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Directed by Josef von Sternberg

United States 1931 91 mins. In English

A spy thriller featuring Josef von Sternberg’s considerable talents at creating and evoking both atmosphere and deeply buried emotion, Dishonored is one of the director’s finest—and most unusual—collaborations with star Marlene Dietrich. Set in WWI Vienna with the war raging, Marie Kolverer (Dietrich), a widowed sex worker and piano virtuoso, catches the attention of the Secret Service due to her outlook on life following a tragic accident in the red-light district. Quickly enlisted to root out double agents within the Service, Marie (now dubbed Agent X-27) uses her charm and sexual wiles to advance the cause of Austrian victory at all costs—until she meets her match, the devious Colonel Kranau (Victor McLaglen). Dishonored, an all-out commercial flop on release but now considered a masterpiece, is the film “in which Dietrich’s onscreen persona became refined to a degree of breathtaking precision.”—Richard Brody, The New Yorker.