Made just after the war, it took a couple of years to get to the US and then had to have more than 20 minutes cut in order to get past the Catholic Legion of Decency, who objected strenuously to the casual way in which prostitution was depicted. Dietrich and Gabin had been great friends
in Hollywood when he went there after France fell, and this pairing was thought to be box office dynamite but it turned out to be a dud. Gabin, a construction engineer, is hired to build a home for Dietrich in a small town. She has spent many years in Austria, where she found the men dull, and so
when she meets the handsome Gabin, she is more than passingly interested. As the work continues, the two of them find much about each other to love, and their scenes together indicate that each may have found a lifetime partner. Gabin is an old-fashioned man; when he learns that Dietrich is paying
for the house construction with her earnings as a prostitute, he kills her in disillusioned rage. He is immediately brought to trial. It emerges during the proceedings that she really loved him and he is morose. He is acquitted because all that exists is circumstantial evidence. Free to live his
life (and suffer his guilt), Gabin does not last too long because he is later slain by Gelin, Dietrich's one-time lover who will not rest until he sees justice done. It was around this time that Dietrich was spending many hours entertaining the Allied troops in various locations around the world.
The leader of the orchestra who backed her show in Greenland, Charles Cox, states that Dietrich had a most unusual act in those years. She sang, danced, told funny stories, then put those famous legs together and wowed the troops as she expertly played the musical saw. Is there no end to her
talents? The picture ran 115 minutes in France and just 88 minutes in the United States, so we never got much of a chance to see the details of what happened in THE ROOM UPSTAIRS.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Made just after the war, it took a couple of years to get to the US and then had to have more than 20 minutes cut in order to get past the Catholic Legion of Decency, who objected strenuously to the casual way in which prostitution was depicted. Dietrich a… (more)