alien fiancees act and marlene dietrich

Dear All,

Here is a link to the 1946 "Alien Fiancees/Fiances Act" I referred to in last week's film class (you can also read the full text via the PDF link):

Also, for potential teaching purposes...Marlene Dietrich in "A Foreign Foreign" reminded me of her performance as the now impoverished and bitter widow of a Wehrmacht general (who was executed after the war) in the 1961 film "Judgment at Nuremberg" (set in 1948 and loosely based on one of the subsequent Nuremberg trials). She is much less "dietrichy," as Michael would put it, in this film, but what struck me is the same resolution of a romantic relationship between a German woman with Nazi links in the past and an "official" American representative (GI in "Foreign Affair" and presiding judge in "Judgment"): it cannot be (my interpretation). There is definitely some attraction between the judge in "Judgment" (Spencer Tracy) and "Frau Bertholt" (Dietrich), but in the end, the relationship fails because both are part of the war generation and cannot overcome their divergent experiences, cultural values, emotions, and ideologies. Distrust prevails. The film, I should mention, casts a rather gloomy outlook on German postwar society and its ability to "rehabilitate." Interestingly enough, the only shimmer of hope for future improved U.S.-German (interpersonal as well as political) relations (still too fraught for older generations, as exemplified via Spencer/Dietrich's failed romance) is Tracy's young GI driver, who proclaims at the end of the film (to Tracy's delight) that he will marry his German girlfriend. 

For musicologists, this film is quite interesting: from the unusual "overture," which seems endless and powerfully sets the tone for the film (some Wehrmacht march, I think) to MD strolling through the destroyed Nuremberg late at night with Tracy, in the background her own voice singing the beautiful "Lili Marleen"!