The Scarlet Empress(in Hollywood Movies) The Scarlet Empress (1934) - Download Movie for mobile in best quality 3gp and mp4 format. Also stream The Scarlet Empress on your mobile, tablets and ipads
Plot: Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't like her husband, but she likes Russia, and is very fond of Russian soldiers. She dutifully produces a son --… Runtime: 104 min Release Date: 07 Sep 1934
Dietrich & Old Russia - A Fascinating Phantasmagoria on Film (by Ron Oliver)
An innocent & obscure German princess is sent to Russia to become the wife of Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne. Her romantic dreams are shattered when she finds her new husband to be a childish imbecile. Quickly growing wise, she soon begins taking lovers from among the military guard. So begins the legendary life of Catherine, Tsarina of Holy Russia, The Messalina of the North, THE SCARLET EMPRESS.A riotous feast for the eyes, this is one of the great, unheralded films of the 1930's - enthralling for its visual impact alone. Seldom has an American film been filled with such lush <more>
imagery - tactile, grotesque, fascinating. The Russian royal palace is a charnel house full of ghouls & gargoyles - human & artistic. The actors share the scenes with fantastic statuary, twisting & writhing in silent, unspeakable pain. Notice the tiny skeletons on the dining table. Everywhere is death, moral decay & barbarism, even in the most powerful court in Europe.At the center of this ossuary is the gorgeous Marlene Dietrich. Her beauty radiates, but never dominates, throughout the film. She is splendid as a young woman in a very dangerous place, who gains courage & great determination in her ordeal. Equally good is Sam Jaffe as Peter; with his leering grin & demented eyes he is the very picture of a murderous madman.Louise Dresser, as the Empress Elizabeth, is very effective as a comic bully. John Lodge & Gavin Gordon, as Catherine's military lovers, are both stalwart. Wonderful old Sir C. Aubrey Smith has a small role as Catherine's princely father. Film mavens will spot an uncredited Jane Darwell as Catherine's nurse.The highly emotional soundtrack, an amalgam of themes by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn & Wagner, explodes in the film's final moments into musical pyrotechnics.
Unforgettable! What a visual feast! (by waxwingslain77)
I am a hypocrite; I only like movies which have great dialogue. My hypocritical exception is "The Scarlet Empress." You won't find great dialogue here, but don't fret; to ME, the dialogue is insignificant. This one must be SEEN to be appreciated.Director Josef Van Sternberg, dubbed correctly "A lyricist of light and shadow" by one critic, proves this point in "Scarlet Empress" more than in any other of his films. Sternberg also knew he was losing Dietrich, and I like one scene where an actor is made up from a side view to resemble Sternberg. This <more>
actor is essentially the only one Marlene refuses her bed to, despite having no qualms about bedroom antics with half the Russian court. Sternberg projected himself into the role of Count Alexi, a character who has more screen time than anyone other than Dietrich. Alexi is teased by Dietrich and in the end he, um "doesn't get the girl." Sternberg knew he was no longer getting Dietrich and put this knowledge on celluloid with an awe-inspiring, even malicious fire. There are two things in this film which I really LOVE. The grotesque replicas which saturate the film are of course indicative of how the film will play out. The replicas, I suspect, were not easy or inexpensive to make--which makes them all the more fascinating, horrifying and MESMERIZING!The background score. I have never seen a drama from the 1930s which used music more brilliantly than "Scarlet Empress." In a scene in a stable, when there is a chance that the two principals may make love, they are interrupted by the braying of a horse, which had been out of sight of the two. According to many historians, this scene has much, MUCH deeper significance than it seems. I cannot write what the historians have told to me on this board. It would be inappropriate. But before the horse neighs in that scene, Dietrich is twirling from a rope, and the music in the background lends immense eroticism to the scene, as does a straw which keeps going into and out of Marlene's mouth. The music combined with the beautiful lighting is stunning! There is also an opening torture scene which features a man swinging to and fro inside a huge bell, his head causing the bell to peal. Then, a quick dissolve to an innocent young lady who is flying high on her swing. THAT is a feat of genius!If you can ignore some historical inaccuracies, which I suggest you do, and allow yourself to gorge on the beautiful lighting, music, as well as most scenes, I dare you to tell me that the film didn't MESMERIZE you! A TEN!This pre-Production code film is a treasure throughout
It may be kitsch and the most OTT of all spectacles but it has its own magnificence, it's a masterpiece of kitsch . There is a delirium about the film that very few film-makers have matched. Today few film-makers would want to. In a way it re-defines camp; it has all the trimmings but with an intelligence and a bravura sense of cinema that lifts it into a different dimension altogether. The 'deliberate' ham acting of most of the cast, the broad American accents and the idiosyncratic dialogue are all at odds with the whole look of the film, its visual extravagance and the huge <more>
