The Scarlet Empress

Josef von Sternberg, 104 mins, USA, 1934, 35mm, B&W, English. Courtesy: UCLA Film and Television Archive.

The Scarlet Empress
The Scarlet Empress

Sternberg's greatest and most astonishing film is a pictorially brilliant homage to the imperious stardom and luminosity of Marlene Dietrich.

Literally over-spilling its frame with rich, baroque detail, Sternberg's opulent and decadent film creates an extraordinarily heightened portrait of the world of Catherine the Great.

A bracing mélange of precisely detailed artefacts, art history, myth, the anachronistic and salacious tales of Catherine's sexual prowess and ruthless pursuit of power, it features some of the greatest set-pieces of 1930s Hollywood.

With John Lodge, Louise Dresser and a demented Sam Jaffe. 35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive.


Wed 23 May 2012, 7pm

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