The Scarlet Empress – Marlene Dietrich as art incarnate

A tour de force of production design by Hans Dreier. Pictured here is an unidentified artisan with a grouping of heavily featured set pieces – the ominous sculptures of “The Scarlet Empress”.

The writer, director, producer, Josef von Sternberg had this to say about filmmaking:

Shadow is mystery and light is clarity. Shadow conceals–light reveals. To know what to reveal and what to conceal and in what degrees to do this is all there is to art.

Note the fellows to the left and right of Marlene Deitrich.


  1. That film is just so……dreamy and sureal and wonderful. And Marlene in the begining of the film so, soft and delicate. I love it. Thanks darling for taking me back to the first time I saw it at the Castro Theater.

  2. Heather in Arles

    Oh my. Well. THAT is spectacular, quote and all. Will add this to my list too. Many merci’s. And seeing Lanier reminds me to tell you that I have officially invited myself along for your day at Barneys… 😉

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