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::1933 - Song of Songs / Das Hohelied



USA 1933
Paramount
black & white

Synopsis:
After her father's death, Lily Czepanek leaves the German countryside to live with her strict aunt, Mrs. Rasmussen, and work in her lending library in Berlin. Naive and fervent in her belief in one eternal love, which is inspired by the Old Testament's "Song of Songs," Lily falls in love with sculptor Richard Waldow. Richard is inspired to sculpt an elegant statue of her. His patron, Baron von Merzbach, becomes obsessed with the idea of refining Lily and making her his baroness. He bribes her aunt and convinces Richard, who although in love with Lily, feels trapped by their relationship, to give her up. Thrown out by her aunt and devastated by Richard's sudden abandonment, Lily marries the baron. She is miserable at his castle, despite the education and opulence he provides her, and is repelled by his touch. When the baron invites Richard to visit, intending to spark his jealousy, Lily discovers the deal they made and is further embittered. To show her scorn, Lily pretends to have an affair with Edward von Prell, who works for the baron and who once tried to force himself on her. When a fire breaks out in Edward's lodge, all the servants see Edward emerge with Lily and she is publicly disgraced. To save Lily from the wrathful baron and to protect her own interests, the jealous housekeeper sends Lily away. After a desperate search in Berlin for Lily, Richard finds her in a cafe, reduced to selling her love, and returns her to his studio. Once there, she destroys the statue that symbolized her idealism and youth and faints, but Richard revives her and promises they will begin anew.

Cast:
Marlene Dietrich (Lily Czepanek)
Brian Aherne (Richard Waldow)
Lionel Atwill (Baron von Merzbach)
Alison Skipworth (Mrs. Rasmussen)
Hardie Albright (Walter Von Prell)
Helen Freeman (Fräulein Von Schwertfeger)
Wilson Benge (Butler)
Richard Bennett (Baron von Merzbach (replaced by Lionel Atwill))
Adrienne D'Ambricourt (French Teacher)
James A. Marcus (Cleric)
Paul Panzer (Bit Part)
Florence Roberts (Book Store Customer)
Hans Schumm (Bit Part)
Morgan Wallace (Admirer)
Eric Wilton (Butler at Baron von Merzbach's)

Crew:
Rouben Mamoulian (director)
Edward Sheldon (play)
Leo Birinsky and Samuel Hoffenstein (screenplay)
Karl Hajos and Herman Hand and Bernhard Kaun and Milan Roder (original music)
Victor Milner (cinematography)
Hans Dreier (art direction)
Travis Banton (costume design)
S. Cartaino Scarpitta (sculptor)
Joseph C. Youngerman (props)
Harry D. Mills (sound)
Kenneth De Land (chief grip)
Don English (still photographer)
Fred Geiger (chief electrician)
Irving Lippman (still photographer)
William C. Mellor (camera operator)
Robert Rhea (assistant camera)
Eugene Richee (still photographer)
Guy Roe (assistant camera)
Eugene Joseff (costume jeweller)
Nat W. Finston (musical director)
Karl Hajos (musical arrangement)
Herman Hand (musical arrangement)
Bernhard Kaun (orchestrator)
based on the novel "Das Hohelied" by Hermann Sudermann

Length:
2.300 Meter

Production:
February - May 1933, Paramount, Hollywood

Premiere:
19 July 1933, Criterion Theatre, New York