Expressionist sets. At times it looks like a silent film with its wordless passages and use of inter-titles and like the great silent epics it uses its imagery to propel its narrative.It's not about the reign of Catherine the Great, it ends when she comes to power , but rather it's about her early life at the Russian Court and her disastrous marriage to the mad Grand Duke Peter, Sam Jaffe, emoting like a demented Ken Dodd . But the plot doesn't seem to matter either. It's as if Von Sternberg only seems interested in the trappings of power, in the minutiae of court intrigue rather than in the intrigue itself, in this respect it's a bit like Sofia Coppolla's "Marie-Antoinette" , and, of course, in Dietrich he has a magnificent Catherine. Dietrich may have been the greatest 'non-actress' that ever lived. Beloved by the camera, she simply had to react. No director ever had a subject as fetishistically adored and of all their collaborations this was their greatest achievement.
The equine theme running through this bizarre, campy, creepy, cynical, disturbingly beautiful bio-pic is quite significant, given the facts of the life and death of Catherine the Great, culminating in the wildly over-the-top final shot. This movie just drips with European social and sexual decadence, and also with incredibly lavish and languid imagery throughout. Dietrich and von Sternberg seem determined to prove that they could make the transformation of a naive romantic girl into a lascivious power-mad monarch somehow heroic, and also that American audiences would lap it up while denying <more>
the depth of the depravity they were embracing. This movie succeeds on every level, especially the subversive one...
While cold and emotionally distant, it still is an amazing film due to its artistic vision (by MartinHafer)
This is an absolutely amazing film to watch. I have seen several other collaborations between director Josef Von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich and I think this is the best--mostly due to it being like a giant painting or tapestry that was almost mesmerizing. The film is a rather odd look at a brief period of the life of Catherine the Great of Russia. It follows her from her betrothal when she is a Germanic princess to her ultimately killing her husband and assuming the throne--the space of just a few years .During the entire picture, what stood out were the amazing sets. The film begins <more>
with some very graphic torture chamber scenes that are definitely "Pre-Code" in that they are so frightening and because of the copious amounts of gratuitous female nudity. While this never could have been allowed once the stronger Production Code was implemented around 1935, it is a captivating and bizarre introduction to the movie and it certainly got your attention!! Then, throughout the film, the sets were magnificent and very twisted--almost like they had been inspired by a combination of LSD, Jean Cocteau's version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch! Twisted and grotesque anthropomorphic statues, banisters, candelabras, chairs, etc. grace practically every scene inside the palace--making it look like a combination of Hell and whimsy!! You really just have to see it all to believe it. What was also amazing was how Paramount was able to construct all this without the production bankrupting the company!!! While the dialog and acting is fine, they take a definite backseat to the sets. It's very obvious that Von Sternberg really wasn't trying to humanize the characters or shed too much light on the life of Catherine--it was really more of a work of performance art. And if you accept it as this and NOT an absolutely true recounting of the life of Catherine, then you will be in for a treat.As for the historical side of the film, there has long been some disagreement about the coup and subsequent execution of Catherine's husband. While it is almost undoubtedly true she orchestrated it after all, they made her their leader after Peter's death , what isn't so certain is the character of Peter. Some accounts have described him as half-witted or insane exactly how he's shown in the film but others doubt if this was exactly the case--it could have just been propaganda used by Catherine to justify her actions. Plus, when Peter died, some apparently reported this was of natural causes and not murder! Considering everything, though, the film had to portray Peter III some way and the evil half-wit was an enjoyable choice--as Sam Jaffe looked so crazed and made the part come alive with his insane-looking eyes and wonderful delivery! Dietrich herself was also very good perhaps due to her not being so "artificial-looking" like she was in some of her other films due to excessive makeup , but her performance was definitely overshadowed by the sets and JaffeBy the way, I originally gave this film a very respectable score of 8. However, after seeing "The Rise of Catherine the Great" which was made the exact same year and covered the exact same material , I saw that this Dietrich film was a lot better by comparison. I especially think that Dietrich and Jaffe were a much better Peter and Catherine than Elisabeth Bergner and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in the other film.
