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The penultimate collaboration of Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich was also their most ambitious and, maybe, their very best. Dietrich plays Catherine, a young woman who is married into a Russian royal family. Discovering her husband (Sam Jaffe, The Asphalt Jungle) is cruel and deranged, she finds love in the arms of a colonel in the army (John Lodge, Bulldog Drummond at Bay), transforming her from wide-eyed virgin to formidable Catherine the Great.
Declaring that he would rather make a 'magnificent flop' than a 'mediocre film', von Sternberg may not have found an immediate audience for his staggering mix of grotesquery and sensuous beauty, but The Scarlet Empress has since been recognised as one of his true masterpieces."
Extras "INDICATOR STANDARD EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES
* 4K restoration
* Original mono audio
* Audio commentary with writer and film programmer Tony Rayns (2019)
* Introduction by Nicholas von Sternberg (2019, 7 mins): the son of Josef von Sternberg discusses The Scarlet Empress
* Josef von Sternberg: An Introduction (2009, 75 mins): archival audio recording of von Sternberg's biographer John Baxter exploring the director's career in an event conducted at London's BFI Southbank
* The Twilight of an Angel (2012, 54 mins): Dominique Leeb's acclaimed French television documentary on Marlene Dietrich's final years
* Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
* New and improved subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing