“The Blue Angel”

The “Blue Angel” was released to theaters in April 1930 as one of Germany’s first sound films. It is said that Duwdiwani attended one of the first showings of this film and was inspired to use it as a basis for a cartoon in the Jugend magazine.

“The Blue Angel”​

The “Blue Angel” was released to theaters in April 1930 as one of Germany’s first sound films. It is said that Duwdiwani attended one of the first showings of this film and was inspired to use it as a basis for a cartoon in the Jugend magazine.

Jugend, vol. 35 / 1930, n. 21 p. 333
Pedagogy
“To make you immune from the plague of modern literature, we now want to translate ‘Professor Unrat’ into Latin.”

The film was based on the 1905 novel Professor Unrat. The End of a Tyrant by Heinrich Mann (1871–1950). In this book, Mann criticizes the double standards of the educated bourgeoisie of Germany during the Wilhelmine era.
The novel is about a high school teacher who assigns his students an overwhelming amount of work. When he discovers a signed photo by the vaudeville singer Lola, he plans a surprise for his students in the pub The Blue Angel. There, he falls in love with the Lola, which leads to his financial and social demise.

© Murnau-Stiftung
Emil Jannings (1884–1950) playing Professor Unrat in “The Blue Angel”, 1930

In addition to the Professor’s posture and desk, the two blackboards in the film can also be found in the cartoon.

© Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
Marlene Dietrich playing “Snazzy Lola” in “The Blue Angel”, 1930.

The character Lola was played by Marlene Dietrich, who was still unknown at the time. Although she had trained as a concert violinist for many years, Dietrich had to discontinue her lessons due to health reasons and chose to pursue film instead. During the Weimar period, she also experimented with painting in connection with Bauhaus.

Marlene Dietrich in Weimar, 1921

A sketch by Fritz Neuenhahn (1888–1947)

Reproduction: Maik Schuck. © Stadtmuseum Weimar

Andrea Bartl: »Alles verpestet!« Strukturen der Kontamination in Josef von Sternbergs »Der blaue Engel« und Heinrich Manns »Professor Unrat«. In: Heinrich Mann-Jahrbuch 36/37 (2018/2019), S. 35–61.

Michael Grisko: Der blaue Engel. Hg. von der Landeszentrale für polit. Bildung Thüringen (= Geschichte hinter dem Bild). Erfurt 2021.

Volker Kühn: Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt. Ein Schimmel geht um die Welt. Dossier »Sound des Jahrhunderts« der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 2016.
Online: https://www.bpb.de/geschichte/zeitgeschichte/sound-des-jahrhunderts/210233/von-kopf-bis-fuss-auf-liebe-eingestellt

Heinrich Mann: Professor Unrat oder Das Ende eines Tyrannen. Roman. München 1905.

Heinrich Mann: Professor Unrat oder Das Ende eines Tyrannen. Hg. von Ariane Martin bei Reclam. Ditzingen 2021.

Josef von Sternberg: Das Blau des Engels. München 1991.

Volker Wahl: Sie war »von Kopf bis Fuß« auf Weimar eingestellt. Marlene Dietrich als private Musikschülerin in der Goethestadt 1920/21. In: Beiträge zur Weimarer Geschichte 2021, S. 9–36.