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Film poster
Directed by Maximilian Schell
Produced by Zev Braun
Karel Dirka
Written by Maximilian Schell
Meir Dohnal
Music by Nicolas Economou
Cinematography Henry Hauck
Pavel Hispler
Ivan Slapeta
Editing by Heidi Genée
Dagmar Hirtz
Distributed by Germany Futura Film, Munich
United States Alive Films
Release date(s) Germany 2 March 1984
United States 7 November 1986
Running time 94 min
Country Germany
Language English

Marlene, also known in Germany as Marlene Dietrich - Porträt eines Mythos is a 1984 documentary film made by Maximilian Schell about the legendary film star Marlene Dietrich. It was made by Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) and OKO-Film and released by Futura Film, Munich and Alive Films, (USA).



Marlene Dietrich and Maximilian Schell had worked together on Judgment at Nuremberg in 1961. Dietrich had become a virtual recluse in her Paris apartment on the Avenue Montaigne. Schell tried to persuade her for years to participate in a documentary about her life. She continuously refused. In 1982, she eventually agreed to participate in the project on condition that she did not appear. The film therefore consists of an audio commentary and the visuals illustrate her career by showing film clips and stills from her films, as well as newsreel footage. She was contracted for "40 hours of talking" [1] as she reminds Schell during one of their exchanges. The film consists of voice interviews between Schell and Dietrich in which she often ignores his questions, makes acerbic comments about, among other things, some of the people she has worked with and some of the books written about her life and films. In the process, she touches on the subjects of life and death, reality and illusion and the nature of stardom. By her very reluctance to reveal much about herself, she gives one a much deeper understanding of her character than if she had participated in a more conventional format.

Film clips

The film contains clips from the following films:

Awards and nominations

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary (1986).[2] It won the Best Production Award at the Bavarian Film Awards, the Outstanding Non-Feature Film at the German Film Awards and the Best Documentary Award from the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA and the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards.

External links


  1. ^ NY Times
  2. ^ "NY Times: Marlene". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-11-16.  


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