Blue Angels

Now here’s something odd: Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel was one of the first German talkies. As was common in the days before dubbing and subtitles, the movie was shot twice–once in German, and once in English. The German version is widely considered a classic. (Personally, I find it interesting, and Marlene Dietrich wonderful–it was her breakout role–but not great.)

Early next year, you’ll have a chance to see both versions. The Berlin & Beyond festival will screen the rarely-seen English-language version at the Castro January 19. And the Pacific Film Archive will show the better-known German version February 1, as part of a  Josef von Sternberg series.