The glamorous Marlene is easily one of the most famous and popular of all screen actresses. Always known as one of the best dressed women of the world, her admirers will thrill at sight of the gorgeous clothes she wears in “The Devil Is a Woman,” a picture of Spanish atmosphere produced by Paramount.
4 — A modish beach ensemble of blue “trow” worn with a very new cut white bathing suit.
1 — This new silhouette of white chiffon is a perfect ode to grace and is from the personal wardrobe of Marlene Dietrich. The drape across but one shoulder and the bold green silk carnation lend a masterful touch of sophistication.
2 — This modernized yet typical Spanish costume is one of many worn by Miss Dietrich in her latest picture.
3 — The distinctive wing shoulder treatment of this handsome gown by Travis Blanton sets a new style note. The material is of two-tone black and green satin.
5 — Spanish influence is apparent in this lovely gown of white chiffon. It is worn with combination cape and scarf of antique lace and with the broad trimmed lace hat shown at lower center.
6 — This lovely dinner suit is of black costume velvet, a fabric which will persist in appearing even through the summer months. The skirt is narrow but slit for walking comfort while the coat is cut exceptionally full providing a chic contrast.
Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) May 26, 1935
This is brutal:
Previews of the New Films
By Douglas W. Churchill
‘The Devil Is a Woman’
Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Deitrich combine to produce a picture even worse than “The Scarlet Empress,” their last previous attempt. A boring, psychopathic treatise which the reviewer refuses to give any rating. (Paramount.)
This last picture of the Josef von Sternberg-Marlene Dietrich combination is one to be approached with deference. The first impulse is to dismiss the work with some trite phrase such as “the worst film of many seasons.” But while that is true of “The Devil Is a Woman,” there is something awe-inspiring in the ability of one man to command the vast resources of a great cinema factory and spend probably three-fourths of a million dollars in concocting a psychopathic treatise in celluloid.
When the two made “Scarlet Empress” its showing provoked condemnation and controversy. There were elements in that film which merited discussion, inexcusable as the picture was. “The Devil Is a Woman” lacks any quality impelling contemplation of it as screen entertainment. As for Mr. von Sternberg contending for critical consideration, this current film denies him all right to recognition in the future. Once he was the hope of the screen, for he projected new treatment and new thought into it; he has overstepped the bounds of reason and has delved into the realm of Freudism. And instead of the audience’s attention being directed toward the psychosis of the characters, it involuntarily turns upon the director.
The film made under the title of “Caprice Espagnole,” which was considered too large a mouthful for movie customers and lacking sex appeal, deals with two old friends meeting in a Spanish town during a carnival. Caesar Romero has seen Miss Dietrich and is to meet her in the evening. Lionel Atwill tells him the story of his life and how Marlene has wrecked it, eliciting a promise from Romero that he will leave town immediately. Drawn to Marlene by Atwill’s horrifying account of the woman, he is forced into a duel with Atwill and, with Marlene, flees the country. At the border she turns back to Atwill.
The story is told in retrospect, each episode returning to the table where the two men sit. After a few words from Atwill, another sequence is pictured. The whole thing is tedious and reaches a new high in boredom.
Paramount, which sanctioned the making of the film, has indicated that with it they are through with von Sternberg. They have indicated, too, that they will attempt to hold Miss Dietrich, for they feel that she can be salvaged in spite of the abnormal stories von Sternberg has given her. In other industries such an act as that of the director would virtually drive him from business, but in the cinema he will probably go to another studio at a higher salary.
There is no one to blame but von Sternberg. He made the picture without supervision. While John Dos Passo and S.K. Winston are credited with transforming the Pierre Louys book, “The Woman and the Puppet,” to a script, their writing was on von Sternberg’s order. He directed and acted as cameraman. Of all his efforts, only his camera work can receive favorable mention. The picture is one to be avoided at all costs and deserves no rating.
Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Mar 17, 1935
A picture instinct with the breath-taking beauty and color of Spain, “The Devil Is a Woman,” comes to the Paramount theater Thursday and Friday, bringing Marlene Dietrich back to the screen to enact her greatest characterization. Movie critics up and down the eastern seaboard have acclaimed “The Devil Is a Woman” as Miss Dietrich’s most fascinating and glorious picture characterization of her entire career. Few, if any, pictures from either Hollywood or the European studios can boast the pictorial beauty of “The Devil Is a Woman.” Also included in the case of this most entertaining drama are such stars as Lionel Ateill, Cesar Romero, Edward Everett Holton, Alison Skipworth and Don Alvarado.
Hammond Times (Hammond, Indiana) Sep 4, 1935