Marlene (1984)

The fifth directorial effort of German film star Maximillian Schell, Marlene is an unorthodox documentary of the legendary Marlene Dietrich. After years of resisting Schell's entreaties, Dietrich finally agreed to participate in this… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: March 2, 1984
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice

A shrewd summa of stardom and late-life legend-burnishing, wearily but no less admiringly acknowledging its irascible subject's perverse genius

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Bill Weber
Slant Magazine

The bilingual parrying between the withholding diva and her frustrated chronicler often seems like Sunset Boulevard re-imagined as a radio play, with sex removed from the equation but marlenus interruptus aplenty.

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Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies

I think we learn much more about Dietrich than we would have if she had submitted to the usual paint-by-numbers, fawning Biography Channel type of film.

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Emanuel Levy

Schell uses the limiting conditions-Dietrich did't let him photograph her-to an advantage, resulting in a revelatory work that's more interesting because of the combative relationship with his subject, a star wishing to keep control to the bitter end

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

The result is a fascinating document, not only of the star herself, but also of the documentary as personal process.

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

At once enigmatic, deliberately obfuscating in nature and extremely revealing.

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