Wednesday 4 October 2017

On YouTube - David Hare on "Possibly the most ludicrous dance sequence in the history of movies" from KISMET (William Dieterle, USA, 1944)

Editor's Note: David's remarks are pillaged from his Facebook page. In checking the dates etc I found a Wikipedia entry which advises "The film is based on the play of the same name by Edward Knoblock, which was also the basis for a 1953 musical. The play had been filmed three times before, in 1914, 1920, and again in 1930 by Warner Brothers in an English version directed by John Francis Dillon and in a German-language version directed by William Dieterle.Does anybody have a copy of Dieter's 1930 version? Just asking.

David writes: Below is a link to possibly the most ludicrous dance sequence in the history of movies. There are quite a few contenders, not least Tilly Losch's contortioning snake hip wriggle routine in the 1936 Technicolor Dietrich madness Garden of Allah (Richard Boleslawki, USA, 1936). And who can forget the lip smacking hoochy cooch performed by Debra Paget in Lang's Indian Tomb (Germany/France/Italy, 1959)

But I think Marlene in gold body paint on the legs out-camps them all, even Maria Montez' great Cobra routine in Siodmak'e sublime parable to fascism and evil twins, Cobra Woman (USA, 1944).

This clip is a gas and I think the reaction shots are even more amazing than the dance.

Marlene Dietrich, ''KISMET (1944)''

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