Tragically, a misfire. This interesting (if only for its cast) tale of a Prussian WWI veteran who returns to Berlin, torn between wealthy, older women and homosexual Nazis, cannot find itself. Is it farce or melodrama? Bowie has some startling moments, but his overall performance languishes
The underrated Rome provides a definite energy lift to the proceedings, but everyone else is reduced to doing star turns. It's surprising to find Hemmings photographed in such a singularly unflattering manner in his own movie. Perhaps he exhausted all his resources filming Miss Dietrich's cameo:
she's a grande dame madam who wanders on long enough, veiled and diffused to the max, to croak the title song, before adding Bowie to her stable. It's a hypnotic swansong--visually and vocally--a fitting farewell to the last of the golden age goddesses.
Another goddess from another era, the still-lucious Novak, turns in a commanding portrayal of a lusty widow. The period mood, soundtrack and use of color are never less than first-rate. Yet the film, reduced from its original 147-minute running length, flounders badly.
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