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Dishonored (1931)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 4 April 1931 (USA)
The Austrian Secret Service sends its most seductive agent to spy on the Russians.

Writers:

Daniel Nathan Rubin (screenplay) (as Daniel N. Rubin), Josef von Sternberg (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlene Dietrich ... Marie Kolverer / X27
Victor McLaglen ... Colonel Kranau
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Austrian Secret Service Chief
Warner Oland ... Colonel von Hindau
Lew Cody ... Colonel Kovrin
Barry Norton ... Young Lieutenant - Firing Squad
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Storyline

The Austrian Secret Service sends its most seductive agent to spy on the Russians.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can a Woman Kill a Man With Who She Has Known a Night of Love ? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Madame Nobody See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Col. Kranau was offered to Gary Cooper, but he turned it down because he did not want to work with director Josef von Sternberg again. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Kovrin: Come down here. Did anyone ever tell you how pretty you are? Come here. Fresh from the country, aren't you?
Marie Kolverer: [he pinches her] Oh!
Colonel Kovrin: Do they work you very hard in this magnificent establishment? You going to be off duty pretty soon? You're not going to see some young lieutenant tonight, are you? A captain? A major, perhaps? Then we'll start with a colonel. What's the matter, you want a general?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube Waltz, Opus 314
(1867)
Written by Johann Strauss
Played at the costume party for dance music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Marlene Dietrich and Josef Von Sternberg at their most overlooked
7 April 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The partnership of actress Marlene Dietrich and director Josef Von Sternberg was a justifiably famous one, and could even be seen as iconic (personally do consider it so). They did seven films together, starting with 1930's 'The Blue Angel' (perhaps the most historically significant) and ending with 1935's 'The Devil is a Woman', all of which ranging from good to outstanding.

'Dishonored', from 1931, is not their best collaboration, personally put 1932's 'Shanghai Express' and 1934's 'The Scarlet Empress' above it. Nor is it their weakest, to me the uneven but still good 'Blonde Venus' from 1932. Of their collaborations, of which this is their third, 'Dishonored' is perhaps their most overlooked, while it does have its drawbacks (well, two big ones) it's still a fine film with a lot to admire.

It is let down by two things. 'Dishonored' does contain some of the weakest writing of any of the Dietrich/Sternberg films, there is some witty spark here and there but other parts are distractingly sluggish and melodramatic with a cornball tone that can get annoying and repetitive too.

Am also of the opinion that Victor McLaglen is unconvincing, the role calls for a more restrained nature compared to his usual roles but McLaglen's performance is far from that, he's too bland for a love interest while mostly his performance feels very odd tonally, with the idiotic constant grin amongst other things McLaglen was like some over-enthusiastic overgrown child or something.

However, cannot fault Dietrich at all here. She is positively luminous in her erotic sensuality, and not only is she fun to watch she also gives a vulnerability that helps the character come over as compellingly real. Nor can one fault the terrific performance of Warner Orland, or Sternberg's as ever accomplished direction that boasts many striking images visually and a way of telling the story that the film remains engaging throughout, script flaws aside.

One can always count on a Sternberg film to be visually beautiful, and 'Dishonored' does not disappoint. Not just the striking use of light and shadow lighting and the sumptuous settings and costuming but especially the cinematography, which is often enough to take the breath away. The music score is stirring yet not intrusive.

Cannot not mention the climactic execution either. A scene that stays with the viewer forever with its emotional impact and gut wrenching power, openly admit to crying here the most for any film in a while. The story is absorbing and goes at a cracking pace on the most part, with the odd bump when the dialogue gets stuck.

In conclusion, a fine overlooked film. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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