- She was obsessed with David Naughton during the final days of her life. I could never understand that, yes he was handsome, but not that handsoe.
- The documentary Marlene is fucking hilarious.
- I was lucky enough to see La Dietrich in person many years ago. Back in the 70''s the W Midtown Hotel in Atlanta was the Atlanta branch of The Fairmont Hotel. All the big cabaret stars of the period came through to play The Venetian Room. The hotel is attached to the condo building where I still live, and when I heard Dietrich was going to be appearing I snapped up tickets immediately. She didn''t disappoint. Even in her mid 70''s she was divine and still breathtakingly beautiful! The funniest thing about her show was that she spent 10 minutes raving about the fried chicken (she was apparently a southern fried chicken fanatic) at Mary Mac''s Tea Room.
- Interesting you said Dietrich was divine R4. According to her daughter, Maria Riva, Dietrich was a drunken mess in her 70s concerts. In Riva''s book she goes into detail about one drunken concert after another during this time.
- Dietrich is the perfect example of someone famous who had no talent.
- Gilda Radner as Baba Wawa: Marwena, how do you stay so swim?%0D\
Madeline Kahn as Marwena: I swim to stay so swim.
- R6, hush your mouth! R4, I''m jealous, would have loved to see her at any point in her career!
- She had a drunken confrontation with Charles Pierce, which left him needing 12 stitches, she was a mean drunk.
- Is that in Riva''s book? I don''t remember reading that....details?
- R5, she basically stayed in one spot on the stage the entire show. She either stood or sat on a stool. It wasn''t that she displayed such magnificent talent, because it was obvious she was very old and face it, her vocal range had never been very extensive. And although her makeup was heavily applied, on stage underneath all those pink lights it looked flawless. It was just that you realized you were sitting there watching THE Dietrich. A once in a lifetime opportunity. She could have hiked her gown and taken a dump right there on the stage and she still would have been divine.
- R5 again. According to Riva, Dietrich was falling-down drunk on and off-stage. Staggering slurring, etc. and abusive to everyone. I don't doubt this happened, because Dietrich most definitely was an alcoholic according to numerous sources, but the drunken abusiveness at concert appearances probably were isolated occurences. If Dietrich was as bad as Riva claimed she was for EVERY performance, then how did she keep getting booked into prestigious concert halls year after year? Why were her concerts almost always sold out and got great reviews from the critics? I think Riva was exaggerating. I've posted about the Riva bio of her mother on other threads about Dietrich, and I highly recommend it, even though I think she may have taken some liberties with actual events here and there. In spite of this, it is an amazing read and you end up really admiring and respecting Marlene, despite her faults. %0D
And as for R6 saying Dietrich had no talent, you art competely full of shit. All you have to do is watch The Blue Angel or Destry Rides Again. I can only wish we had some contemporary actresses who were as "untalented" as Dietrich was.%0D
Again, go read Maria Riva's bio. It's amazing.
- I can only assume that like many live stage performers she had her good days and bad days. Maybe all that friend chicken she was raving about while she was in Atlanta perked her up a bit!
- r2, I kind of understand.
- Bobby Trendy!
- Singing "Awake in a Dream" to the unbelievably good-looking Gary Cooper.
- Garbo is infinitely more fascinating. Garbo was Elizabeth Taylor to Dietrich''s Joan Collins.\
Louise Brooks said that had Dietrich played her iconic role in Pandora''s Box she would have turned it into a burlesque and "with just one look, she would have given the entire scene away."
- How can one deny the consummate artistry in the clip at the top of this page?
- She also liked to take a dip on the lady pond. Mae West, who had a dressing room near her at Paramount,once said "She wanted to wash my hair--and I''m not talking about the hair on my head!"
- Did Mar only have the one Bob Mackie dress?
- Screen test for Blue Angel. Apparently the piano player was told to fuck it up on purpose.%0D\
Love the German song ("wer wird denn weinen, wenn wir auseinander gehen") at the end.
- Dietrich may have been drunk on some at some of her appearances in the 70''s but I think R19''s post obviously shows that she still was fabulous, drunk or not.
- Um r19 the drunken old hag was TALKING the song the entire time. How is THAT different from some of the rappers you all consider have no talent? At least the rappers have more energy than this old hag you call DIVINE.\
This makes me realize that usually these figures of old become more iconic than anything and their positives are weighted more than their negatives and they are praised as being such "great talents" that the stars of today don''t have. I think Angelina will deemed as an Audrey Hepburn, a great actress of her generation one day and Jennifer Aniston will be known as a DInah Shore, a glamourous beauty. Of course George Clooney will be the great Clark Gable of our generation and Brad Pitt will be the great Paul Newman type!
- My favorite Dietrich performance is the "Hot Voodoo" number from Blonde Venus. Good lord, this could never be made today!
- R24, you''re trying WAY too hard toots. You need to calm down and back away because you''ve clearly got WAY too much invested in your abnormal and frankly strange hatred of Marlene Dietrich.\
What, did she spit on you once or refuse to give you an autograph?
- R27 you''re a tired old KA-WEEN... NEXT!
- I thought she was wonderful early in her career, but she quickly became a caricature of "glamor" and did the same shtick over and over.
- I thought she was acting too in the screen test?
- R26 that thing wasn''t good enough to take out Dietrich''s slop jar.
- "If Dietrich was as bad as Riva claimed she was for EVERY performance, then how did she keep getting booked into prestigious concert halls year after year? Why were her concerts almost always sold out and got great reviews from the critics? I think Riva was exaggerating."%0D
She wasn't exaggerating. It's just that Dietrich's fans adored her and went to see her just to SEE her. If she threw up onstage they still would have applauded her. And she didn't always get "great reviews" from the critics. In Riva's biography there was a review of one of Dietrich's concerts that was scathing and completely true. It basically said that Dietrich was an old lady past her prime still gamely trying to give a performance and pass herself off as young. The critic also said that even though she just stood there and atempted to sing in a pitifully inadequate voice her fans ate it up. %0D
Dietrich's concert tours ended when she, drunk and sewn into a specially constructed dress that was more like a suit of armor, fell off the stage. She tried to bow in the contricting garment, tottered, and fell. She blamed the fall on the conductor, saying that in an attempt to shake her hand he managed to pull her off the stage. The poor man went to Riva and told her it wasn't true, he would never do anything to hurt her mother. River told him not to worry, she completely understood, and said her mother frequently told untruths and that people always believed her, and to just let it go.%0D
Maria Riva was a good daughter to her mother and never deserted her. But she never lost sight of what her mother really was; a selfish, demanding, egotistical, driven woman who used and discarded friends and lovers like kleenex. %0D
Yes, Dietrich was a great star, a great IMAGE.%0D
But she wasn undeniably awful. A monster.
- I have a feeling the insane Dietrich hater is none other than her cunt daughter.%0D\
I will never forget when she was on Larry King and she told him she thought her mother was in "love" with her. Yech. Dietrich may be a crazy bitch, but at least she''s got style and class. Riva is a grade A CUNT. Let me repeat, a CUNT.
I used the word cunt 3 times to describe her and it''s still not enuf
- The Dietrich Spawn shouldn''t have too many years left.
- You can call this the original version of "I''m tired / Tired of being tired"
- R32: Hello? They are all MONSTERS
- [quote]I have a feeling the insane Dietrich hater is none other than her cunt daughter.\
You never read her daughter''s book, did you? Maria Riva saw right through her mother but clearly she loved her and did everything she could to help and support her throughout her long life. \
The self-imposed squalor in which Dietrich lived in her final years was astonishing. No wonder she wouldn''t appear on film for MARLENE.
- I just read Marlene''s autobiography. It''s hysterical. She was quite full of herself. Anbd the only woman she speaks fondly of is Mae West.\
The men she was obsessed with are Orson Welles, Richard Burton, Jean Genet, and Hemingway. She hated John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. No mention of Gary Cooper (though they were lovers)
- [quote]Is there anyone more divine ?\
- Interesting, R38, especially since Riva says Marlene got pregnant by Jimmy Stewart while making DESTRY RIDES AGAIN and had an abortion.
- Did we know that Gwyneth Paltrow is doing a biopic of Dietrich for HBO? That ought to make some DL''ers heads explode...\
(towards the end of this link)
- Have never understood the fascination with this woman, and when people say stuff like "she could have come on stage and shit on the floor and the audience would have lapped it up," well, that says a lot more about you than it does about Dietrich.\
I''m in my 50s, by the way, and have seen a Dietrich movie or two in my time.
- I can't start threads, so I dug this one up because it seemed fitting.
A 1968 appearence by Dietrich on a TV Awards show - obviously drunk, but she always got away with it because she was so overly-romantic.
- r6 speaks the truth.
- R11 nailed it.
- I saw her in 1973 in London, must have been one of her final concerts. It was a masterclass in audience manipulation as she worked the curtains to milk applause and when she put on that man's jacket ... but i loved her voice then - the 1964 concert album captures her act perfectly.
I also love her final appearance in JUST A GIGOLO (1978?) where she is perfectly mysterious as ever, as director David Hemmings has to intercut her in Berlin with David Bowie in Paris, but somehow it works even though you know they are not there together. She did just 2 days on the movie and was just as imperious as ever.
Her 30s movies with Von Sternberg are endlessly re-watchable as one discovers more in them each time.
- "Anbd the only woman she speaks fondly of is Mae West."
