Streaming Dietrich

Thanks to our gentle film buff reader who recommended the Universal Studios Classics film channel, which is available for streaming through Amazon Prime Video. I looked at what was included, saw that the channel provides an abundant supply of films from the Golden Era of Hollywood, including some of Marlene Dietrich's finest films — and lots of decent B-movies as well — and signed up immediately. It's good to have so many bright and elegant films on tap and they continue to add to the offerings.

Damn good deal
In the UK the Universal Studios Classics channel works out at a quid a week. A damn good deal. I couldn't resist the BFI channel too, although I find I'm dipping into Universal Studios Classics a lot more.

The print for Sternberg's Shanghai Express, starring Dietrich as Shanghai Lily, is really excellent. It looks better than my DVD version. Other Dietrich films on the Universal Studios Classics channel right now include The Scarlet Empress and Desire.
What a dame!
Desire never gets the same level of praise as other Dietrich films, perhaps because it's a rom-com, but I don't think she ever looked more glamorous. I am way out of my depth in suggesting it, but I think Trevor Banton, the costume designer for Desire, really knew how to draw out Marlene's ageless feminine allure. Look above and below at the clothes she wore in the film. Good heavens, she looks breathtaking. What a dame!

Nice films for Sundays
Whilst I get my breath back, I would earnestly recommend investing in the Universal Studios Classics channel. If nothing else, it guarantees that you have a decent film to watch after enjoying your Sunday roast.


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