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27 January 2015

Elsa Mars, 'American Horror Story: Freak Show"

Did anyone happen to catch this season's American Horror Story: Freak Show? It featured Dietrich references and imagery throughout. Jessica Lange turned in a brilliant, Marlene-styed ("She stole my act.") performance as Elsa Mars, the owner of the Freak Show, who wants to be a star while hiding more secrets than Witness For The Prosecution. Lange turned in  show stealing Dietrich like musical performances of Lana Del Rey's Gods and Monsters and Life on Mars  and Heroes originally performed by that Dietrich fan and delightful androgyne David Bowie.  The homage to MD and DB sent me over the moon. For those who don't like horror her's the link to Life On Mars:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5D1-VlrWcA

22 January 2015

Leatrice Gilbert Fountain (1924 - 2015)

Leatrice Gilbert Fountain, daughter of John Gilbert and Leatrice Joy, died on Tuesday, aged 90.

She recalled that “Marlene Dietrich was just incredible to my mother and me. She was so kind, considerate and sweet to me. She loved my father truly and was his last girlfriend. 

“In fact, she was with him when he died. A lot has been written about this supposed meeting with John Gilbert and Garbo with Dietrich the day when he died, and it's all lies ... 

“Anyway, back to Marlene. She was wonderful and very stylish and beautiful. She was so sweet to mother and me when father passed on. She also knew of a will that my father made (she saw it with her own eyes!) leaving everything to me. His last wife, Virginia Bruce, hired his last crooked attorney and the two of them destroyed or repressed it or whatever. Whatever, Marlene kept up the good fight and encouraged my mother to fight Miss Bruce and the crooked attorneys. Mother dropped it, and Marlene was furious. She was looking out for me and my dear departed father's last wishes. 

“I'm sure Marlene's daughter, Maria Dietrich Riva [sic], has some legitimate gripes about her world-famous mother, but she was always fantastic to me, my mother, and of course John Gilbert.”

— from Children of Hollywood: Accounts of Growing Up as the Sons and Daughters of Stars  by Michelle Vogel (McFarland, 2005).

Fountain wrote  Dark Star, a biography of her father, in 1985.

“Angel — keep on loving me, rush home to me, I love you ever so. Jack.”

02 January 2015

Marlene Dietrich Movie Tie-In Books


Want to the cut to the chase and see my Marlene Dietrich movie tie-in collection? Click here.

During one of my covens with fellow Marlene Dietrich collectors, I discovered a niche of memorabilia that had never before caught my attention--movie tie-in books. This 1936 photoplay edition of The Garden of Allah enraptured me, its endpapers illustrated with a photograph (or composite photo?) of Dietrich raising her arms like angel's wings while co-star Charles Boyer prays before her. Soon after spotting it, I was on the hunt for more examples of Marlene Dietrich movie tie-in books and for more information about this genre of books.