And Katharine Hepburn.
- Maria Riva was and is a jealous nasty bitch. I doubt very much that she loved her mother. Her book is full of betrayal and absolutely bizarre beliefs by Maria. She was a very ungrateful daughter.
I understand that as a child she may have resented the fact that it was her mother who had to work and support the entire family - and that included her father who never seemed to really work and her father's mistress whom Dietrich also supported and paid her expensive hospital and "rest home" bills. But that was how it was. Marlene always seemed attentive to her daughter and her grandchildren. She certainly was very generous with them.
Maria pretty much lived off her mother for most of her life. Her children also benefitted from that largesse. When Dietrich was having financial problems in her old age and could barely afford her apartment rent in Paris Maria's son and his girlfriend, Jamie Lee Curtis, were living in Dietrich's NYC apt free of charge. Dietrich wouldn't throw them out and sell that. Nor would Dietrich sell certain jewels because she wanted to leave them to her daughter. Dietrich had bought Maria a NYC townhouse after she got married (to the second husband) in the late 40s or early 50s.
Read the fucking book and you will see how incredibly biased Maria is against her mother. As far as Maria was concerned her mother could do nothing right except for her career which she would have been hard pressed to deny. Everything Marlene did as a mother or grandmother was criticized by Maria. It just becomes tiresome. I read Maria's anecdotes of things Marlene would do for her family and Maria would come up with some snarky, selfish reason behind everything. Maria had serious issues adn played them out trashing her mother.
Yes, Marlene drank but I don't believe she was abusive at all. That was never her reputation. She was always very professional. Maria's idea of abuse was being looked at the wrong way. Even when her mother paid for her husband's surgeries she found some way to criticize her mother.
I think Dietrich was a surprisingly down to earth woman in many ways. Her career may have been about glamour which she knew she needed to maintain but she seemed to be very straightforward about herself.
Damn that family is Quick Draw McGraw when it comes to protecting their property rights. More money for them.
Here's one of my favorites - the scene starts at about 1:25 - this one's singing is out of synch. There's better one floating around.
- Here is her 1971 interview - she looks like my mom here.
This is part 1
- Dietrich 1971 Interview Part 2
- Dietrich singing La Vie en Rose.
I only became interested in her in the past 5 years or so. She was a fascinating woman. Her loves, her career, her friends, her work during WWII, her whole persona.
I became a fan.
- More goodies to get the sour taste of Maria Riva out of my mouth.
The final scene from Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958)
- r48, I really do think your entire post is a study of personal transference.
- She thought Dolores Del Rio was the most beautiful woman ever in Hollywood. And, despite thinking black people weren't that attractive, thought Lena Horne was also divinely beautiful.
- [quote] She could have hiked her gown and taken a dump right there on the stage and she still would have been divine.
If only we had footage of that on YouTube, her legend would live on for this younger generation.
- R53, transference for what? I had a fabulous and loving mother. Sorry I can't indulge your armchair shrinkage.
I will admit that I wish I hadn't been such a prude in my younger days about casual sex. My age has given me a better perspective on such dalliances. I do love that she seemed to have a rich and varied love life.
R48 et al
- As I read her book, I wondered too how Maria Riva and her family supported themselves.
If I remember correctly Dietrich died just before Riva's book was published, but Dietrich was able to file a law suit to stop publication just before her death.
- [quote] Maria Riva was and is a jealous nasty bitch. I doubt very much that she loved her mother. Her book is full of betrayal and absolutely bizarre beliefs by Maria. She was a very ungrateful daughter.
What the fuckity fuck fuck?
I read the book…several times, in fact. I wasn't seeing animosity throughout the book. Maria didn't pull a Christina Crawford, that's for damn sure.
She was brutally honest about her mother, and her mother was all about the mystique (a concept I appreciate). But I don't think there was a hatchet job.
There are in some places a feeling of coldness or lack of emotional connectedness….but honestly, that's a cultural thing in Germany and in some parts of Europe. It's very "emotions are for the weak - chin up - march forward."
- "If Dietrich was as bad as Riva claimed she was for EVERY performance, then how did she keep getting booked into prestigious concert halls year after year? Why were her concerts almost always sold out and got great reviews from the critics? I think Riva was exaggerating."
She wasn't exaggerating.
Her concerts were always sold out because she had diehard fangurls who just wanted to SEE her. Her singing voice was pitiful, but they didn't come to hear her sing. They just came to see Dietrich in the flesh.
She didn't always get great reviews. Most reviews were admiring of her simply because she was still performing at her advanced age. What a trouper, the critics gushed. Even so, there was other critics who commented on the sadness of seeing Dietrich all gussied up and croaking out songs like "You're The Cream In My Coffee." They saw her shows for what they were: a frail old lady trying to convince her audiences that she was still young and desirable and at the peak of her talent.
She could barely move onstage due to those skintight, specially constructed dresses she wore, which were like suits of armor. Frequently she was drunk and thus was always in danger of toppling over. While bowing, that is exactly what happened: she fell off the stage. Later she blamed the fall of the poor conductor; she said he grabbed her hand to shake it and pulled her off the stage. That was a lie; locked into the tight dress, drunk, she lost her balance and fell.
Maria Riva's book is very honest and eloquent. Dietrich was a monstrous human being but Riva remained a faithful, concerned daughter to her mother her entire life. She definitely did not "hate" her.
- "Maria Riva was and is a jealous nasty bitch. I doubt very much that she loved her mother. Her book is full of betrayal and absolutely bizarre beliefs by Maria. She was a very ungrateful daughter."
You are obviously a goony Dietrich fangurl. Nothing you said has basis in fact. Riva's book is NO "Mommie Dearest" or "My Mother's Keeper." It's not that kind of biography. It's too windy, but aside from that it gives the reader the best, most complete and accurate portrait of Dietrich that's out there.
- I never got once from Maria Riva's book that she HATED her mother. She wrote a very candid, revealing portrait of a woman who was impossibly immature and self-absorbed. Anyone who sees the book as "revenge" won't accept their idols as anything less than immortal and untouchable.
- Marlene was an outspoken anti-Nazi who always represented the best of Germany when the gutter was in power during the Third Reich.
No one should ever, ever forget that.
- We haven't, r62. And I am sure those who think Riva painted a very articulate and truthful portrait of a classic narcissitic personality doesn't deny that Dietrich wanted nothing to do with the Third Reich. Anyone who thrived in the celebatory permissive days of Weimar wouldn't have.
I don't know how to express it so many of you understand: just because you like Maria Riva's book - accept her view on things - doesn't necessarily mean you hate Dietrich. In fact, the book made me "appreciate" or understand her all the more instead of taking the superficial facade of a flawless immortal goddess. Riva's Dietrich is finally the human you detected must have been there behind the pose. She truly revealved Dietrich as a complex, fascinating personality that she truly was.
- Divine? You're confusing her with Garbo, you prick.
- Dietrich was Garbo with a sense of humor - and the Medal of Freedom.
- Don't you DARE give that that shit, r65!!!!
- ONE movie - Ninotchka.
Don't get me wrong, I love Garbo too, but one movie doesn't make up for a whole body of work full of gloom and doom.
- [R63] Great points.
Unfortunately, there's a sweeping culture of absolutism these days. It either MUST be one thing, or it MUST be the other. The idea that multiple perspectives could be true, or at least be valid or have worth, is beyond the grasp of a lotta bitches out there.
- They call me Naughty Lola
The wisest girl on Earth
At home my pianola
Is played for all it's worth
Not only was she Garbo with a sense of humor, she was Garbo with a giant libido.
- [quote]She also liked to take a dip on the lady pond
A dip?!? She got in and laid in the tub for hours, with water up to her nose.
At the link, singing "Black Market." Her performance skills are phenomenal.
- Love most of the Golden Age stars, but not her. She was too campy, corny and ridiculous looking. She couldn't sing or act. And for someone who hated Hitler for his intolerance, she sounded rather bigoted herself many times. Maria called it like she saw it.
- r71, she wasn't bigoted, She was just a typical German who had an aristocratic Prussian upbringing.
- YT is fabulous. Dietrich with Piaf on Piaf's wedding day:
- I finally saw Witness for the Prosecution recently. 50 years old and she was great.
- r2, are you serious? I heard she carried an obsession for Robert Redford in her reclusive years (having pictures of him under her pillow) and carried on a transatlantic relationship with Mikhail Barishnyikov via the telephone, but David Naughton - really? I had a huge thing for him when I was a kid during the American Werewolf In London days.
- Agatha Christie said Witness For the Prosecution was her favorite film adaptation of all her works.
Do you want to kiss me, ducky?!!!!!!!!!!
- OP, never as divine as moi, dahling.
- That's wonderful, R73. Dietrich seems so protective of Piaf. Can you imagine strolling down Park Ave. on a random Sunday to see THAT crew coming toward you?
Was that Piaf's boxer husband? Nice.
