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(aka 'Agent X-27')

Directed by Josef von Sternberg
USA 19
31

 

My favorite among the seven glittering Josef von Sternberg features starring Marlene Dietrich, all of them made between 1930 and 1935, is ironically the least well known, and currently available only as a Swedish import, although Jean-Luc Godard once included it in a list of his ten favorite American films. It’s the second American film Sternberg made with Dietrich, although it was completed before he released the first (Morocco), and in some ways it’s the most stylistically perfect of all his sound features. In it, Dietrich plays X-27, a character clearly inspired by Mara Hari — an Austrian prostitute whose patriotism leads her to agree to spy on the Russians (in particular, Victor McLaglen) and whose activities ultimately lead to her death by firing squad.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's article "30 Great Movies on DVD" located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 4th, 1931

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DVD Review: Universal (Europe) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Universal (Europe) Home Video - Region 2,4,5- PAL
Runtime 1:27:30 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.1 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, German, French, Dutch, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Danish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal (Europe) Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: December 6th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 18

 

 

Comments:

For a single layered DVD this looks marvelous. I see no evidence of manipulation and there is just a healthy smattering of film grain for a realistic film-like appearance. Contrast is very strong and black levels are deep and penetrating. If any of us had been able to obtain these in time I am sure a few of these Universal DVDs would have made our 2005 DVD of the Year poll. These discs have been region-coded to sell in Europe, Middle East, Russia and Australia and enough removable subtitle options have been added to help their universality. No extras and a very no frills package but its the films that many cineastes have craved for years... and they are here. Dietrich seems timeless as you watch her and its so much fun to see a film with so much style over substance - perhaps this is the quality giving it such endurance.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

The Other Dietrich Classics available at Amazon France:

(CLICK COVERS)

 

 

Distribution Universal (Europe) Home Video - Region 2,4,5- PAL




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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