03 June 2011

Marlene Dietrich With The "Mexican Hoofer"

Question: did William Dieterle consciously borrow from Marlene Dietrich's dance scene in 1944's Kismet when he directed Rita Hayworth in 1953's Salome?

Clearly, Hayworth was the more skilled dancer, but Dietrich gave good face. Before I forget, let me note the genius structure of Irene's foundation on Dietrich and Jean Louis' flesh-colored chiffon on Hayworth, which would eventually equal a winning combination in December 1953--when Dietrich stepped out onto the stage in Las Vegas wearing "the eel."


  1. Terry Sanderson06 June, 2011 08:19

    A close look at the Dietrich clip shows that Marlene didn't actually do any dancing. The use of a stand-in and clever editing reveals that Marlene just did the pouting and close-ups. The twirling and swirling are quitre clearly someone else.

  2. Terry, that is a great bit of information to know! I checked Steven Bach's book and saw he mentioned it, too. That is Dietrich at 1:45-2:05, no? That's the part of the dance that I found poor. Although it's really just walking and posing, Dietrich is practically tripping over that costume, and her leg shakes as she bends down toward the camera. Still, the face remains perfect.