- Peter Murphy captured her perfectly:
Marlene Dietrich's Favourite Poem
My mother loved it so she said
sad eyed pearl and drop lips
glancing pierce through writer man
spoke hushed and frailing hips
her old eyes skim in creasing lids
a tear falls as she describes
approaching death with a yearning heart
with pride and no despise
Hot tears flow as she recounts
her favorite worded token
forgive me please for hurting so
don't go away heartbroken no
don't go away heartbroken no
Just wise owl tones no velvet lies
crush her velvet call
oh Marlene suffer all the fools
who write you on the wall
and hold your tongue about your life
or dead hands will change the plot
will make your loving sound like snakes
like you were never hot
Hot tears flow as she recounts
her favorite worded token
forgive me please for hurting so
My mother loved it so she said
sad eyed pearl and drop lips yeah
glancing pierce through writer man
spoke hushed and frailing lips yeah
old eyes skim in creasing lids
a tear falls as she describes
approaching death with a yearning heart
with pride and no despise
Hot tears flow as she recounts
her favorite worded token
forgive me please for hurting so
Don't go away heartbroken, no.
- It's not Dietrich - or Piaf - but it's Miss Peggy Lee in a rare reappearance of "The Boy from..."
Get a look before they yank it down again!
- Dietrich worked tirelessly to entertain the troops, boost morale, and she sat with her boys at meals and gatherings. Dawn to dusk, she was there to cheer them on. My father STILL talks about meeting her in Europe during the war. She could've stayed in Hollywood or London, but she wanted to let the boys know how important they were.
- Dietrich's war efforts should not be ridiculed or downplayed becaue she showed great courage and conviction. But she had it in her to do something like that - being up on the battlefront was up her alley. A fascination for military glamour came from her strict, prussian upbringing, and haviit also had something to do with her idolization of a father she never really knew. Dietrich was truly her father's daughter - she apparently inherited his good looks and his sexual prowess.
Her willingness to entertain the troops went beyond meere public performances - apparently, the lines outside her tent were legendary. But Dietrich saw nothing wrong in that. She also saw nothing wrong with letting believe (wrongly) that her sister was an inmate of the concentration camp Belsen-Belsen. But Dietrich was a romantic - she romanticized everything. It wasn't sex that appealed to her in her endless afairs, for example - it was the romance. She romanticized and rewrote things to fit her single-minded vision - it is that ability that made her who she was.
- I thought Dietrich never had anything to do with his sister and brother-in-law after she learned that they actually worked at the Belsen concentration camp.
Dietrich and her mother are buried side by side in a lovely Berlin cemetery, which was apparently the work of Maria Riva. Inspired choice that Dietrich would have liked.
- For R76. (Love Charles Laughton too!)
- And then....
- I too saw Marlene in Atlanta at the Fairmont. But the exclusive club at the top was called the Crown Room.
I also saw Peggy Lee and Ray Charles there.
I was a 20 year old, with a 38 year old sugar daddy. He introduced me to a lot, in and out of the bedroom.
- This is a very sad passage from Riva's book:
"Her legs withered. Her hair, cut short haphazardly in drunken frenzies with cuticle scissors, painted with dyes; iodized pink between dirty white blotches. Her earlobes have begun to hang low. The teeth, of which she is so proud because they are "all hers", have blackened and cracked. Her left eye, dulled by a cataract she refuses to have treated. Her once translucent skin is parchment. Her exudes an odor of booze and human decay.
Death sits like a Jabba on dirty sheets, and with it all, despite and through the decay, something remains...a faint glimmer, perhaps only a memory of what once was...BEAUTY...so enveloping...so enthralling...so perfect, that for more than fifty years, all women were judged by its standard, all men desired it.
Her snores are ragged, spittle trails from her furrowed lips. Like a fetus she lies, bony hands cradling a sunken cheek, her matchstick legs tucked high against her frail body, she lies...as though afraid to be born and face another day's survival.
I stand looking at this pathetic creature, who calls herself my mother, and feel sorry for both of us."
- If by "divine" you mean "immortal," and if by "immortal" you mean "not alive," then no.
- "Her exudes an odor of booze and human decay."
- r72, some people would call that bigoted. She was a racist. Read the bio by her daughter - she had many racist qualities.
- I attended a girls' high school; our advisor tried desperately to show our fidgety class how to attain some polish. She held up Dietrich as an example of discipline, saying she'd stand for 8 hours at a time to be fitted into her gowns by Jean Louis (I think?)
- I've posted this story before: a drunken Dietrich tried to mouth kiss me. I passed! I was a young, blond and then pretty male student who was passing the stage door and thought I'd hang out to see her. From 20 paces away, with TV lights on her, she looked unearthly. Up close what one saw was a very well preserved elderly wrinkled prussian general in a powderblue pantsuit with a good facelift (neck pulled tight), very thick makeup with blue eyeshadow trowelled on, smeared lippy over no lips, and an exceedingly good wig. Her chauffeur heaved suitcases into the back of the Daimler and they clinked with the sound of bottles. She handed me a stack of photos of herself to hand to the crowd but they were grabbed from my hand. Then laughing and gurgling she stood on the Daimler's running board (remember those?) and frisbee-ed more photos to the crowd, showing a huge expanse of back flesh. Then she slumped into the Daimler, and turned off the Dietrich 'on' switch to 'off'. Sitting in the back, a little elderly figure, I realised then and there what I was seeing: a tiny woman who by sheer force of will and enormous energy had travelled a long long way from the suburbs of Weimar Berlin.
- "Her exudes an odor of booze and human decay."
No, "she" did. Sorry about the error, Miss Priss.
- That's nothing. Once in the late '70s I was leaving the Pump Room in Chicago after a charming luncheon with Jane Byrne and a couple of aldermen just as la Dietrich was arriving in a big Yellow Cab.
She turned to us and barked, "Cold are the hands of time that creep along relentlessly, destroying slowly but without pity that which yesterday was young. Alone our memories resist this disintegration and grow more lovely with the passing years. Heh! That's hard to say with false teeth!"
- But it seemed as though that passage was a c/p from another source, R93.
Whadja do, type it out?
- The one thing I was amazed by through Maria Riva's book was that Dietrich never used anything on her face other than witch hazel. No face creams, no cold creams, nothing. Just ordinary witch hazel.
- Some people are just genetically lucky, R96. They can smoke and drink and wash their faces with bar soap and not use any fancy skin products like Dietrich did and still look like a million bucks well into their later years. It's all in the genes. Life ain't fair!
- Here's Dietrich at age 77 in 1978, in her final film role. She still looked wonderful. She became a recluse right after this, and was never photographed again.
- r96 -- Riva clearly wasn't telling the whole story. No way could Dietrich have peeled off that Teflon foundation and colors without an oil-based solvent. Once she'd wiped the bulk of the oils and creams away, she probably did use witch hazel to remove the rest of it.
- "Whadja do, type it out?"
Yep, I have Riva's book and typed out that passage from it.
She didn't look "wonderful" in her last film. She had on a ton of make-up and was photographed through a ridiculously soft lens that made her look fuzzy and indistinct. In fact, the reaction to her pitiful performance in that move was the impetus for her never making another movie again.
Riva captioned a photo of her from her last movie with this: "Just a Gigolo", the last film she should not have had to make--the last costume that she should not have had to wear."
- That bitch was an amateur.
- [quote]Garbo is infinitely more fascinating.
You've got to be fucking kidding. Not that I'm any great fanboy of Dietrich's but Garbo was most boring selfish narcissist ever. Offscreen, a nothing life. Whereas offscreen is where Dietrich's living began.
- I wouldn't go around naming a charity organization after her.
- Dietrich stuck hooks into her skin, and then attached the hooks to thin wires that were pulled back and hidden in her hair/wig. The skin was taut, at least for awhile.
More or less, this is the beauty technique described in Riva's book. I may have gotten the details slightly wrong (were the hooks dipped in lidocaine?), but essentially, this was the elderly Marlene's approach to stage makeup. None of this nonsense about creams and plenty of sleep.
- With how many women had she slept apart from men?
- My mother loved it so she said / Sad eyed pearl and drop lips
- Marlene Dietrich may be leaning in for a kiss, but Maurice Chevalier is concerned with something else…
- [quote]Not that I'm any great fanboy of Dietrich's but Garbo was most boring selfish narcissist ever. Offscreen, a nothing life. Whereas offscreen is where Dietrich's living began
Well that's the stupidest thing ever written. You're slamming Garbo as a "selfish narcissist ever" as opposed to...Marlene, who was without a doubt the world's biggest selfish narcissist ever.
An elderly Garbo walked around New York city and everyone wanted to photograph her while Marlene locked herself up in a room never to be seen by mortals because she looked too old.
There's nothing fascinating about Marlene because she was a total fake. It's like saying Madonna is fascinating.
- Excuse me R108, but if Marlene was such a fake, women wouldn't let her to fuck them and she dated many of them.
- She dated women in a period that dating women was not 'in'. She made it 'in'.
- "but if Marlene was such a fake, women wouldn't let her to fuck them and she dated many of them"
I'm sure the lesbos she "dated" didn't give a fuck whether or not she was "fake." She was Marlene Dietrich, the Hollywood Star; that was reason enough for them to want to have sex with her.
- I don't think that Dietrich was only sleeping with lesbos, that's the point! She was sleeping with bisexual women.
- I think Marlene's bitchy daughter is posting. Is that you, Maria?
- Lol, fuck you R113, noooooo!
- The pointless bitchery is strong in this thread.
- Seriously now...
I think Dietrich was more fond of women, but she was clever enough to realize that a woman needs men in her life. Plus the fact that she managed to keep her marriage despite her wild life, makes her brilliant in my eyes.
- Marlene with Greta Garbo...
- Marlene with Greta again...
- Marlene and Greta Garbo never met one another.
