Thursday, September 16, 2021

On This Day... Blonde Venus (1932)

 On today's date back in 1932, Cary Grant's 5th full length feature film, Blonde Venus, was released. 


When housewife Helen Faraday's (MarleneDietrich) husband needs money for a life-saving operation, she decides to resume her former career as a nightclub singer to raise money.  This creates a chain of events that separate her from her husband and force her to make a choice between her lucrative singing career, and her role as a wife and mother.


Marlene Dietrich...Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones
Herbert Marshall...Edward 'Ned' Faraday
Cary Grant...Nick Townsend
Dickie Moore...Johnny Faraday
Gene Morgan...Ben Smith
Rita La Roy...Taxi Belle Hooper
Robert Emmett O'Connor...Dan O'Connor
Sidney Toler... Detective Wilson
Morgan Wallace...Dr. Pierce

Did You Know?

Cary Grant said that Josef von Sternberg didn't really direct him much during the filming, but taught him the most important thing. On the first day Grant came on the set, von Sternberg looked at him and said, "Your hair is parted on the wrong side." So Grant parted it on the other side and kept it that way the rest of his career.

Though Josef Von Sternberg is credited for having written the script to Blonde Venus, the true author of the script was in fact Marlene Dietrich. She agreed not to receive credit for writing the movie due to the obvious struggles it would cause with the Hays Office and Code. This turned out to be a good idea, as both Dietrich and Von Sternberg were suspended for several months as the story was cut and watered down to satisfy the censors. It took nearly a year before the smoke cleared but all the frustrations and drama from the censors caused the story to lose its appeal for both Dietrich and Von Sternberg. By the time filming finally began, both director and star no longer liked, nor wanted to make the picture any longer.


Nick Townsend: Hello, Helen.
Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones: Well, if it isn't old Nick himself. I expected you to pop up someday.
Nick Townsend: If this is a dream, Helen, I hope I never wake up. Let me come backstage, will ya?
Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones: I seem to remember you came backstage once before.

Nick Townsend: Why don't you cool down and run along? We don't want any trouble.
Big Fellow: Yellow, huh?
Nick Townsend: Yes, maybe I am. As a matter of fact, I'm scared stiff. And being reasonably certain that someone's gonna get a punch in the jaw, I'm going to make sure it isn't me.[punches him]
Minor Role: Are you goin' back for more, or will we go home, ya big stiff? Come on Mary.
Big Fellow: [as he's being picked up off the floor] Who hit me?
Dan O'Connor: Sorry this happened, Mr. Townsend.
Nick Townsend: Oh, that's all right, O'Connor, I rather enjoyed it.

Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones: I wish I was someone else. Then I could stay here with you forever.
Nick Townsend: So do I, Helen. Not only for my sake but for your own. There's trouble ahead of you.
Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones: I know it.

Helen Faraday, aka Helen Jones: Well, Nick, did you succeed in forgetting me?
Nick Townsend: Forget you? I should say not. I haven't stopped thinking about you a single day since I last saw you.


Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Produced and distributed by Paramount Publix.
Running time: 85 minutes

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

No comments: