viewers before that final scene, that she still really loved her husband (not just her child), and that if she was left alone with them she could never leave them again AND that Cary's character figures that out too.

 

So instead of him saying just 'I'll leave the car for her' he would of added 'assuming she wants to use it'.

 

Of course some will say that my idea would take away some of the surprise. But come on was anyone really surprised at the ending? We all knew it would end with her going back.

 

Anyhow, I heard she left her husband again for Tyrone Power after only a week!

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james, when Marlene and Cary are in Paris she tells him she's staying and not going back with him, the next scene, she goes back to the States with him. Marlene changing her mind was a continuation of how her character behaved throughout the film. I think she learned she could live without Cary, she did that for a year, but couldn't live without her son. She learned from the years hardships that without staying with her husband she wasn't going to be with her son. She was TIRED. I think she just wanted no more excitement and leave in peace without any problems and MOST importantly bringing up her son.

 

Remember the year is 1932, she wasn't going to get custody, even with all of Cary's money. Take it from a mother, nothing would have made me leave my kids, not Cary or Tyrone.

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You imply that she only went back because of her child. If that is the case (and it is very likely), the husband shouldn't of taken her back. He had enough pride and character NOT to take Cary's money. Why would he take back a wife that doesn't love him.

 

Instead he should of divorced her but allowed her to see her child.

 

Anyhow, if she is the type that changes her mind so quickly, she would do so again. Therefore it is unrealistic to believe she wouldn't find another loves in a few weeks. So I still say the ending is weak and far from a happy ending but instead a typical over romantic Hollywood ending.

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No, I also said she wanted QUIET, she was tired. Who wouldn't be after the year she had. She may have gotten bored eventually, but she did what was right for her at that time. Marshall also wanted peace and quiet but he was lonely and never stopped loving her. Besides, give me a break, what man wouldn't want to be with Marlene? LOL. He loved his son and knew that he missed his mother. Loving his son came before his pride. As loving parents this was the only way the film was going to end, even though Cary was a good guy and we rooted for him. Marshall was an all or nothing type, Marlene understood that.

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Marshall wasn't an all or nothing type; if he was he would of told Grant to go away when he asked if Marlene could see her son. Instead he gives in.

 

Yes, he loved his son and knew it was best for a son to have a mother. This is why I said he should of allowed her to see her son, BUT not take her back. What man wouldn't want Marlene? ME, if it meant that she was going to cheat on me again.

 

Sorry, I'm just not buying the change of heart of 'I'm going to be a good wife and mother now'. I'm 100% OK with 'I'm going to be a good mother now' but not the wife part.

 

Hey I understand why the producers ended the movie the way they did. But it is only a happy ending if one doesn't think what happens the next week and the weeks after that. If being tired was her main motivation once she gets some rest she will be bored yet again.

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jamesjazzguitar wrote:

>You imply that she only went back because of her child. If that is the case (and it is very likely), the husband shouldn't of taken her back. He had enough pride and character NOT to take Cary's money. Why would he take back a wife that doesn't love him.

 

Of course she loves him. She went into the relationship with Grant originally to get the money to send her husband off to be cured. Would she have done that for someone she didn't love? Probably not.

 

She did fall in love with Grant sometime during the 6 months or so she lived with him, so she had a tough choice to make whent he hubby got back. She decided to go with the father of her child, and he rejected her and threatened to take the kid away. So she ran.

 

There were actually several versions of the script. In one, she got to keep them both ala Design for Living . However, the censors said, um...no, possibly becasue of the child. So they ended up filming this one.

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Never said it was a happy ending. Maybe that's why you're disappointed because YOU wanted a romantic happy ending.That scene in the end when she's putting the son to bed, he's not clean. Bathing him was what was important to her. Both Caryand Marshall watch her as she went to get the towels, the soap and water to bathe Dickie that scene was the telling scene. Cary realizes that that was where Marlene belonged and Marshall realizes he couldn't care for Dickie properly on his own. Again, Marshall's love for son and wanting his family back came before his pride.

 

Edited by: lavenderblue19 on Dec 7, 2013 7:17 PM

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I had to go back and check the year this was released and it was 1932.

 

So even in the pre-code era they had to adjust the script because of censorship? Anyhow, to me it looks like some third party influenced ending and one that doesn't work for me.

 

Hey, maybe it was just because of that German song! And who said only the French or Italians can bring on romantic feelings with their music.

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Hey, lavendarblue, you got me with that 'YOU' comment. Good one.

 

You could be right. Maybe I just needed something for me to believe that this family would stick together after all that had occured, instead of her just making a quick judgement that would unravel in a few weeks months. So I'm the romantic sap after all!

 

Always nice to have these type of exchanges with you.

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