Golden Earrings (1947)

Genres - Action, Drama, Spy Film  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Drama, Period Film, Melodrama  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Seen today, Golden Earrings is a fairly unbelievable little film, made even odder by the presence of ultra-chic Marlene Dietrich in a totally unglamorous role. It's not necessarily a bad movie, mind you, once one gets past the fact that that really is Dietrich beneath the ridiculous two tons of greasepaint and the jet-black wig. But neither is it a movie one would really go out of one's way to catch (Dietrich diehards excepted, of course.) The story is far-fetched and at times ludicrous, the stereotypes are rampant, a single line of dialogue is used to cover the atrocities committed by the Nazis against gypsies, and the dialogue in general is not particularly good. But where else can one see a bedraggled Dietrich scratching herself or plucking a fish head from s boiling pot and downing it in one gulp? The actress throws herself into the role and is surprisingly effective; it's not necessarily the greatest performance, but it reveals that she could stretch herself in interesting ways when challenged. Ray Milland is fine in his role, though he and Dietrich lack the spark together that the film demands of them, and Mitchell Leisen's direction is professional if not overly inventive (although the shot of the entrance to the gypsy camp deserves some mention).