The Devil Is a Woman

Tagline : Kiss me .. and I'll break your heart!

Runtime : 80 mins

Genre : Comedy Drama Romance History

Vote Rating : 6.4/10

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : In the carnival in Spain in the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the exiled republican Antonio Galvan comes from Paris masquerade to enjoy the party and visit his friend Capt. Don Pasqual 'Pasqualito' Costelar. However, he flirts with the mysterious Concha Perez and they schedule to meet each other later. When Antonio meets Pasqualito, his old friend discloses his frustrated relationship with the promiscuous Concha and her greedy mother and how his life was ruined by his obsession for the beautiful demimondaine. Pasqualito makes Antonio promise that he would not see Concha. However, when Antonio meets Concha, she seduces him and the long friendship between Antonio and Pasqualito is disrupted

Cast Members

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Very few aesthetic delights of the post-Code era tantalize and linger long afterwards in the mind as much as films from the Marlene Dietrich/Josef Von Sternberg partnership, and this, thankfully kept in Dietrich's vault as it was the favourite of her films, is no exception. Though anyone who knows me will readily recall I prefer the twice-Oscar nominated (for 'Morocco' and 'Shanghai Express'), Viennese expert craftsman's silent pictures to those made with the sexpot, this saga of vengeance is also superlative and well worth both purchasing and re-watching. Paramount caved in to pressure by the Spanish government, who hated the way Pierre Louÿs' novel portrayed the Spanish police, and actually destroyed the original print. Thankfully Dietrich's fear that her favourite film would otherwise be lost meant it was extremely well-preserved, and I saw my copy as part of a superlative DVD boxed set of six of her films that I've had for a few years now.

Marlene Dietrich is on great form as the manipulative "Concha" in this engaging, risqué, comedy drama set in Spain at the turn of the 20th century. It is related by Lionel Atwill's "Pasqualito" who regales the young "Galvan" (Ceśar Romero) with tales of her beauty - and of her selfishness; with a solid warning that he ought to give her a wide berth. Promising to do so, he promptly falls into her web of temptation much to the chagrin of his friend and, ultimately, himself! This is a different take on the femme fatale role. "Concha" is not duplicitous, she is clearly untrustworthy and unreliable - but she still manages to captivate this young man as easily as she did his older friend many years earlier. What is about her that makes her so alluring, that makes men so vulnerable to her charms? As ever with Josef von Sternberg's direction of this actress, the camera lingers on her expressions, her mannerisms and her smile - and it loves it. The whole thing is lit to show the lustre from her skin, her smile and the glint in her character's eye that ought to signal to any sane person to stay well clear (even when she is dressed as a nun!). Alison Skipworth chips in well as her mother and the fact that there are few others in this film further intensifies the potency of the efforts from the leading three for a relatively short, but tightly packed, 80 minutes. Her dance is the stuff of cinema legend (even if the censors got to it) and I really quite enjoyed this film.