SHANGHAI EXPRESS
1932, Universal, 80 min, USA, Dir: Josef Von Sternberg

“It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily.” Fallen woman Marlene Dietrich just happens to run into her former boyfriend, British army captain Clive Brook, on a train hurtling through wartime China, in what many consider the high point of the Dietrich/Von Sternberg cycle. Along for the ride are some of Hollywood’s greatest supporting players of the day: lovely Anna May Wong, bullfrog-voiced Eugene Pallette and Warner Oland (doing a sinister spin on his Far East Charlie Chan persona).


MOROCCO
1930, Universal, 91 min, USA, Dir: Josef Von Sternberg

“You’d better go now, I’m beginning to like you,” purrs cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich to cocky young soldier boy Gary Cooper. If you’re going to see just one Foreign Legion movie, make it MOROCCO: Dietrich (in her first American film appearance) and Cooper are downright gorgeous, and Von Sternberg transforms the two-bit cantinas and barracks of Mogador into a splendid landscape of light & shadow.


PITTSBURGH
1942, Universal, 91 min, USA, Dir: Lewis Seiler

Made in the same year as THE SPOILERS, this rough-and-tumble drama reunites John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, and Randolph Scott to tell the dynamic tale of the rise and fall - and rise - of a steel baron (Wayne). When Wayne and Scott graduate from the working class to form their own foundry, professional and romantic tensions arise; Wayne’s ruthlessness nearly costs him his best friend and his girl. Lewis Seiler’s stylish direction showcases his three leads to maximum studio system effect in this rousing classic.


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