Von Sternberg

Title

Von Sternberg

Authors

John Baxter

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Online access to this book is restricted to the University of Kentucky community.

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Description

Belligerent and evasive, Josef von Sternberg chose to ignore his illegitimate birth in Austria, deprived New York childhood, abusive father, and lack of education. The director who strutted onto the set in a turban, riding breeches, or a silk robe embraced his new persona as a world traveller, collected modern art, drove a Rolls Royce, and earned three times as much as the president. This book traces the choices that carried the unique director from poverty in Vienna to power in Hollywood, including his eventual ostracism in Japan. It reveals an artist few people knew: the aesthete who transformed Marlene Dietrich into an international star whose ambivalent sexuality and contradictory allure on screen reflected an off-screen romance with the director. In his classic films The Blue Angel (1930), Morocco (1930), and Blonde Venus (1932), von Sternberg showcased his trademark visual style and revolutionary representations of sexuality. Drawing on firsthand conversations with von Sternberg and his son, this book breaks through the classic Hollywood caricature to demystify and humanize this legendary director.

Publication Date

2010

Publisher

The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY

ISBN

978-0-8131-2601-2

eISBN

978-0-8131-2603-6 (pdf version)

eISBN

978-0-8131-3994-4 (epub version)

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813126012.001.0001

Keywords

Josef von Sternberg, Illegitimate birth, New York, Hollywood, Vienna, Sexuality, Film, Cinema, Director

Disciplines

American Film Studies | Film and Media Studies | Mass Communication

Von Sternberg
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