Vienna-born, New Yorkâraised Josef von Sternberg directed some of the most influential and stylish dramas ever to come out of Hollywood. Though best known for his later star-making collaborations with actor Marlene Dietrich, von Sternberg began his career during the final years of the silent era, dazzling audiences and critics with his filmsâ dark visions and innovative cinematography. The titles in this collection, made on the cusp of the sound age, are three of von Sternbergâs greatest works, gritty evocations of gangster life (Underworld), the Russian Revolution (The Last Command), and working-class desperation (The Docks of New York) rendered as shadowy movie spectacle.
New visual essay by UCLA film professor Janet Bergstrom
New visual essay by film scholar Tag Gallagher
Swedish television interview from 1968 with director Josef von Sternberg
A ninety-six-page booklet featuring essays by Geoffrey O'Brien, Anton Kaes, and Luc Sante; notes on the scores by the composers; Ben Hechtâs original story for Underworld; and an excerpt from Josef von Sternbergâs autobiography, Fun in a Chinese Laundry, on actor Emil Jannings