- R119, you are wrong dear!
- Marlene with her daughter
- I think Marlene's daughter, Maria Riva was very beautiful
- Marlene's daughter beautiful Maria Riva with her
- I think Marlene was very proud of her beautiful daughter
- I wonder if Maria had the same inclinations with her mother. Was she bisexual?
- Rita Hayworth once confessed that she got the best head ever– not from a man– but from Marlene Dietrich. When Marlene wanted Rita to return the favor, Rita told her, “Mañana.” Tomorrow never came…
- Dataloungers forgot me
- "I wonder if Maria had the same inclinations with her mother. Was she bisexual?"
No. She had a bad first marriage, but her second one lasted. She had four sons, one of them handicapped in some way; oddly, she never reveals in her memoir exactly what was wrong with him. According to her, she reveled in being a wife and mother. I think, by Datalounge's definition, she was a real "frau."
- Tig notaro is hatas!
- Garbo and Dietrich NEVER met.
- A photo gallery of Dietrich's lovers, rumoured and factual:
- R129 maybe Maria secretly wanted p..sy.
You never can tell.
- My daughter has lesbian vibes
- Maria writes in her stunning autobiography/biography that Marlene wanted nothing more than to have Maria be a lesbian. Not as a fashion accessory a'la Edwina Monsoon, but more as a lifetime spinster handmaiden and companion. Dietrich even went so far as to set up the very environment that led to a young Maria being continually molested by an unsavory woman who could only be described as a bull dyke, an associate of the madcap heiress Jo Carstairs with whom Dietrich was enjoying a lesbian romp with. Maria insinuates that Dietrich knew exactly what she was doing when she put this very shady character in charge of her daughter.
Years later, according to Maria, Dietrich wold try to pull the same maneouver on one of her grandsons (Maria's son) by taking the very blonde and pretty boy out to acquaint him with all her older gay friends while supplying him with under-the-counter drugs, hoping the boy would become homosexual and he would take Maria's former place as handmaiden (even better because he was a handsome young man). The boy apparently rebuffed these efforts.
Despite the fact that I tend to believe Maria, I also recognize that there is a what might be construed as a resent-filled homophobic undercurrent in her writing. It's noteworthy that she doesn't seem to have anything nice to say about the female lovers her mother had; the ones she mentions - Piaf, de Acosta, Carstairs - are all described as vile, creepy, mannish. All the men who came in and out of Dietrich's life are given flattering sympathetic portraits by Maria; that other familial victim of Dietrich's callousness, Rudi's lifelong mistress Tamara Matul, is given a very romantic and tragic portrayal by Maria in her book - there is a tender and deep love for this frail and fragile creature that comes through very overtly. Yet, her mother's female lovers are portrayed as frightening creatures. I read a resentment towards these women that may stem from the molestation episode.
- R135, i'm shocked from what you wrote! Are there any mothers who want their daughters to be lesbians and try things to achieve that? Lol.
It's so out of this world. What do you mean when you wrote that Maria was molested continually by a woman? It's so hard for me to imagine a woman molesting some other, innocent me. How did she molest her, what she did to her ffs and why she didn't mention that to her father if she found it criminal? Was molestation a caress or a kiss by the way? Just saying...How old she was back then?
If Marlene wanted truly her daughter to be a lesbian she would try to lure her by having close to her feminine gorgeous women who are bi or lesbians and not bull dykes.
- Maria is still alive, isn't she?
- Yes R137 she is alive.
- [quote] Maria writes in her stunning autobiography/biography that Marlene wanted nothing more than to have Maria be a lesbian
[quote] Years later, according to Maria, Dietrich wold try to pull the same maneouver on one of her grandsons (Maria's son) by taking the very blonde and pretty boy out to acquaint him with all her older gay friends while supplying him with under-the-counter drugs, hoping the boy would become homosexual
Maria is obviously a nut. I don't care how refined she sounds and how she tries to sound balanced. She is extremely resentful of her mother. Her mother is the person whose work supported the entire family - Maria's father, Maria's father's mistress, Maria and later as an adult even provided a great deal to Maria and her husband and their children.
Maria can barely disguise her homophobia. I'd say Maria's exposure to her father's mentally unbalanced mistress for decades was more harmful to her than anything else.
- [quote] that other familial victim of Dietrich's callousness, Rudi's lifelong mistress Tamara Matul
I never got a sense Marlene was callous toward Tamara at all. She helped Rudi with her for decades. What exactly was she supposed to do with her husband's mistress?
Maria is such a bitch. She is certainly not an asset to [...].
- Looooool R140!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Does anybody know who is the woman among Dietrich and her husband? Is she Tamara Matul?
- It's all detailed in her book, r136. Maria was in her early teens when Dietrich asssigned an associate of Jo Carstairs as Maria's new governess. She doesn't go into specific detail, but for what lasted about a year, Maria was molested by this woman in silent assaults. She writes of how she was taking naps and the woman would come into the room and she could feel the weight of her body on hers. There were somekind of sexual trangressions that took place. Maria remained silent, because tat was she was "trained to do" (to be obedient); she was convinced her mother knew exactly what was going on. They never discussed it openly. She carried it with her through her life that her mother "had to know."
- Maria remained silent...oh come on!
- Yes, r141, that is Tamara Matul.
Marlene ceased having sex with Rudi after her daughter's conception - Tami was convenient for her to remain secure in what was essentially an open marriage and keep her husband/business partner happy.
The emotional and mental abuse that both Rudi and Marlene inflicted on the Russian emigree is detailed in full in Maria's book. The woman was never all there, but being subjected to a lifetime of objectifcation and manipulation by the Seibers oushed her over the edge - Dietrich making sure she had a steady supply of any drugs she needed to make her happy or make her sleep or make her quiet and content didn't help the fragile woman's at all.
The chilling episode I remember the most is when Tamara is strapped down in a hospital bed after having received electric shock therapy. Maria was an adult by then and trying to protect Tami from more organized assaults on Tami from her parents. Maria tried to stop the ECTs but Dietrich insisted. Maria writes she had no choice but to acquiesce but insisted she be there wit Tami. She promised her mother the doctors would do as they were ordered. Dietrich, swathed in furs, retorted "You better. I paid", before getting in a limo and driving away.
- She's insufferable. Never got the fascination for her.
- R144 Thanks for taking time for writing that too :)
Well, i think you are on Maria's side, right?
- Marlene had orgasm with women, she faked her orgasms with men.
- Maria Riva might feel guilty of her own past lesbian tendencies. That's why the whole hostility i guess...
- Marlene avec Maria Riva
- Marlene again with Maria
- The best thing I can say about her is that she would have been a brilliant cinematographer. She could feel on her skin, from the heat, if a light was in the wrong place.
- R144, that is entirely Maria's very biased take on what happened. Absolutely no guarantee of the truth. In fact it's more likely if it comes from Maria it's probably not the truth or not reality. She twists numerous events to make her mom look bad. Even simple innocuous things her mom did or very geenrous things ehr mom did for her or others become evil and cunning in Maria's eyes.
Funny though how Maria has never had any problem living off her mother or her mother's legacy.
- [quote]She twists numerous events to make her mom look bad. Even simple innocuous things her mom did or very geenrous things ehr mom did for her or others become evil and cunning in Maria's eyes.
Can you give examples? I just ordered the book and would love to know what's been twisted.
- Her clit is twisted
- Maria's bio of her mother is the best biography I have ever read.
- R153, I can't remember all the instances I felt that way throughout the book. But I remember for instance that when her mom paid for Maria and her husband and family to go to IIRC Switzerland forthe husband's medical treatment and paid for everything Maria turned it into something her mom did only to control her and her family.
Similarly the way Maria talks about the house Marlene bought for Maria and her family to live in - a townhouse IIRC on the Upper Eastside.
Even Marlene cooking for her grandchildren becomes nefarious.
If Maria felt this way her entire adult life why did she continue to use her mother's assets for herself and her family. Her mother was living in dire circumstances for a while and yet she wouldn't sell jewelry she had and certainly wasn't using becasue she was saving the piees for her daughter to inherit. Marlene also could have sold that apartment in NYC that she let her grandson and Jamie Lee Curtis live in free of charge as well as sell that townhouse.
Just read the book and decide for yourself. I came away pretty disgusted with Maria so I am probably pretty biased against her at this point. But after reading a lot of sources about Marlene I came away with a lot of respect for Marlene.
Marlene didn't play the role of the traditional mother as she was the breadwinner for the entire family. I think Maria resented this and the absences it caused and as she got older and wanted some success of her own maybe resented her mother's success. Marlene's breadwinning continued way into Marlene's old age. No one stopped taking from her. Maria also just has some weird perspectives and I don't trust her judgment or her memory.
- From what i gathered Maria Riva acts like a....
That's sad. She was beautiful and she is Dietrich's daughter. She should put more heart in her judgment. Ffs.
- I have posted this before about Maria Riva's book. Maria and her immediately family are shown as living saints, as opposed to her mother, and, to a degree, her dad. It's a shame because Ms. Rive is smart, and could have written a great book.
- That's why I love her, r32.
- R90, if so, why was Dietrich so *close* to Lena Horne for a while?
- Fellas, at least Dietrich knew how to fuck.
- What's the source for the Dietrich-Rita Hayworth affair?
- R162 google it. The results are many.
- R147, it's like that for every woman.
- Is 'Marlene' (2000) a good biopic of her?
