Monday, July 29, 2013

Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) (1930)

Today's film is Der blaue engel (The Blue Angel).  It started off very funny.  Immanuel Rath is a bumbling English professor that is virtually disliked by almost all his students.  Instead of attending class, they sneak off to The Blue Angel, a club featuring variety acts and lots of alcohol.  Rath discovers his students gawking at some postcards in the middle of class.  Turns out this postcards are pinups of Lola Lola, a caberet singer at the club.


 
Rath catches the nerdiest student and makes him tell him where the others are going.  The nerd tells him to go to The Blue Angel.  He does, in hopes of catching his students off guard there and taking them back to school.  While there, he meets Lola and is enchanted by her.

One thing I noticed was that sad clown was everywhere Rath went.  The sad clown's face was hilarious.  He didn't have to do anything, he just had that face.  I wondered why they kept showing the sad clown.  Was it a foreshadowing of events to come?  What is the significance of the sad clown?

Later, Professor Rath returns to class.  One of the students has been drawing cartoons of the professor.  And they're really good drawings!  He still can't control his class and another professor comes to speak with him.  He tells Rath not to get mixed up with a woman like Lola.  Rath claims that Lola is his future wife.

Rath returns to The Blue Angel to see and Lola and the crew packing up to go to another gig.  Rath gives her a ring and proposes.  Lola laughs in his face.  However, for some reason I can't figure out, she does marry him!  Instead of Lola staying with Rath while he teaches,  Rath goes with her on the road.  He lives off her salary, and eventually becomes a sad clown himself.  He looks really rundown, like he's given up on life.

The leader of the crew books another gig at The Blue Angel, with Rath the sad clown as the headlining entertainment.  Rath is horrified and embarrassed at having to return to his college town.  Everyone knew him as a professor, and now he's just some clown.  What's worse,  Lola is sneaking around with other, younger guys behind his back.

Rath is so embarrassed (and upset that Lola's with someone else) that he runs back to his classroom.  This segment looks like it was lighted with a flashlight.  It really does.  Then, it shows that Rath has laid down on his desk, his fingers gripping it tight so he can't let go.  It appears as if he's dead.  Maybe he gave up on life.  The moral of the story is: don't get mixed up with loose women or you'll turn into a clown and die.  Wow.  I will give this film a 7/10.

6 comments:

  1. She married him just for something to do. He was a new toy and she figured "why not" because it would mean that she could entertain herself for a while playing with him. She eventually loses interest in him, like she did the man before him, and thus his downfall is assured.

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    1. She reminded me of Carmen from that opera. Carmen like Jose and he left everything (his girlfriend, the military) to be with her. Then after he does all this, she starts liking some bullfighter!

      The difference is instead of being angry like Jose, Rath is depressed and gives up on his own life.

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  2. Nice review. I liked this film a lot. Did you watch the German or the english version? The German version is good while the English is... awkward.
    Interesting to see Dietrich before she went to Hollywood.

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    1. Thanks, I watched the German version.

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  3. The final scene of this film is one of the most powerfully depressing images I think I've ever seen.

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    1. True, we had to watch a few Tinkerbell movies to get back in a happy mood.

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