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3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A fascinating self-portrait of one of the greatest entertainers of Hollywood's golden age
Film star. Cabaret sensation. Recording artist. Writer. Marlene Dietrich was nothing short of enchanting--and remains so as she chronicles her fabulous rise to stardom in "Marlene." From her early career in Germany as a chorus girl to her breakout role as Lola in "The Blue Angel" to h
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 28th 1990 by Avon Books (first published May 1989)
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I really wanted to like this book. I'm not a huge fan of Dietrich, and beyond being a muse for the wonderful Josef von Sternberg, she hasn't interested me as a performer. Even so, golden age Hollywood is always interesting, and there's something about Dietrich that parallels Garbo. And the people she met or worked with! Hemingway! Noel Coward! Sternberg! Edith Piaf! Wayne! Her war contribution! The possibilities were endless. The book falls just short of attaining those possibilities, however.

Oct 22, 2012 Davide rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marlene Dietrich was an artist and an icon.
Her looks are familiar even with those that never saw one of her movies, even with those that normally avoid black & white cinema.
Dietrich was in landmark movies, directed by giants among directors.
Together with Garbo, she has come to represent all that was sensual about an era.
And she’s been the subject of uncounted biographies.
It is therefore highly refreshing to find a Dietrich biography which cuts through the legend and gets up close and persona
Read less for truth, more for the image that she wanted to project. It's interesting that what she stresses in her collaboration with von Sternberg is this very patriarchy pleasing Galatea narrative that Paramount fed people, rather than the actual work, which was consistently disgusted with heterosexual norms, using interesting as a synonym for disappointing I guess. But her tone in remembering that episode is great, not at all nostalgic or mournful or in any way degraded, like that of a succes ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always been intrigued by Marlene Dietrich. After all the stories and rumors I had to read for myself. She comes across well read and smart and funny. I found myself looking for her movies, which TMC does not seem to show a lot of recently. What a life she had, I am glad she took the time to write it all down.
Dietrich writes with a compelling voice that kept me interested for the most part, despite the fact that she doesn't really address any of the more controversial aspects of her life. However, I didn't find her to be particularly likable - she came off as a bit superior. Some comments she made (examples: her some of her opinions on American actors, psychology, and females) were extremely off-putting. Some I'm glad I read the book, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a big fan.
An interesting read. Would have preferred to read in the original German as the English translation was hard to follow. Probably feels more linear in the original language. Lots of interesting behind the scenes stories, lots about her time in the army, but all very confused. Always good to read an autobiography because, even of the author isn't remembering exactly the truth , it's usually entertaining.
Sep 01, 2012 Renée rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marlene Dietrich was a fascinating woman and this is a fascinating book. I found this book in a goodwill store. After I read her biography by Ean Wood a couple of years ago, I really became very interested about Marlene. I think she was way beyond her time. Now that I had found her own memoires I had to read it. This is a definite musthave if you are as fascinated by Marlene Dietrich as I am.
Jul 27, 2012 Sherry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Always interesting to read about some of film-doms greats. I was amused by Marlene's pride in how modest she was.
May 09, 2011 Mia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2011
A fascinating, nonlinear memoir of a fascinating and intelligent woman of very strong opinions.
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Marlene Dietrich was a German-born actress and singer.

Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself. In 1920s Berlin, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US. Hollywood films such as Shanghai
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