- Sooooo? Tell me!!!!!!!!!!
- Rita Hayworth? Marlene had a life long close relationship with Orson Welles. They adored each other but I don't remember if they ever got together sexually. During one interview Marlene said that they were always otherwise engaged with others and once when she heard he had just ended a relationship she called him up and told him that Oh, Orson, this is our time now. We're both free at the same time. Marlene said Orson told her Oops too late. I already started a new affair. LOL!
For some reason I was surprised about her many years with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. I love that she had affairs with almost everyone. I wish I had been less of a prude and so cautious all my life.
- In Maria Riva's book, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is never mentioned by name, but always as "The Knight." He was still living when the book was published and obviously Maria didn't want a lawsuit because she really dished the dirt.
- The biopic 'Marlene' pays a good tribute to Dietrich or not???????????????????????????????
- "Is 'Marlene' (2000) a good biopic of her?"
YES, it's a very good movie. So go watch it, why don't you?
- The best film is the 1984 documentary by Maximillian Schell called "Marlene." Dietrich sat for long interviews, so you hear her voice throughout--mostly disagreeing with Schell.
But, Dietrich is never seen on screen, which calculated or not by Ms. Dietrich, makes it a far better film than it would otherwise be
- OP Here. This is the Youtube which was deleted from my original post.
- Schell's "Marlene" documentary is a must-watch if you are at all interested in Marlene. It was made in the early 1980s when Dietrich was a recluse in her Paris apartment and refused to be photographed anymore. There is, however, one photo of the old and invalid Dietrich sitting up in bed when she was in her 80's and she still looked pretty good, considering her age.
- She met a nervous Marlyn Monroe and totally made her feel at easy with a genius combination of wit and sincerity.
- Carole Lombard, Cary Grant, Richard Barthelmess, and Miss Dietrich
- Omg with Audrey!
- Marlene Dietrich and Ann Warner at the Trocadero, 1939
- Ew...ok Marlene.
- Wow, i loved the two last photos you posted R177 and R178. Stylish and coquettish Dietrich!
- Love her or hate her, i think that Dietrich in a way opened the way to female independency with her way of life and her style. She was so ahead of her time.
- She once pursued the straight actress Carole Lombard when both were at Paramount by leaving roses in her dressing room every day. Using the grapevine, Lombard sent the message that if she wanted something from her, she should ask for it face to face. She was probably unsuccessful in bedding Lombard, who was married to screen greats as William Powell and Clark Gable.
Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard, Lily Damita and Errol Flynn in the photo below
- Now, according to Donald Spoto in his bio "Blue Angel," Marlene wanted to know Carole a little better...
...by this time [early 1934, after filming completed on "The Scarlet Empress"] Dietrich was becoming more and more blunt in pursuing actresses she found attractive; among them were Paramount's Carole Lombard and Frances Dee, whose unregenerate heterosexuality did not dissuade Dietrich from her usual stratagems of flower deliveries and romantic blandishments. Lombard, a beautiful, brash blonde, was unamused. "If you want something," she told Dietrich after finding one too many sweet notes and posies in her dressing room at Paramount, "you come on down when I'm there. I'm not going to chase you."
What made Marlene think Carole would take her up on the offer? Perhaps her hiring of William Haines to decorate her new Hollywood Boulevard home led Dietrich to believe Lombard had a gay streak of her own. But while it's possible Carole had once experimented with lesbianism, whether she did or didn't, she ultimately decided it wasn't for her. (And regardless, she had both straight and gay friends.)
However, while Dietrich may have struck out with Lombard (and Dee, who was married to Joel McCrea), she may have made a hit with another female Paramount star...
- So, anybody knows if Marlene got to know Carole Lombard better? In other words, did she sleep with her? What Maria Riva writes in her biography about that?
- So did Marlene and Carole....
- Answer me!
- Marlene liked the pole and the hole!
- At the races with Barbara Stanwyck
So, did Dietrich and Stanwyck had a fling?
They were both notorious bisexual ladies
- Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf...
- Marlene Dietrich in the bath, “Knight Without Armor.”
Jack Cardiff was smitten by the star, no more so than in a bath scene. His description of it amply illustrates his painterly attention to detail, even as he writes about it some sixty years later.
'Marlene strode regally through the cluttered stage, followed by her two maids, hugging bundles of warm towels. She was draped in a dazzling white bathrobe, her hair swept up in cunning disarray; an extra-long cigarette holder was clenched gently in her teeth so that her mouth was parted in just the hint of a smile, her Prussian-blue eyes gazing blankly ahead . . .. as she walked to the bath and tested the water with her finger, then casually took off her bathrobe, and immersed herself in the foam. It was a simple action—but it had devastated the entire crew, for in that brief moment Marlene had shown herself to be stark naked . . .. In those early days at Denham, the sight of Marlene Dietrich, gloriously starkers, was cataclysmic.'
- Dietrich with writer Ray Bradbury (1935)!
- Marlene! Stop sucking poor Edith!
- Marlene on the Wall
- Sounds like Carole put her in her place. Good for her.
- sounds like you blame her for trying, R194.
- ”God knows I love Clark, but he’s the worst lay in town”, Carole Lombard explained. “If Clark had one inch less, he’d be the Queen of Hollywood!”
Do you believe she really said that?
- Who was Dietrich's big love, except for herself?
- Jean Gabin, the French actor, r197.
- Jean Gabin was goddam hot, R198.
- Cary Grant looks shockingly hot and modern in that photo at r175! Men and women must have all been falling over themselves for him back then.
But there don't seem to be any stories of Marlene going after him! Hmmmm.....
Thanks for posting r175.
- Katharine Hepburn and Dietrich in the 1930s
- I don't know if this was already posted, but here's Marlene and Joan Crawford together in the 1930s. I didn't know they had ever met.
- R200, yes Grant was so charming and gay in that photo. I doubt that he could get along with a feline like Marlene Dietrich. Lolz! I'm glad you liked the photo. I like it too.
I also like the photos you sent R201-R202. Nice shots. Now as it comes to Crawford with Dietrich...what Marlene's daughter wrote about that meeting, i wonder! Did she wrote anything about it at all?
- I don't believe Maria Riva mentioned Joan Crawford at all in her book, but I haven't read it in quite a while.
I do remember that Riva wrote her mother liked Cary Grant (they did a movie together, Blonde Venus) and they got along well, but weren't really friends outside of the studio. Marlene was the same way about Mae West; she liked her very much and they palled around at Paramount together, but never saw one another socially outside of work.
- R198 thanks for replying. Jean Gabin, really? It surprised me a bit.
R204 thanks a lot for answering too. :)
- Maria Riva's book is mesmerizing. Very well done, especially about Dietrich's early years.
- I thought I remember Maria Riva writing about a lesbian relationship or at least a flirtation between Mae and Marlene. Their dressing rooms were next door at Paramount for awhile, after all.
- Marlene Dietrich, Jack Warner and Errol Flynn
- R207 I read a book about Mae West a while back but I cannot remember the title of the book off hand. I checked it out at the library.
At any rate. Marlene tried to hit on Mae and Mae did not mind it but she just was plainly not one for it. Marlene invited Mae to her dressing room and asked for help in drying her hair. They remained work mates who didn't socialize.
I also read in the book whose title I cannot recall that Mae West did an interview a very short while after Stonewall. She was asked her opinion of it because she had a gay following. Mae West said that the police physically harming the Transgender community was just as cowardly as a man physically harming a lady.
If one were to consider the era Mae West was from, it'd be enough to make you think that she was a gay friendly lady in her own way.
- Barbra Streisand & Marlene Dietrich...
- Glamor shot of Marlene Dietrich in 1940's style.
- Crawford did garner mention in Maria Riva's book. Dietrich was involved with Crawford's ex-husband Douglas Fairbanks Jr, but the dislike for his ex-wife went deeper than romantic jealousy - it was more like snobbery. Dietrich wasn't threatened by Crawford - she disdained Crawford as a low class shopgirl-type. Even worse for Dietrich was the fact Crawford abused her children, which she found cemented Crawford as a low class tasteless fishwife. Riva states that the kind of physical abuse Crawford committed on her children would be vulgar to her mother and below her; Dietrich was more above that. Crawford resorted to hitting her kids, whereas Dietrich would resort to emotional abuse - if Dietrich was angry at Maria, she simply freezed the little girl out and ignored her for days until she saw fit to welcome her back into her inner sanctum. Maria writes about how that deeply affected her.
- A summary of the FBI's file on Dietrich, in which they name Kay Francis as a lover.
Btw, telling of the affectedness of FBI investigations: they got her birthdate wrong. She was born in 1901.
- Ray Manzarek, the keybord player of The Doors said that 'Jimmy(Jim Morrison)studied the unsmiling, smoldering body language of Marlene Dietrich, Von Sternberg's greatest star, and would adapt it when posing in his leathers in the early days of the Doors.'
Actually, both Morrison and Manzarek studied in the Department of Cinematography at UCLA and that's how they met. Between 1959 and 1963 von Sternberg taught a course on film aesthetics at UCLA, based on his own films. His students included Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek.
Jim Morrison would later say that von Stenberg's last film,'Anatahan', had the most profound effect on him. References to Sternberg films appear in some songs by the group, and Manzarek describes Sternberg as "perhaps the greatest single influence on The Doors."
