Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

A Soldier Lovingly Remembers Marlene Dietrich

Reposting in honor of Marlene’s birthday. And I’ll bet nobody ever pulled the old “joint Christmas/birthday gift” thing on her…

Sister Celluloid

She sizzled onscreen with the hottest leading men in Hollywood—Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Charles Boyer, Robert Donat, James Stewart, Ronald Colman—but Marlene Dietrich’s most memorable co-star may have been a balding, jowly, irascible middle-aged man. While entertaining the troops during World War II, she ventured within a mile of the German front lines on the arm of Gen. George Patton. When asked why she’d take such a huge risk—especially when the Nazi government had placed a seven-figure bounty on her head—she replied, “Aus anstand.” Out of decency.

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A staunch anti-Nazi, the Berlin-born actress had become a U.S. citizen in 1939, refusing a personal request from Adolf Hitler to return to Germany as the centerpiece of his propaganda campaign. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, she was one of the first in line to sell war bonds.

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After barnstorming the country for a year and a half, selling more bonds than any other star, Dietrich headed…

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