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Directed by Josef von Sternberg

United States 1935 76 mins. In English

The final of six Paramount collaborations between director von Sternberg and star Marlene Dietrich, whose relationship over the preceding five years sparked numerous rumors but had essentially fallen apart right before the production began, The Devil is a Woman sees the pair going out with a bang in this fin-de-siècle Spain-set drama. Dietrich is Concha Perez, a legendary and notorious seductress caught between two friends (Lionel Atwill and Cesar Romero) vying for her affection. Von Sternberg also acted as cinematographer on this uniquely structured film that was—and remains—controversial for its frank depiction of sexual violence, made all the more unsettling in the wake of his and Dietrich’s failed relationship. Paramount shelved the film for many years due to objections from the Spanish government, which was opposed to the unseemly depiction of government officials.