Germany 1924. Middle aged Dr. Immanuel Rath is a literature professor at a boys college. Most of his students don't much like him, often calling him "unrath" - German for garbage. Dr. Rath learns that many of his boys often frequent a cabaret called Der blaue Engel - the Blue Angel - which he believes is corrupting their impressionable young minds. He heads to the Blue Angel himself to catch the boys in the act and shame them into not going again. Over several visits, Rath is able to catch the boys, but in the process he also understands what attracts the boys, namely the headlining performer Lola Lola. Rath falls under Lola's spell, he who falls in love with her - and she seemingly with him - so much so that he wants to marry her and give up his teaching career to be with her on her travels from cabaret to cabaret. Their relationship ends up not being what either envisioned, the question being how they will both deal with their disintegrating relationship and the reasons behind that ...Written by
Erich Pommer paid Heinrich Mann $8000 for the screen rights to his novel "Professor Unrat." The screenplay was then written by Robert Liebmann with Carl Zuckmayer contributing ideas, including the name Lola Lola and the Blue Angel Cafe. Josef von Sternberg insisted on the entire writing credit, claiming he had found the Mann novel on a dusty shelf and had directed the film from his own sketchy notes including the rooster-crowing sequence, and that he improvised much of the material during shooting. See more »
When the professor returns to his class and the boys burst out in uproar, the drawing on the blackboard shows three lines with Lola's name. The director, drawn by the noise, enters the class and now there are only two lines. After the class is dismissed, the third line has returned. See more »
They call me Naughty Lola, I'm known far and wide. I have a pianola that is my joy and pride. They call me Naughty Lola, the men all go for me. But I don't let any man lay a paw on my keys.
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Simultaneously shot in two versions (English and German) with the same cast; the German (with English subtitles) version is more popular because of the heavy German accents of the cast in the English language version. English lyrics for the songs were written by Sam Lerner. See more »
First -and only- time I saw Der Blaue Engel, I was a boy of about 13-14 years old. Even though this was over 35 years ago, I still remember how this movie blew me away. I came out of the theater with a new understanding of the world and the human condition.
The story is in essence about love, and what it can make a person do. It is also about what people will do to each other, a theme this movie takes to it's extreme. The acting is supreme, the atmosphere breathtaking, the music score fabulous. Marlene sings one of the great songs in movie history; German cabaret pur sang.
This is a European film in the best sense of the word. It gives the spectator the feeling of being picked up and dropped somewhere in time and place, to witness a dramatic sequence of events in the lives of a small group of people. It starts out jolly enough, but pretty soon you feel that things are going to go terribly wrong. And sure enough, they do.
The young boy that was I, left this movie with a weird mixture of feelings. On the one hand the fear of ever being trapped in such a romantic cul-de-sac, and of losing all human dignity. On the other, a deep longing to experience those bitter emotions. Isn't this the greatest accolade for a tragedy: that it moves you to tears, but at the same time makes you want to experience the sad events that caused those tears?
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