The Devil is a Woman, one of the greatest films of Josef von Sternberg, would become later the theme of their song 'Woman is A Devil'.
- Marlene Dietrich and Amelia Earhart
- Marlene Dietrich and The Beatles
- Amazing gossip! I love Carol Lombard!
- Lucille Ball was Carol Lombard's great friend!
- I just finished Maria Riva's book. I was able to figure out that "the Knight" was Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. But, I don't know who "the Cavelier" was. Anyone know?
- I was engaged in a discussion on another message board about Maria Riva's "blind items"
and the consensus was that the Cavalier was Alexander Liberman, art & editorial director of Vogue during the 60s. He was also the author of a pictorial memoir of Dietrich around the time Maria timeframes her mother's relationship with The Cavalier. He died in 1999, so that explains why Riva protected his identity.
Google Image pics of the dashing Russian-American (Dietrich LOVED Russians).
- I've always been intrigued by Maria's reference to Dietrich's favorite "Swedish Blonde" a lady whom Dietrich was involved with as far back as 54 and remained in contact with through the years. When Dietrich was a recluse, she sent this "Swedish Blonde" drugs through the mail because the Blonde got into trouble for drug possession and the Swedish press was making it frontpage news. Maria was horrified her mother was taking on the role of a drug pusher for this woman.
My first thought was Anita Ekberg, but I don't think Ekberg ever suffered public humiliation for a drug scandal. Another possibility was Britt Ekland, but she would have been too young in 1954 to have an affair with Dietrich. The only other person I have thought it could be is May Britt, a Swedish blonde bombshell who made headlines when she married Sammy Davis Jr in the 50s. She was also one of those blonde molls that traveled with the Rat Pack (Dietrich enjoyed an affair with Frank Sinatra). Britt is still alive and well, and it would explain why Riva protected her identity. But I've never come across a drug scandal in Britt's career.
Anyone have any suggestions who the mystery woman is?
Other blind items:
The unnamed young man that Dietrich talked about having a brief fling with when she in her 50s - a new up-and-comer on the Paramount Lot who had just starred in a gangster movie at the time - was probably Burt Lancaster.
Maria named the woman who raped her in her teens as "The Rhinoceros", the private secretary of Jo Carstairs (whom Dietrich was having an affair with at the time), was Violla Rubber (also spelt sometimes as Viola). Viola went on to be Bette Davis' manager for a while and even won a Tony for producing a Tennesee Williams adaptation.
- Cary Grant was "rooming" with Randolph Scott when he worked with Dietrich. If that didn't signal something....
- In a 2002 e-mail interview with The Advocate, Maria Riva was asked about the nature of Dietrich's relationship with de Acosta.
"Allow me to clarify ...De Acosta was 'the lover,' Dietrich was the recipient. Not all lesbian relationships are those of mutual acceptance. The taker and receiver are often unresolved persuasions, romanticized experimentation, sometimes even physical forms of self-punishment excursions. To declare one's sexual preferences does not always make one free, no?"
- Amusing anecdote: Dietrich totally ignored Joan Rivers when they were passengers sitting next to one another on a flight together. Rivers once said: "I tried chatting with her, but she never said a word the whole flight. Probably afraid of breaking the stitches."
- There's a French documentary on Youtube that was recently made about Dietrich's final years as a recluse in Paris. Unfortunately, the damn thing doesn't have English subtitles. I would love to see a subtitled version.
- Cary Grant and Randolph Scott's relationship has been widely known for years. It was an open secret, despite what his daughter may say about her husband's bisexual past.
And since, by all accounts, Grant never had an affair with Dietrich - who fucked EVERYBODY - it's pretty much proven Grant was a homosexual (at least at the time of Blonde Venus).
I always found it interesting that Dietrich and Hemingway never had sex. This is a woman who gave wrinkly old George Bernard Shaw a blowjob out of admiration for his art. Hemingway and Dietrich were just pals. That alone - on top of all that hypermasculinity he posed for the press - makes me think Hemingway was gay. That and the fact he shot himself in the mouth with the cut-off barrel of a gun.
- ^^"It was an open secret, despite what his daughter may say about her husband's bisexual past."
Opps - sorry, I meant "her FATHER's bisexual past"
- [quote]I was engaged in a discussion on another message board about Maria Riva's "blind items" and the consensus was that the Cavalier was Alexander Liberman, art & editorial director of Vogue during the 60s
The Cavalier was Iva Patcevitch, another Conde Nast executive. Alexander Liberman was not all all like the romantic figure Riva describes.
Francine Du Plessix Gray discusses the very dashing Patcevitch and his affair with Dietrich in her fascinating memoir of her parents (her father was Liberman), THEM.
Patcevitch is the man in the pin-strip suit at the link.
- r2, obsessed over Robert Redford too during those recluse years. She kept a pic of him under her pillow.
Riva also writes how Dietrich conducted a transatlantic affair over the phone with Mikhail Baryishnikov. Their conversations tallied phone bills into the thousands, with the 80 old recluse sexing it up over the receiver with the young dreamy Russian taking the ballet world by storm.
- r40, it was supposedly the one and only time Dietrich's infamous vinegar-douche failed her. Of course she would blame Jimmy for botching up a tried-and-true winning formula.
John Wayne she detested because he successfully resisted her campaign to get him into bed. She wanted him bad, and he was not about to be a part of what he called "a stable".
Years later, according to Riva, when she was a recluse, when she found out he was dying of cancer, she mocked him, saying "Goodee, goodee - he's dying!"
- r41 is one nasty bitch.
- r177 - Ann Warner was one of Dietrich's "sewing circle".
r178 - Anna May Wong was supposed to have been of one Dietrich's favorites for taking the head Dietrich could give. Apparently, Dietrich was an expert at oral sex. Her daughter speaks of her world famous skills at fellatio, and other sources attest to Dietrich's skill at cunnilingus. Gotta love the power of those cheekbones.
There are those who have speculated Riefenstahl and Dietrich had a fling, but it's never been confirmed. Dietrich openly detested Riefenstahl.
- In Maria Riva's book, she gives a wonderful account of Berlin in the 1920s and how her mother was in the center of it all. One of the reasons why Dietrich despised the Nazis for the rest of her life is because they destroyed "her Berlin."
Berlin in the 20s was similar to New York in the 70s, it was so wild.
- r228 - Patcevitch was gorgeous! Thanks for the clarification.
- She's just a dumb Teutonic twat.
- I finally ordered Maria Riva's bio!!!
- R232, was it Ann Sheridan or Rita Hayworth that talked?
- "She's just a dumb Teutonic twat".
... who munched on your own dumb Teutonic twat, Hildegard.
- I haven't had time to read this entire (great) thread so please forgive me if this has already been posted. This is apparently the last photo of Dietrich ever taken, when she was a recluse in Paris. In Maria's book, she goes into detail about how wasted her mother looked at the end and how her beauty was gone, but from the photo, you can clearly see she looks pretty damn good for a woman in her late 80s.
- This is one for the DLers:
After the release of "Mommie Dearest" in 1981, Dietrich (who was in seclusion in Paris by then) sent a scathing letter to Paramount's Peter Bankers that was later sold at auction for $1,500. Among the gems in the letter include the following:
"Fay [sic] Dunaway should be ashamed of herself, but then she probably needed the money to pay her liquor bills."
On Christina Crawford, Dietrich says, "I am shocked that Paramount bought that filthy book and made that frightful bitch who wrote it rich."
On Joan Crawford herself, Dietrich writes: "I did not know Joan Crawford, but nobody deserves that kind of slaughter."
- Dietrich was furious when her handsome young music co-ordinator Burt Bacharach, whom Dietrich became infatuated with but allegedly resisted all her attempts to seduce him, married the sexy young Angie Dickinson. She spewed nothing but venom at the mere mention of Dickinson.
- Burt Bacharach on Marlene's furious reacton to his marriage to Dickinson: "You married that slut! How could you have done such a thing!"
He also claims that while they were in South Africa on tour, Marlene had voodoo dolls made up to look like Angie and put pins in them!! LOL!
- Madeleine Kahn IS Marlene Dietrich
- Strange photo of Joan Crawford with a picture of Marlene on the table:
- Even stranger photo of Joan Carwford with a picture of Marlene's daughter Maria on the table:
- Nein, r243 - Madonna ist Marlene:
- R239. I remember a photo of Dietrich at the end of her life that appeared with her obituary in a London Sunday newspaper, The Observer. It was a photo of a wizened old lady in a wheelchair and it bore no resemblance to any photo anyone had previously seen of her. It looked like any old lady in her last days. Very sad indeed.
- r165, it's entertaining to watch, but don't take it as literal truth. The script plays around with alot of facts and makes Dietrich into a shrewish and unruly tempestuous personality, which she was not. Dietrich was much more self-assured and elegant in her approach to life, with bursts of boisterous precocious energy, but the Marlene depicted in this film is worthy of a Susan Hayward portrayal: jealous and abusive, she is seen physically lashing out at Rudi and von Sternberg, wallowing in lonely drunken Hollywood nights (which didn't happen until late in her twilight years), and portrays Dietrich as a precursor to Madonna, driven by sheer blonde ambition to be famous (which really wasn't Dietrich at all) ... it's all very high B-movie melodrama. They even show her manically exercising like Dunaway's Joan Crawford did, something that the real Dietrich couldn't have been bothered to do.
