Has any classic movie actress so indelibly dominated movies, recordings, live performance and Las Vegas so effectively and so glamorously over decades than the subject of today’s Monday Quiz — Marlene Dietrich?
Her unforgettable vocalizing of the most effective anti-war hymn of all time — it was also her nickname, “Lili Marlene” — as well as her bravery as a German-born entertainer openly and frequently serenading American troops during World War II assures her a substantial niche in history. As do her more than 50 movies — 33 Hollywood titles — spanning 55 years.
And, let’s not overlook the fact that Marlene was one of classic Hollywood’s true sybarites. Commenting on her male costars, she once observed that she made films opposite Tyrone Power and Richard Todd. They looked alike, she observed. They were both very handsome men, and it is always a pleasure to look at a handsome man.
As a classic movie fan who’s been around the block more than once, you may feel you know a lot about la Dietrich. You certainly may be right, but why not take our Monday Quiz to find out? We are inspired here by author Charlotte Chandler’s 2001 tome, Marlene: A Personal Biography. (Answers tomorrow.)
1) Question: Dietrich’s movie career was almost short circuited in the beginning because she was considered too fat to play the “Lola Lola” temptress in 1930’s The Blue Angel. a) True; or b) False.
2) Question: Which of the following actresses were seriously considered for the part Dietrich eventually won in The Blue Angel? a) Louise Brooks; b) Lucie Mannheim; c) Sally Blane; or d) Alice White.
3) Question: The Blue Angel was an immediate box office hit in the U.S., which convinced Hollywood Dietrich was a star in the making? a) True; or b) False.
4) Question: Which one of her early movies established the look of Dietrich in man’s tuxedo? a) 1930’s Morocco; b) 1932’s Shanghai Express; c) 1933’s Song of Songs; or d) 1935’s The Devil Is A Woman.
5) Question: When Dietrich was a child in her family’s middle class Berlin household, she was called “Paul.” Why? a) It was a reference to a favorite family uncle; b) Because Dietrich showed masculine tendencies as a very young child; c) Because her parents were expecting a boy; or d) Her very religious family was honoring Saint Paul the Apostle.
6) Question: Dietrich would occasionally say that she didn’t have to be a famous actress to be happy, and that she could just as easily have pursued other livelihoods. Which ones? a) a milliner; b) a cook; b) a nurse; or d) a violinist.
7) Question: Which one of the following did NOT have an affair with Dietrich? a) James Stewart; b) John Gilbert; c) Douglas Fairbanks Jr. or d) John Wayne.
8) Question: Director Josef von Sternberg (ne Jonas Sternberg) is almost entirely responsible for converting Dietrich into the glamorous Hollywood star she became. a) True; or b) False.
9) Question: Dietrich had a long-term affair with a French actor, which she described as “the only relationship in my life when I was the one who loved more than the other person.” Who is this French heartbreaker? a) Louis Jourdan; b) Maurice Chevalier; c) Charles Boyer or d) Jean Gabin.
10) Question: Dietrich and the great French chanteuse Edith Piaf were actually lovers. a) True; or b) False.