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::1931 - Dishonored / Entehrt-X. 27



USA 1931
Paramount
black & white

Synopsis:
In 1915 Vienna, the widow of an Austrian army captain is inducted into the Austrian Secret Service as a spy called X-27. She is told to use her feminine wiles to save Austria and succeeds by forcing Colonel Von Hindau, attached to the army's chief of staff, to confess treason and commit suicide. Next, X-27 tries to implicate Von Hindau's Russian accomplice, Colonel Kranau, but he eludes her, later showing up at her apartment. While X-27 plays the piano in the adjoining room, Kranau finds her orders to go to the Russian headquarters at Borislav, near the Polish border, to find out the position and plans of the Russian army. When X-27 discovers Kranau, he tries to make love to her, but she rebuffs him. As X-27 arrives in Borislav, martial law is proclaimed in Tarnow, Poland. Posing as a maid, she overhears the Russians' plan to invade Poland in four days. After avoiding seduction by Russian Colonel Kovrin by getting him drunk, X-27 spends the night coding the Russian offensive into music, until she is caught by Kranau and asked to take her clothes off for a strip search. X-27 obliges coquettishly and he discovers her music, which he burns. While telling her she will have only until dawn to live, Kranau confesses his love for her and the two make love. In the morning, X-27 drugs Kranau's wine and escapes to the Austrian border, where she plays the piano on an encoded composition that leads to capture of many Russians. The lovers meet again when Kranau is arrested and identified as H-14 of the Russian Secret Service. X-27 then receives permission to interrogate Kranau, who faces execution, in private and allows him to escape, for which she is court-martialed and sentenced to die. Her last request is to die in the clothes she wore "when [she] served [her] countrymen, instead of [her] country." After adjusting her lipstick and stocking, X-27 is shot down.

Cast:
MARLENE DIETRICH (X. 27)
VICTOR MCLAGLAN (Leutnant Kranau)
LEW CODY (Colonel Kovrin)
GUSTAV VON SEYFFERTITZ (Chef des österreichischen Geheimdienstes)
WARNER OLAND (Colonel von Hindau)
BARRY NORTON (Young Lieutenant - Firing Squad)
DAVIDSON CLARK (Court-Martial Officer)
WILFRIED LUCAS (General Dymov)
BILL POWELL (Hotel Manager)
also George Irving

Crew:
JOSEF VON STERNBERG (Director)
DANIEL H. RUBIN (Screenplay)
LEE GARMES (Camera)
HANS DREIER (Art Director)
KARL HAJOS (Music, on themes from Ivanovicis »Donauwellen« and Ludwig van Beethovens »Mondscheinsonate«
as well as Original Compositions by Josef von Sternberg)
TRAVIS BANTON (Costumes)
HARRY D. MILLS (Sound)
based on a story by JOSEF VON STERNBERG

Length:
2469m, 91 Minutes

Production:
October to 29 November 1930, Paramount, Hollywood

Premiere:
5. March 1931, Rialto Theatre, New York