The Scarlet Empress is clearly a grab for the same dollar that MGM's Queen Christina had made with star Greta Garbo the year before. Similarly, in 1931, Paramount released their version of Mata Hari, which MGM had released earlier that same year starring Garbo, called Dishonored, with Marlene Dietrich. The extravagant Josef von Sternberg did everything in his power to make The Scarlet Empress a visual feast, but his flat direction caused it to be a failure. It's supposedly one of the most carefully composed films ever made in Hollywood. To me, it looked like von Sternberg just threw a <more>
bunch of weird statuary on the set and filmed as is. Only once in a very long while does it betray a care in the cinematography. Most of the time it simply seems overproduced. It seems to me that Eisenstein must have seen this movie. In his Ivan the Terrible films, he seems to have taken the seed that von Sternberg planted here and expands it into what can truly be called a visual masterpiece 11 years later.The script is nonsensical, but, in a way, this is what makes the film worth watching. It makes the film seem absolutely insane, almost psychodelic, in a way. 1960s audiences would probably have appreciated it the most. Sam Jaffe plays a mad duke, whom Dietrich is forced to marry. This was Jaffe's first film, and later he would play the title character in Gunga Din. He is hilarious here as a half-wit which also reminds me of the Ivan the Terrible movies . Louisse Dresser's queen is a wack-job, too. One particular dinner she had reminded me of the tea party in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.The worst thing about the film is Dietrich's performance, unfortunately. She doesn't play an innocent too well. Even if she did, von Sternberg never gives her enough screen time. I think that the film's intertitles are on screen more than Marlene Dietrich. Still, the film is worth watching, just for its insanity. 7/10.
By all accounts Catherine the Great was one remarkable woman. The Queen Consort of Czar Peter III of Russia, she got the throne from him in a palace coup d'etat and ruled for 33 years. She was also a woman of some lusty sexual appetites just like the woman who portrays her in The Scarlet Empress. It's what distinguishes The Scarlet Empress from the Alexander Korda production of Catherine The Great that starred Elizabeth Bergner and came out the same time.Both tell the same story from young Princess Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst chosen as a bride for the Russian Tsarevitch. But Bergner plays <more>
her almost as an innocent though you see traces of the lusty woman Catherine became. Marlene Dietrich loses her innocence and you see a woman who used sex to get her way whether it was political gain or sexual satisfaction that she wasn't getting from the imbecile who was her husband. As for Czar Peter, though Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. gives a fine performance, we see a psychotic Czar in him. Sam Jaffe is far closer to the truth, the childlike imbecile who was overwhelmed he didn't measure up in the bedroom or the throne room. This film was Jaffe's screen debut, a far cry from Dr. Reifenschneider in The Asphalt Jungle or the High Lama of Shangri-La, all three very different parts. In fact historians and scholars debate to this day whether Paul who succeeded his mother was Peter's child or was sired by one of Catherine's many lovers. Gavin Gordon and John Davis Lodge play two of her lovers. Lodge was a man like Ronald Reagan who made it big in two different careers. A member of THE Lodge family of Massachusetts, the younger brother of Henry Cabot Lodge, Ike's UN Ambassador, this Lodge left the law for acting and then after Navy service in World War II became a Congressman, Governor of Connecticut, and Ambassador to Spain.To me it's tossup between Flora Robson in Catherine the Great and Louise Dresser as to who the better Empress Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter the Great, aunt of Sam Jaffe. Her appetites were as big as Catherine's, but her ruthlessness somewhat less. Like Elizabeth I of England, she never married and produced an heir to the throne, but also no one bothered to keep up any fiction about the Russian Elizabeth being a virgin.With some footage from Ernst Lubitsch's silent classic The Patriot, Joseph Von Sternberg crafted one of the better efforts from his collaboration with Marlene Dietrich. He also drove the Paramount Pictures bean counters absolutely crazy by going over budget. The Scarlet Empress was expensive and looks expensive. Von Sternberg spent Paramount's money in a way they could only justify with Cecil B. DeMille. Von Sterberg made good use of music to cover many stretches of no dialog. And after seven years of talking pictures, he also used title cards and effectively when 99% of films had dropped them for good.Paramount did not appreciate the money they lost on The Scarlet Empress, but Marlene, Von Sternberg, and even the bean counters know now they made a classic.
