Showing posts with label Blonde Venus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blonde Venus. Show all posts

Friday, September 15, 2023

Blonde Venus (1932)

   "...Grant is worthy of a much better role..."

With Marlene Dietrich.

Blonde Venus - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Marlene Dietrich's latest film, Blonde Venus, over which B. P. Schulberg, until recently head of Paramount's Hollywood studio, and Josef von Sternberg, the director, clashed last spring, is a muddled, unimaginative and generally hapless piece of work, relieved somewhat by the talent and charm of the German actress and Herbert Marshall's valiant work in a thankless role.

It wanders from Germany to many places in America, over to France and then back to New York, but nary a whit of drama is there in it.  There is good photography, and for those who are partial to scenes in a theatre, there are some over which                Mr. von Sternberg has taken no little care.  But the pain of it is the dismal and suspenseless tale of a woman who sinks to selling her favors and finally ends by returning to her husband.  

There is scarcely any simpathy evoked for the characters, except for a little boy.  Most of the scenes are unedifying, without possessing any strength or a common sense idea of  psychology.  It is regrettable that Miss Dietrich, Mr. Marshall and others should have been called on to appear in such a vehicle.  

When there is any attempt at levity it is silly, and one lengthy episode might better have been left to the imagination, for it never for a moment is anything but dreary and dull.  

There are good portraits of Miss Dietrich, who sings two or three songs.  Mr. Marshall does as well as his lines and the situations permit.  Cary Grant is worthy of a much better role than that of Townsend, and little Dickie Moore gives a suggestion of brightness to the unhealthy scenes in which he is sometimes beheld."

Mordaunt Hall, The NewYork Times

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 5 - Blonde Venus (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

For more, see also:

Quote From Today - 16 September 2022

On This Day - 16 September 2021

On This Day - 15 September 2020

Friday, September 16, 2022

Quote From Today...Blonde Venus (1932)

"If this is a dream, Helen, I hope I never wake up."

With Marlene Dietrich.

Blonde Venus was Cary Grant's 5th full length feature film.

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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

On This Day...Blonde Venus (1932)

Today, in 1932, saw the release of Cary Grant's 5th full length feature film...Blonde Venus.

Cary Grant plays Nick Townsend, the man who brings trouble into Helen Faraday's life.
Marlene Dietrich plays Helen who goes from wife, to harlot, to popular woman of the theatre and back to wife.


"There are good portraits of Miss Dietrich, who sings two or three songs. Mr. Marshall does well as his lines and the situation permit. Cary Grant is worthy of a much better role than that of Townsend.." 
- Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times.

With Marlene Dietrich.

"Blonde Venus should be a howling box-office success." - Jose Rodriguez, Script.


Helen Faraday                Marlene Dietrich
Ned Faraday                   Herbert Marshall
Nick Townsend              Cary Grant
Johnny Faraday              Dickie Moore
Ben Smith                      Gene Morgan
"Taxi Belle" Hooper      Rita La Roy
Dan O'Connor               Robert Emmett O'Connor
Detective Wilson            Sidney Toler

Lobby Cards:

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

Monday, May 18, 2020

Cary Grant and the Pre-Code Era

Between the widespread adoption of sound, in films, from 1929 to the mid 1930's enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code (Hays Code), a Pre-Code period existed.

Although the Hays Code was adopted in 1930, it wasn't enforced until July 1st, 1934.

Before that date film content was regulated between the Studio Relations Committee(SRC), local law and popular opinion. Needless to say, much of the guidelines were ignored by film makers in Hollywood.

What was the Hays Code?

A Hollywood board was set up, and led by Will Hays and Joseph Breen with other prominent members of the Catholic community.
It put together a list of guidelines for film production based on "The Don'ts and Be Carefuls", with became known as the Hays Code.
These were to be voluntarily applied as a form of censorship to avoid the setting up of a censorship board by the federal government.

It was formulated in 1929, presented in 1930 and rigidly enforced from 1934. It was in force until 1965, finally replaced by an age-based system, that is still used today.

The Code was divided into two parts:
  • General Principles 
  • Particular Applications
General Principles:
  1. Prohibited a movie from "lowering the moral standards of those who see it"
  2. Called for depictions of the correct "standards of life"
  3. Forbade a movie from showing any sort of ridicule towards the law or "creating sympathy for its violation".

Particular Applications was a list of items which could not be depicted in a movie. Headings on such items included; Crimes against the Law, Sex, Vulgarity, Obscenity, Profanity, Costumes, Dances, Religion, Locations, National Feelings and Repellent Subjects.

Examples of the Hays Code Application:
  • The Hays Code required that women, in love scenes, at all time have "at least one foot on the floor".
  • People could not be in a horizontal position if they were kissing.
  • Betty Boop had to be "cleaned up". Her skirts lengthened to the knee, and necklines of her dress were raised, so as not to cause offence. Winking and shaking hips were deemed to be "suggestive of immorality". The clean up effectively ruined her on-screen career.
  • Gone With the Wind producer, David O. Selznick had to convince Hays and Breen, that the line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" was not prejudicial to public morals, under the profanity guidelines.
Cary Grant Films:

Cary Grant appeared in 15 films during this unenforced period of 1929 to 1934.

They were (with examples of what would have been code infractions, if they had been enforced):

This Is the Night (1932)
Sinners in the Sun (1932)
Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)

The title alone shows that it is  pre-code. Also contains infidelity and includes a female as and editor of a newspaper!

Devil and the Deep (1932)
Blonde Venus (1932)

Pre-code contents include women skinny dipping in flesh colored underwear, suggestive dialogue, suggested domestic violence, prostitution, songs including "Hot Voodoo" and "You Little So-and-So", and more including Marlene Dietrich's performance.

Hot Saturday (1932)

Suggestive dialogue, suggested potential rape scene, removal of underwear, view of legs and suggestive grabbing of a females chest.

Madame Butterfly (1932)
She Done Him Wrong (1933)

Portrayal of alcohol and a drunken cop, robbery, murder, counterfeiting, violence, white slavery and Mae West...and a discreetly covered picture.

The Woman Accused (1933)

Murder, decadence, innuendo, suggestive dialogue.

The Eagle and the Hawk (1933)

Violence and combat scenes. Suggestive dialogue.

Gambling Ship (1933)
I'm No Angel (1933)

Suggestive dancing and dialogue. Costumes are provocative, multiple spouses and Mae West again!

Alice in Wonderland (1933)
Thirty Day Princess (1934)


Born to Be Bad (1934)

Suggestive images, single motherhood, child abuse, cheating and infidelity.