The Scarlet Empress Film Still

The Scarlet Empress

Josef von Sternberg

 
The Scarlet Empress (Criterion DVD)

DVD

1 Disc

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96

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  • United States
  • 1934
  • 104 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #109

Filmmaker-svengali Josef von Sternberg escalates his obsession with screen legend Marlene Dietrich in this lavish depiction of sex and deceit in the eighteenth-century Russian court. A self-proclaimed “relentless excursion into style,” the pair’s sixth collaboration follows the exploits of Princess Sophia (Dietrich) as she evolves from trembling innocent to cunning sexual libertine Catherine the Great. With operatic melodrama, flamboyant visuals, and a cast of thousands, this ornate spectacle represents the apex of cinematic pageantry by Hollywood’s master of artifice

Cast

Catherine II/Sophia FredericaMarlene Dietrich
Count AlexiJohn Lodge
Grand Duke PeterSam Jaffe
Empress ElizabethLouise Dresser
Prince August C. Aubrey Smith
Gregory Orloff Gavin Gordon
Princess JohannaOlive Tell
Countess ElizabethRuthelma Stevens
Chancellor BestuchefErville Alderson
Archimandrite Simeon TevedovskyDavison Clark

Credits

DirectorJosef von Sternberg
ScreenplayCatherine II and Eleanor McGeary
ProducerAdolf Zukor
CinematographyBert Glennon
EditingJosef von Sternberg
Based on the diary of Catherine II, as arranged byManual Komroff
Art directionHans Dreier, Peter Ballbusch and Richard Kollorsz
Costume designTravis Banton
Music arranged byW. Frank Harling, John Liepold and Josef von Sternberg
Special effectsGordon Jennings

Disc Features

  • Luminous new digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • The 20-minute BBC documentary The World of Josef von Sternberg
  • Production stills and lobby cards
  • Von Sternberg tribute by underground filmmaker Jack Smith
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

    New cover by Olga Krigman

Film Essays

The Scarlet Empress

By Robin Wood May 07, 2001

The Scarlet Empress was the sixth of Josef von Sternberg’s seven collaborations with Marlene Dietrich, and its box-office failure marked the beginning of the end. In retrospect, it is easy to . . . Read more »

Photo Galleries


Clippings

Josef von Sternberg, Original Auteur

December 27, 2009

London’s BFI Southbank will be celebrating Viennese-born visionary Josef von Sternberg in a five-film program, running December 27–30 and featuring some rarities from the director’s body of . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Scarlet Empress

By Robin Wood May 07, 2001

The Scarlet Empress was the sixth of Josef von Sternberg’s seven collaborations with Marlene Dietrich, and its box-office failure marked the beginning of the end. In retrospect, it is easy to . . . Read more »