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Song of Songs

What matter the beautiful panshots, idyllic scenes in the wildwood, the cinematic portrayal of the unsophisticated peasant girl's amorous outpourings if it doesn't entertain?

Cast:
Marlene Dietrich Brian Aherne Lionel Atwill Alison Skipworth Hardie Albright Helen Freeman

What matter the beautiful panshots, idyllic scenes in the wildwood, the cinematic portrayal of the unsophisticated peasant girl’s amorous outpourings if it doesn’t entertain?

Marlene Dietrich is glamorous. She’s an eyeful but she has nothing but a Theatre Guild stager’s directorial artistry to augment her innate qualities. There are long stretches of dreary talk and tedious detail until the obvious is attained.

The unsophisticated maiden, the artist and the craven colonel are a cinch formula, especially if the artist is Brian Aherne. Lionel Atwill makes the German colonel a lecherous a.k. character.

There are some excellent performances [in this adaptation of the story by Hermann Sudermann and play by Edward Sheldon]. Alison Skipworth’s dipsomaniacal aunt is a gem in realism. But Atwill has so difficult an assignment that even this capable trouper permits it to get away from him in a couple of spots, such as that ten-twent-thirt leer on the bridal night. Aherne, debuting in flickers, does not connect as effectively as another debut performance, that of Helen Freeman, the Theatre Guild co-founder and a veteran legit actress.

Song of Songs

Production: Paramount. Director Rouben Mamoulian; Producer Rouben Mamoulian; Screenplay Leo Birinski, Samuel Hoffenstein; Camera Victor Milner; Music Nat Finston (dir.)

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1933. Running time: 83 MIN.

With: Marlene Dietrich Brian Aherne Lionel Atwill Alison Skipworth Hardie Albright Helen Freeman

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