The weird liberty they take with Marlene's life story is claim there was one defining love story that threaded her entire life - a love story that never really seemed to have happened. Instead of showing us Gilbert, Remarque, Gabin, Brynner and the hundreds of other men and women who came in and out of her life, the film claims a man by the name as Carl Steidliz was the true love of her life and followed her from Berlin to Hollywood, and the tragedy was that they could never come together.
Very strange fictionalizing of a real life that didn't need fictionalizing at all.
Apparently, the Rivas were consultants, which made it even stranger.
- Any thoughts on Maximilian Schell's documentary on Marlene?
- This is the last known photo of Dietrich - she was remarkably healthy for a woman of her supposed declining health.
- Schell's documentary is a must-see. Wonderfully edited and constructed. Schell was very patient and tolerable with a very complex and combative personality. Dietrich tried to control the entire thing, but came up against a very shrewd opponent. What came out of it was a glimpse into an enigmatic and still very mysterious individual who was locked forever in her own myth, trying to convince the world of a life she was still trying to censor and edit herself (claiming, for instance, that she spent her time traveling around the world when she hadn't, in fact, left the apartment in years; or that she was an only child, a claim juxtaposed with Schell and his associate later looking at childhood pictures of Dietrich's sister). The end result was a portrait that was tragic and somewhat beautiful in its own sad way. Dietrich was furious with the result and wanted to drag Schell into court. When she saw the positive reviews coming in, she changed her mind and called Schell an artist.
And that fact that her voice is the star of the documentary attests much to her inimitiable mystique.
- [quote] Dietrich writes: "I did not know Joan Crawford
Then how is pic in R202 link explained?
- Marlene's memory was selective - she was able to erase someone completely from her memory. That could explain her claims of never knowing Crawford, but also more likely is that Dietrich could have meant that she never "knew" Crawford personally.
- One of my favorite anecdotes in Maria's book is when an earthquake shook Hollywood while Dietrich was on set shooting a film, and she decided to rush home to be with her child. An actress who was left unnamed in the account and had a child at home herself tried to ease Dietrich's fear that Maria could be hurt and that everything was probably fine, to which Dietrich retorted "Yes, but your child is adopted" before rushing out of the studio to be with her flesh-and-blood daughter.
Later, Dietrich laughed about the incident, saying "Wasn't that horrible of me?"
- Was it Loretta Young r254?
- R177, that picture appeared in Maria Riva's picture book with a caption something like 'gossiping about who would go after Lena Horne.' It was dated 1940s.
- Riva never said - could have been, but there was speculation among readers that it may have been Miriam Hopkins, whom Dietrich detested.
Since you have brought up Loretta Young, Dietrich absolutely hated this woman as well. Riva called Young on of her mother's "pet hates". Riva reports in her book that Dietrich once quipped that Young built a church every time she sinned - that's why there are so many churches in Hollywood. But Riva notes that she could never understand why her mother hated Young so much, and yet in her mother's belongings, she found a picture of Dietrich and Loretta Young together looking like bosom buddies (the picture is reprinted in Riva's book). Dietrich was the type of person who erased anything she hated from memory - yet she kept that picture of herself and Young together.
- I've read a lot of Hollywood bios, and it seems like everyone hated Loretta Young. Bette Davis had some bitchy things to say about her in one of the Davis bios. A lot of people thought Young was a sanctimonious pain in the ass, and of course there's that famous swear jar story on the set of her tv show that's been attributed to Barbara Stanwyck.
- Irene Dunne and Rosalind Russell were quite fond of Loretta Young.
- Dietrich and Davis' hatred or Young says more about them than it does Young. Marlene and Bette were both dominating personalites and quite demanding on people. If they didn't like you, you were of in trouble. Dunne and Russell weren't like that to people.
That said, I think Young would have pissed me off too to with her holier-than-thou affectations.
- ^^Sorry for the tpos ... my eyoard is fuced.
- My late grandmother ran into Maria Riva in an airport years ago, and said she was a raging cunt.
- R259. All good Catholics and Hollywood church builders!
- Where is Davis' hatred of Young documented? They certainly never worked together.
Not that I wouldn't believe it, just never heard of this before.
- Marlene singing the finale of Falling In Love Again in Melbourne for Australian TV in 1965, complete with closing credits of leaving the theatre among a throng of fans and the signature throwing playbills from the car rooftop. I love how she keeps coming back for more applause. Hilarious!
- r262, your grammy actually said "raging cunt"?
- Maximilian Schell on working with Marlene Dietrich:
- Anybody here prefer Dietrich over Judy Garland in Judgment at Nuremberg? I rhought Garland worked too hard for the audience's sympathy whereas Dietrich very nicely underplayed and was better as a result.
- Ditrich was wonderful in Judgement in Nuremberg. According to Maria Riva, Dietrich simply played her own very Prussian mother in that role.
- She beautiful. We have affair. But her eyes too round.
- The most remarkable thing about Dietrich is that she was, essentially, talent-free. Her speech impediment was embarrassing, and with the combination of that and her German accent, she really couldn't do much with most serious (sewious) roles, and yet... and yet... she did have a touch of genius about her, for years and years and years.
- The story told by r254 made me laugh out loud...and I feel so guilty!
Am I the only person who is starting to dislike Dietrich's daughter? She sounds like such a self-righteous, passive-aggressive Frau!
- There is no question that Marlene was not a good mother, however Maria was never physically abused and Marlene very generously financially supported Maria and her family for her entire life. I'm not defending Marlene's shitty parenting, I'm just saying that Maria could have had it A LOT worse. Now Christina Crawford, there's a child who genuinely had an abusive upbringing and had every right to hate her mother.
Marlene had an insurance policy that paid handsomely in the 1950s, and she gave all the money to Maria, who bought a TOWNHOUSE on the UPPER EAST SIDE with the money, which I believe Maria still owns. Marlene also had a Park Avenue apartment which she maintained until she died that her grandsons lived in off and on. Marlene didn't have to do any of this, yet she did.
- Have you heawd my watest wecord awbum?
It's AWW appwause!
- Lol r274 ... drunken Judy tells an anecdote about Dietrich:
- The great thing about Dietrich was that, unlike Garbo, she was always in the thick of things - as times changed, she was right there photobombing everyone else's picture.
Marlene and Marilyn meeting:
- Fur is MURDER, Shanghai Lily!!!!!
- Marlene meets The Beatles!
Sounds like a bad 1970s Saturday morning cartoon
- Look at the MARY! at 0:36 - lol!
- The day was supposed to be Edith's, but how can one even notice the bride when Dietrich is there?
- r277, you people are ridicuwess ...
Marlene, looking bored and swathed in smoke
- Loretta Young couldn't have idolized Bette Davis more if she'd been on Davis's payroll. See John Kobal's interview with Young in People Will Talk. Davis liked Dietrich because she always came through when she was asked to appear at the Hollywood Canteen. As president and co-founder, Davis made the calls herself for a replacement when a star had to back out at the last minute; she never wanted servicemen to be disappointed that there weren't any beautiful actresses to dance with. Hedy Lamarr and Bing Crosby also never said no, and Davis never forgot their generosity. Dietrich admired Davis and, like Young, thought she set the standard for screen acting.
- In her book, Riva mentions Dietrich dissing Bette Davis, namely making fun of how "ugly" Davis was. I think Dietrich referred to Davis as the ugly one with the "popped eyes" or something like that.
Dietrich was a very superifical individual when it came to believing in an elite - there were the beautiful people and the ugly ones. She considered herself in the heirarchy of the former. Riva talks of how her mother would sit in airports and criticize the average person, disdaining them all as ugly.
For a woman who had a dizzying array of lovers, Dietrich hated the human body, thinking her own hands and feet were ugly and finding them on others to be disgusting and repellent. She hated noses (once mocking Barbra Streisand's most obvious facial feature in a crowded movie theatre). She hated her own breasts, which she would conceal from lovers behind gossamer nightgowns and then under the sheets of a darkened bedroom, having slipped her nude body quickly and elusively so nothing could really be seen. She was not a sexual animal for the sake of having sex. Sex was power to Dietrich; it was to ensure she had a constant array of admirers and dashing men paying her court, feeding her mammoth-sized ego of being a living and breathing mythical love goddess. She found the penis disgusting despite being a master at fellatio - it simply gave her the power she wanted over them. Intercourse and oral sex were just "duties" in her Prussian mind. Having movie idols and world-class artists and virile writers paying her court was the real "orgasm" for her.
She was also adept at cunnilingus. There are many stories about Dietrich favoring this act on women; Klaus Kinski once related an anecdote about walking in on a 60ish Dietrich sucking on a young actress' cunt, the young girl's panties pulled down around her ankles. Riva doesn't go into the innate lesbian aspect of her mother's sexual proclivities - she spends more time dissing her mother's female lovers with the same high-acidity that she accused her mother of possessing. For Riva, her mother's male lovers were given a pass because they were vulnerable, sensitive, and childhood romantic heroes; her mother's female lovers were, to her, crude, ugly and downright evil (De Acosta, Piaf, Carstairs, etc). In truth, Dietrich didn't really look for beauty in her female lovers like she did her men. I've always wondered if Dietrich found the vagina just as much of a "duty" as she did the penis.
- Sounds like she hated everything and just needed adoration.
- Not true, she loved artists and servicemen.
- I wonder if much of Dietrich's criticisms of other actresses' looks weren't just her way of holding court and being witty?