A life in cinema leads sometimes to a life of and about love. Often its fictional or fictionalized love stories that are in the movie itself. But much more fascinating are the love stories that drive the movie, and for me, the most engaging of these are when a director, directs an actress usually and actress with whom he is in love and sleeping with.Sometimes it is subtle, but often not the way the camera lingers, the way the staging is manipulated, the way the situations are bent in the service of love. The least interesting of these engagements is simple worship, as we have here. <more>
But in this case its so extreme it has its own charm.The story is that there was a mundane but driven filmmaker, a copyist, and a pretty actress with adventuresome sexuality who coupled. This transformed them both and film along the way.She developed a stage persona for him, and he leveraged her and his cinematic worship of her into a career. This was their greatest adventure, probably because after 6 years, he had to do something extreme. We benefit. Now this movie is horrible in all the non-worship parts: the acting, the story are miserable. The score is effective but simply bombastic.Its all the visuals that are amazing. Some of this is cinematic in nature, meaning related to the camera itself: lights, placement, movement, occlusion. But the key thing is her face never her body in the context of these bizarre images and settings. We start with a child, then explicitly sexual torture, then highly eroticized ripeness. These images set the tone for the larger situation: the entry into the perverted reality of Russia. She enters this strange, demented version of the church, with odd gargoyles in ordinary rooms, with immense spaces and gigantic doors, everything twisted a bit. Its based on images and setups from Eisenstein's Ivan films. It leverages the fear we've always had about their strange religion, and their dark sexual intrigues.Against this, we have three sexual phases starting with the erotic innocent, whose wondering eyes the camera hypnotically explores. Then we have the open sexual opportunist, the schemer, the favor provider.And finally the triumphant hedonist, the white furry goddess whose sexual confident stride charms a nation.They aren't the roles or context I would have chosen. That they were engineered so is visually intriguing. Curiously rather than sensuously engaging. But engaging nonetheless. Theirs must have been a bed of negotiation, roles, mercurial power and force.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
Style Style Style--and Dietrich Dietrich Dietrich! (by secondtake)
The Scarlet Empress 1934 Pageantry is not everyone's idea of excitement, but at least director Josef von Sternberg knows how to make a great movie. The pacing and filming, as conservative as it is compared to its contemporaries, from Scarface to Dinner at Eight, take your pick, or more inventive European films , is superbly intelligent, and superbly visual. Man, the lush sets are framed to excess in a rich, beautiful way, and when I mean excess, it's impossible to imagine a more stylized, packed, overripe set of scenes, one after another in very fast succession. Of course, part of <more>
these sets and scenes is the incomparable Marlene Dietrich, by now a von Sternberg mainstay. He practically worshipped her, and this was their seventh film together. For my money she is not her best in this one, but she is the main spark of life in all the pomp and layered decorations and astonishing lighting. She is also sculpturally vivid, if that's the right word. Take the close-ups through a veil about 32 minutes in. Simple, moving stuff, with a flickering candle and her eyes catching the light. But that's one of hundreds literally great short clips and moments.The story is of course limited by history--it's based loosely, for sure on the life of Catherine the Great. Too bad the real horror of a ghastly arranged marriage is dampened by all the cinematic fineness--it's to be understood and spoken of more than emotionally felt. Too bad it's generally more interested in its effect than in accuracy. Or I should say, good thing. Who needs an accurate story of Catherine the Great, anyway? What we have is a glorious bit of European-influences Hollywood in the vigorous early 1930s, a high point for sure in our movie history. Watch for the scenes of Catherine as a child--they are played by Dietrich's daughter. I think if you aren not into Dietrich she doesn't really have to act here, just pose , or into period movies in general, or visual effects over plot, you'll find this wearying, or even unbearable. The pastiche of endless bits of Russian classical music alone might be overbearing. But still, it might all surprise you. It's a kind of masterpiece, like all of their collaborations one way or another. It's mind-blowing and unique, a victory of style of substance, but such style!