Showing posts with label deitrich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deitrich. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Has anyone, except maybe Peter Lorre, ever taken as many sickly pictures as Marlena Dietrich? There are a ton of them! Even her happy pictures like the one above, have an eerie, just-back-from-the-dead quality. This isn't a criticism, I like these pictures, I just think they're funny.

Here's (above) Marlena in what appears to be a picture of a dead person poured into a chair. Her hat is a crow, ready to feast on the carrion.

Dietrich's face (above) is a skull.

Here (above) Dietrich looks up at us like one of the pit characters in Dante's "Inferno." It's a beautifully executed picture. I wonder who made it. Maybe Steichen. 

Lots of pictures show her hanging on things, so as not to fall on the floor.

Oops! Too late! Here (above) she catches herself in mid-fall, while her other tortured self looks on.

This time (above) she clings to a pillar.  

Above, the just-poured corpse again.

I wonder why the death motiff was so popular in Dietrich's time. Was it a product of WWI or the Spanish Flu? Maybe it came out of the over-the-top pulps.

Here (above) she appears to be seconds from death.

Garbo also sat for a lot of sickly pictures, except Garbo seemed to exemplify severe depression rather than death. 

During the WWII years sickly was out and the healthy, wholesome look was in.