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by Maria Riva

This biography tells the story of Marlene Dietrich's life - the Berlin child, the young actress, the mother, lover and international star. The book describes personal details of Dietrich's life, from the logistics of her travels to passionate meetings with John Gilbert, Edith Piaf and Gary Cooper.
Download Marlene Dietrich epub
ISBN: 0747513759
ISBN13: 978-0747513759
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Arts & Literature
Author: Maria Riva
Language: English
Publisher: Bloomsbury; First Edition edition (December 19, 1992)
Pages: 848 pages
ePUB size: 1130 kb
FB2 size: 1470 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 909
Other Formats: lit docx mbr azw

This bio of Marlene Dietrich (MD) by her daughter Maria Rivas is 790 pages - a lot to review. The book is based on Rivas's long-time, intimate relationship with her mother, her own diaries, MD's diaries, her father's diaries, newspaper and critics' reports - plus, copies of MD's personal correspondence (she always made a copy of everything, knowing that Rivas would some day write her bio). MD was a great star; the American Film Institute ranked her 9th among the greatest actresses of all time. She began her career as an actress in Germany, then Hollywood, and then later she performed in Las Vegas, night clubs and other venues as a singer, performing all over the globe. The book is interesting because she was a great celebrity and constantly active for some 6 decades. She was also a maverick in many respects: she wore men's clothing, she was bi-sexual, her husband and she had an 'open' marriage, which allowed her to pursue liaisons with anyone, anywhere - but usually with celebrities like herself - actors, singers, politicians, generals, movie makers, writers, etc. She lived constantly on the road in hotels or in other accommodations provided by friends. She earned big money and she was very generous with it. She read voraciously - in at least 3 languages - and maintained that 'the more you read, the better it gets!'. She had a lot to say about men and sex (trust me!). She eventually became very opinionated about most subjects, a chronic complainer in general, and brutally frank and free with her criticism of others (Wallis Simpson, for example, 'must have been 'very good' to land a king!). She became a student of her profession and eventually an accepted authority on most subjects related to it - costumes, make-up, coiffure, lighting, sound, jewelry, diet, etc.. American movies, she remarked, are mainly about 'little people with little problems - all presented like big dramas!'. Movie making, she maintained, was simply about making films. If well attended, you were engaged to make another, and vice-versa. She believed in the powers of astrologers and often conferred with one before making a serious decision regarding her career or travel. She lived more regally than the average queen and usually travelled with some 40 suitcases. She basked in the glory of her own celebrity. She thought people should do whatever makes them happy, live life to the fullest, with no limitations, and that's what she did. Eventually she began to suffer some aches and pains, which resulted in her eventually becoming an out-of-control alcoholic and drug addict. With her contacts and her money she was able to obtain any medications she wanted. When friends complained about their physical problems, MD would 'prescribe' something, buy it and mail it to them. Rivas feared that her mother would one day be arrested for distributing illegal drugs - but that never happened, because MD was basically above the law. MD's favorite role, she maintained, was entertaining the front-line troops in Europe during WWII with the USO. To facilitate her travels in the war zone she was given the rank of captain and she travelled in her army uniform. Her wartime performances won for her many, many new fans and the highest possible civilian awards from the U.S. and French governments. MD's bio offers much to admire and much to criticize, perhaps, but both make for interesting reading. Enjoy! Rolland Amos, Severn MD
A fascinating book about the life of a famous movie star written by her daughter. Her daughter is caught between love and hate and admiration and envy of her famous Mother. Marlene Dietrich certainly lived a tumultuous lifestyle starting out in Bohemian Berlin between the two World Wars, onto the heyday of Hollywood in the 30s, and dangerous times during World War II. Somehow the mystique about Marlene is still here today, and it is all because she knew how to manage her career long before professional women were common. Her ideas about bringing up children are certainly not acceptable today, but nevertheless, her daughter seems to have thrived during her lifetime.
The book is written by Ms. District's daughter, who was an only child. An amazing amount of detail into Marlene Dietrich's life is provided and is a must read for fans of Dietrich and early days of movie making. Book also is about Maria, the daughter and author, describing life living with a diva and the unusual relationships of her parents. Not an easy life for a child, but was her 'normal'. At a young age she takes on role of caretaker for her mother, knowing when and how to walk the egg shells to cause least amount of disruption to her mother, only to be betrayed in the cruelest way as teen by her mother. Author rebounds from her rough teen years to find love, family and happiness while caring for her elderly parents in their declining health and death.
This is a jaw dropping life story of a movie star more famous than I'd realized. I am close to Maria's age, but had seen few - if any - of Dietrich's movies. About half the way through the book, I became more curious to learn about Maria's life than her mother's. She kept my attention to the end of the book. Very well written.
This book is SO GOOD. Not only does it give so much detail of Marlene Dietrich by her daughter, but also a first hand account of Pre and Post WW2 Europe and what it was like in California during the "good old days" of old Hollywood. I got this from the library but upon returning it I immediately bought the book to have at home to reread.
This is a good read. I've always been captivated by old Hollywood and Marlene Dietrich is no exception. I feel privileged to be able to read about her life via her daughter. Yes, there are things you will learn about Dietrich that are unsettling, but it goes to show that she's not just a "pretty face." Maria Riva is a very gifted writer. She takes you there in time as if you are walking along beside her. I really enjoyed the book!
Mostly a work of fiction interspersed with possible truthful tidbits of Marlene Dietrich's life. Although it's not bad writing, it reads like a travel Manuel rather than a biography. One gets to read so much about houses, cars, boats, trains, studios, etc... Marlene Dietrich's story gets lost in that mix of trivial boredom.
District's daughter writes with candor about her mother. We see the good and the bad regarding their lives without betraying bitterness. One of the best film biographies I have read.