Marlene Dietrich started her career as a film actress in 1930. Born in 1901, she was thirty before American audiences discovered her in Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel; she became a film superstar and yet she was past the age of ingenue -- a rarity in Hollywood. But she learned auteur and Hollywood lighting and makeup techniques from von Sternberg, who had pioneered 'butterfly lighting' to create perfect shadows on Dietrich's face when photographed in close-ups and medium shots.
Marlene Dietrich made her Hollywood comeback in the film Destry Rides Again starring opposite Jimmy Stewart. And Dietrich rides again this Tuesday at our 10th Anniversary Film Series.
I mentioned to a friend this weekend that Marlene Dietrich's starring role in the popular film Destry Rides Again was a comeback performance for her. My friend asked how Dietrich could have a comeback when her career was strong and steady all the way through. Which is how most movie fans think of Dietrich.