LOOSELY BASED ON CATHERINE THE GREAT'S MEMOIR, Josef von Sternberg's Catherine in The Scarlet Empress is a vicious and charming, almost loose, woman who finds herself both toughening and blossoming from girlhood amidst a bevy of other feisty female royals. Feeling more prime time soap than historical, the film is nonetheless a feast for the eyes with its grand halls of endless grotesques, sweeping scenes of excessive banquets, delicate lights against the darkest shadows and the most delicious costumes you did ever see.
Not to mention a most marvelous Marlene Dietrich who puts all of today's glamor to shame.
Viva las classic movie vixens!
The Scarlet Empress, 1934. Directed by Josef von Sternberg.