The Scarlet Empress

thursday, march 28 AT 7:30PM | REGULAR ADMISSION PRICES

Marlene Dietrich stars in Josef von Sternberg’s feverishly debauched biopic as the spoiled princess Sophia Frederica, who grows up being groomed for greatness and yearning for a handsome husband.

“Tells the story of Catherine the Great as a bizarre visual extravaganza, combining twisted sexuality and bold bawdy humor as if Mel Brooks had collaborated with the Marquis de Sade.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Sent to Russia to marry the Grand Duke Peter, she is horrified to discover that her betrothed is mentally unstable and her new home is a macabre palace where depravity rules. Before long, however, she is initiated into the sadistic power politics that govern the court, paving the way for her transformation into the imperious libertine Catherine the Great. A lavish spectacle in which von Sternberg’s domineering visual genius reaches new heights of florid extravagance, The Scarlet Empress is a perversely erotic portrait of a woman—and a movie star—capable of bringing legions to heel. (Dir. by Josef von Sternberg, 1934, USA, 104 mins., Not Rated)