19 April 2013

What Marlene Dietrich's Handwriting Reveals!

(This article was originally published in the May 1932 edition of Movie Classic magazine as 
Marlene Dietrich will have only one great love, her handwriting shows)

Who knows what Marlene is really like? Louise Rice, who is world famous for her studies of character from handwriting —and tells you here what she finds in Marlene s signature. The German star, herself, could hardly tell you more!

MARLENE DIETRICH’s signature — reproduced herewith — gives  the graphologist an enormous surprise. For what have all the publicity men featured in their blurbs about the German sensation? You all know as well as I do — LEGS, and not much of anything else. But ask her director and her business manager, and I am sure that they will tell you that they have found her to have a head for business and a good understanding as well.

No, I didn't mean that last characteristic as a joke, although you may think that I was guilty of a pun, which is a serious crime in this country. I mean that she has the ability to think quickly and to the point on any subject that seems to her worthwhile. Also, that she has a sudden feeling or intuition that is often of great assistance to her in outguessing the “other fellow,”  when trying to carry out her plans. See if your handwriting shows the little breaks in the connecting strokes of the small letters that Marlene has in her words. If so, you also have  intuition and should use it to the best advantage.

Her handwriting reveals Marlene Dietrich as a person  who has enormous pride,  as shown by the inflated letter formations and high capitals; and there is a dislike of fussy conventionality in every stroke of her writing. Look at the reproduction of her signature and notice the sweep and swirl of the connecting stroke between her first and last name which is just like a high-flung gesture of defiance.

Also, notice how few of her letter-formations follow the accepted rules of writing, as she forms her letters according to her own ideas and not those of others. Therefore, she will always be happier and more successful if she is allowed to work out her own destiny as far as possible, without  too much interference, either from her family or from her business associates.

Along with this energy,  we find that she is by nature positive,  as well as somewhat self-centered. Also, we discover a good deal of emotional generosity and extravagance, shown by the letter “a” in her first name (which is open at the top) and the wide spaces between her words. If you want to get something from her, let her feel sorry for you first, and she will be apt to work with all her might to help you with your problems.
But be careful not to give her a “sob-story” without any truth in it, or else have a shell-proof dugout near at hand when the fireworks start. She may be fooled once, but never twice, and it is a dangerous proposition to try to impose on her kindness. For she is no milk-and-water miss, who will say nothing and turn the other cheek. Look at the long ending strokes of her words and the downward ending stroke of the capital "M" in "Marlene", and' then think twice before incurring her wrath.

The unevenness of her letters and the heavy pressure with which she writes show that she can be temperamental, as well as kind. Her nature is not of the regulation type. It is a fortunate thing for her that she is able to let out some of these over- emotional feelings — rather than to keep them bottled up until an inevitable explosion might wreck her life. In my work, I find too many inhibitions and repressions caused by self-consciousness and fear of what people may think. I do not find this in Marlene Dietrich's character, although there is some reserve at times, which makes her inscrutable and hard to understand. This will give her charm — especially for the male sex.

Why She Wants Success

NOTICE the plain capitals that she uses — so free from over-ornamentation and vulgarity. This is a proof that she comes naturally by the poise and self-possession that we see in her work in the movies, in which she has had such success. This shows her ability to think clearly and plan ahead so that she can keep her balance even  when she has work to do. She has many of the constructive, as well as the artistic qualities, in her nature and can put aside her emotions and temperamental qualities when sincerely interested in anything. There is a driving force that makes her almost ruthless in her willingness to give up practically anything in order to satisfy her ambitions.

Yet this love of success does not spring purely from a fondness for material rewards, such as money and fame — although there is a material side to her complex nature. It does not even arise from a desire to get her own way, in spite of the fact that she is stubborn and dislikes interference with her plans. It comes more from an urge for achievement that will satisfy her own sense of what is right.

In choosing the director of her pictures, her studio should always select someone she can respect and admire for his cleverness and power. Under such direction she should be easily managed and do excellent work. For, with her instinctive feeling for what is right and fine, whether she has had any special cultural training or not, she will dislike and despise mediocrity and pretension and will probably sulk and do poor work under a person of inferior mentality.

While she can work hard when necessary, she will also want comfort and luxury and enjoy being lazy, “even as you and I.” Just as a beautiful tigress can stretch out in the sun and relax and purr like a good-natured house cat, Marlene will enjoy being waited on and petted and made much of. This quality, while it may be irritating to those who want her to do something, is in reality a very good thing for her, both physically and mentally. Otherwise, she might become too tense and excitable under the high pressure and glare of publicity under which our popular stars must live, and which has shortened so many promising careers.

Her love nature, while very ardent, has the ability to separate her emotions and affections from her interest in her work and her future success. She has the magnetism that attracts people, both men and women, through the medium of the screen — magnetism that makes her hard to forget when you have seen her pictures. This is even greater in personal contacts, and she will have many admirers and the opportunity for many loves in her life.

However, like most of the constructive type, she will have only one, big, deep, and real love, in which she will give herself freely and completely. And Heaven help her, so far as her intimate personal happiness is concerned, if she is disappointed in the one she loves. If she should be disappointed, she might never show it to the world in general, or even those who are nearest and dearest to her, because of her intense pride of which I have spoken. She might have dozens of lovers and several marriages but there would still be a wound in her heart that would never heal.

Before putting this character study aside, take one more look at the reproduction of Marlene Dietrich’s handwriting and see if you cannot visualize this woman from what I have told you of her character. Just a mixture of a very human wife and mother — like you or Mrs. Jones, your next-door neighbour — but with something that drives her to accomplishment in spite of obstacles and disappointments.

While she has faults and is temperamental, she has endurance and determination and can be urged on to even greater effort by encouragement. She may not always be wise in her judgement — perhaps because of her impatience and the dislike of pettiness of any kind — but she is sincere, and capable of great things when she finds the right outlet for her energies. With the right pictures, she will go on to ever greater triumphs in her profession.

(Republished from Movie Classic magazine, via the Internet Archive)


  1. Shame on me for reading between the lines of Louise Rice's photo and supposing that she was a member of the sewing circle! In his book, Marlene Dietrich: "Allo mon ange, c'est Marlene!", Louis Bozon indicates that he showed Dietrich's handwriting to a graphologist, who said that Marlene's large and aggressive capital letters (her later writing style) were a sign of "fierce will" ("volonte farouche"). Forgive my lack of diacritics, Francophones, and correct my translation if it's off.

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