- Oh wise ones, did Dietrich ever comment on Ava Gardner, Hedy Lamarr or Grace Kelly?
I mean truly beautiful women...did she ever praise them?
- Fun Fact: The Amoeba Music building in Hollywood is the site of the former Hollywood Canteen.
- Here's a pic of Dietrich kissing Hedy Lamarr:
- Dieth referred to Ingrid Bergman as horse-faced and that "Swedish whore" - she saw Bergman as a rival for the place of top woman in Yul Brynner's life.
- Riva wrote in her book that Marlene thought Delores Del Rio was the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.
- Was she in that movie Mata Hari?
It was on TCM last night.
She gave off a really butch, mannish vibe in some of the scenes that I saw.
Really skinny legs, too.
- Praise them, r287? How about did she ever sleep with them?
- No, r292, that was Greta Garbo, whom Dietrich said had an oversized snatch. Co-starring Ramon Novarro.
- R291, perhaps Dietrich has an affair with the bisexual Delores Del Rio. Billie Holiday certainly did.
- Marlene was so overrated and tacky. Just like Garbo. Interesting faces, but with the benefit of good camera work. Acting wise, they were both preposterous.
And for someone who was so virulently anti-Nazi, wasn't Marlene a bit of a racist herself? Seemed that way in her daughter's bio of her. She sounded like a horrible, petty jealous krautburger.
- It was her upbringing, r296. She may have rebelled against her staunch and stern Prussian upbringing by becoming a celebrated name in Berlin's permissive Weimar republic, but Marlene would always be the daughter of a blue-blood Prussian dynasty. She was ambivalent and contradictory about her celebrity, claiming she was never ambitious or a great actress and singer; Madonna's shameless blonde ambition she would find extremely vulgar (and did apparently, considering her venomous criticism of the singer). Marlene claimed the Prussian credo when she was asked about her fame - she had her duty and she did it well as was expected of her. She lived a libertine life, but she remained married to the same man and claimed she was just a typical hausfrau. Her liberal attitudes toward life was contradicted by a racism that many European Jews and Gentiles of the world refuse to believe she was capable of - it doesn't fit with that image of the sacrificial goddess they built her up to be and she adored playing. But her private notions about everyday black people (who weren't famous) was characteristic of people of her background, her culture and her generation. My 94-year-old grandfather still refers to black people as "coloreds" and distrusts any black nurse or doctor that attends him. He's learned to keep these opinions only to a select few, but nevertheless always manages to embarrass those of us he trusts to express these beliefs.
- [quote]Marlene was so overrated and tacky. Just like Garbo. Interesting faces, but with the benefit of good camera work. Acting wise, they were both preposterous.
Agree about Grabo, but not Marlene, as far as acting. She was excellent in Witness for the Prosecution, and many other films. Even in Blue Angel she was good.
- Marlene was very comfortable in front of the camera - she savored the limelight. Some of her performances could be stilted, but most were full of a unique energy that drew one to her "like a moth to a flame." That footage posted above of her cavorting around with Edith Piaf and Piaf's groom on their wedding day through the street is a perfect example of how this woman dominated one's attention without seemingly doing anything. You couldn't help but look at her. She was made for the camera.
Garbo was much more difficult to pinpoint in terms of her appeal. She was deemed exotic, mysterious, remote, but for some she comes across as dull, lethargic, introverted. She is labeled the beautiful face of cinema, but I think more people are divided on that than they are on Dietrich. Dietrich oozed erotica and was much more confrontational with it; Garbo looked like she couldn't be bothered with showing herself off. Dietrich connected with the audience; Garbo didn't have that kind of communicative abilities. To this day, I enjoy watching a bad Dietrich performance over a sublime Garbo performance anyday because of that.
- ITA r299. I always loved Dietrich and never understood why Garbo was such a success. Awful actress, average face at best and dull personality.
- The style of films throughout the 1930s challenged Garbo and Dietrich's careers.
By the middle of the decade audiences had grown tired of the fantasy represented by their earlier hit films like Mata Hari and Queen Christina and The Shanghai Express and Morocco. They wanted more down-to-earth screen heroines like Crawford, Davis, Stanwyck, Loy and even Jean Arthur.
Garbo fled Hollywood after the disaster of Two-Faced Woman, which attempted to humanize her but Dietrich, infamously labeled Box Office Poison, grabbed on to Destry Rides Again, even though it was at one of the lesser studios, because the role gave her an opportunity to satirize herself and play common. And it paid off.
- "that was Greta Garbo, whom Dietrich said had an oversized snatch"
How would she know? She and Garbo were never lovers.
"I always loved Dietrich and never understood why Garbo was such a success. Awful actress, average face at best and dull personality."
"Awful actress?" Most film historians would disagree. "Average face?" Honey, you need to run to an eye doctor pronto, because your eyesight is dangerously impaired. "Dull personality?" Well, Garbo was not an alcoholic or drug addict or slut or raging egomaniacal bitch; she shunned the limelight and valued her privacy. I guess for some types that constitutes "boring."
- Garbo and Dietrich apparently never even met one another.
- r302, Dietrich had a hunger that never died, and she lived her life to the fullest. Garbo acted like she couldn't be bothered, and just came across as dull as dishwater.
Dietrich and Garbo never met, despite the fantasy fan fiction flying about for years that they had an affair. It is amazing that Dietrich - who seemed to have met everyone - never crossed paths with Garbo, although apparently Dietrich did appear as an extra in a silent film of Garbo's.
I love the anecdote Riva reports in her book about Garbo's death by kidney failure. Dietrich laughed saying that it was typical of Garbo to die of "smelly pee".
- My absolutely favorite interview of Dietrich in which at one point she claims never to have met Garbo.
She was 70 and looking amazing. A couple of years later she would take the fall that would end her career and lead her into seclusion.
- I'm not saying they had an affair, but no one has conclusive evidence that Dietrich NEVER met Garbo. I don't believe what Dietrich said about it.
- "ietrich had a hunger that never died, and she lived her life to the fullest. Garbo acted like she couldn't be bothered, and just came across as dull as dishwater."
Garbo "couldn't be bothered" with what? Fame? There's nothing boring about not being a fame whore.
As for Dietrich...well, she had a hunger all right. A hunger for attention, adulation (rather like Madonna), which is why she continued to do live performances when it was obvious that she was in no shape to do so. She was an alcoholic; at a performance she lost her balance and fell off the stage, injuring her leg. After that she ceased performing. She holed up in her Paris apartment, not wanting to be seen in her old age. She had a perverse desire to make it seem like she was abandoned and forgotten by her daughter and grandchildren (she was not); she refused to leave her bed and wallowed in filth. She pooped in a casserole dish and peed in a Limoge pitcher. She lived the last ten years of her life (she lived to be 90) never leaving her cluttered, unclean apartment.
In contrast, Garbo lived in a well-kept apartment in New York, nicely furnished with antiques and fine art. She took walks every day, saw friends when she wanted do, and basically lived an active life until she died of kidney disease in her eighties.
Dietrich led a messy life. Garbo led a well-ordered one. Between the two, I think Garbo is the one who came out on top.
- One can only imagine Garbo did not want to meet Dietrich and actively avoided her. The Hollywood community was far too small in the 1930s for a meeting to never happen unless it was intentional.
- r307 dear, vhy so grumpeee? You sound like you need a soooooong suuuuung to you.
- [R304] "Dietrich and Garbo never met,"
Apparently Dietrich and Garbo did meet. Yvonne Kalman claims to have seen them together.
[quote]"I recall my mother dragging him away from Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Erich Maria Remarque to meet the other guests," Kalman says today. "My father would sneak back to the kitchen as soon as he could to rejoin his illustrious cohorts and his little girl."[/quote]
- Do you believe that Marlene Dietrich ever possessed a dildo?
- Funny how so many of you not only think that Garbo and Dietrich never met, you're willing to swear they never met. You spoke to both of them, I'm sure.
- I heard someone that Dietrich met Garbo briefly; Dietrich supposedly gushed with admiration for Garbo (maybe she was play-acting) and Garbo brushed her off. Who knows if that was what actually happened. But one thing's for certain; they were not friends and certainly were not lovers. If they were Dietrich would have told her daughter Maria Riva all about it and her recollections would have been included in Riva's book about her slutty mother.
- Garbo was a very decent and emotional lady. For a star to get retired as soon as she did speak volumes. She was too emotionally honest for this industry.
- I can relate to that r314!
- Dolores Del Rio, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Marlene Dietrich...
- Marlene Dietrich making a soldier happy at the Hollywood Canteen
- Marlene Dietrich, John Huston and the boisterous Tallulah Bankhead feeling no pain
- In solitude with daughter Maria Riva...
- Director Mitchell Leisen surprises Marlene Dietrich with a bunny during the making of "Golden Earrings"
- Leo Lermann, in his journals, mentions a meeting between Dietrich and Garbo in NYC well after the pinnacle of their respective careers. Dietrich was still nervous, giddy and in awe of Garbo.
- I would love to see Dietrich nervous and giddy R321!
- That soldier that Dietrich is "making happy" looks really ugly. She looks like she's sucking his tongue in the photo. Yech!
- [quote]Anybody here prefer Dietrich over Judy Garland in Judgment at Nuremberg? I rhought Garland worked too hard for the audience's sympathy whereas Dietrich very nicely underplayed and was better as a result.