The Scarlet Empress (2001 DVD)
Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Although movie buffs of all persuasions have tended to portray this as a "camp classic" over the years, I can only agree with the first half of that description. Marlene Dietrich, a/k/a the sex symbol who's not very sexy, and John Lodge, sort of a poor man's Clark Gable, are downright ridiculous in their performances as Catherine the Great and one of her many legions of lovers here, and the film as a whole sports some of the worst acting and dialogue you'll ever see outside of an Ashton Kutcher vehicle--not that I've ever seen any of those beyond the TV spots! Control freak Von Sternberg's stupendous images, justly-famous lighting, and gargoyle-filled sets do make this worth taking a look at, but even Sam Jaffe's hysterical turn as royal halfwit Grand Duke Peter and some occasional moments of Buñuelesque humor (a shot of a man being used as a human clapper inside a gigantic bell suddenly dissolving into a scene of the frisky young princess riding on a swing; the take where an imperial doctor loses his wig while performing a just pre-code gynecological exam of the future empress to assess her potential for bringing a male heir to the Russian throne) make it hard to overlook the casting deficiencies. All in all, a rather inept film for the sound era but one that might have deserved the hype as a silent. (http://www.criterion.com/)
2015: Mejores estrenos comerciales. - Para películas que tuvieron su estreno en la Ciudad de México o su área metropolitana, en una sala de cine con admisión pagada entre el 1 de enero y el 31 ...
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