Devil Is a Woman, The (1935): Seventh (and Last) Collaboration of Von Sternberg and Dietrich

The last of the seven Sternberg-Dietrich collaborations for Paramount Pictures, The Devil Is a Woman is a 1935 romance film directed and photographed by Josef von Sternberg, who won the lensing award at Venice Film Fest.

The story unfolds during the festivities of Seville’s Carnival in the fin de siècle Spain. The events revolve around four characters.

The major figure is Concha “Conchita” Perez, a beautiful, if heartless factory girl who seduces and discards her lovers without remorse.

The film’s narrative is presented in four scenes, the second of which contains some flashbacks.

The original title was Caprice Espagnol, a reference to Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestral suite, “Capriccio Espagnol”–some sections of it accompany the film.

About 17 minutes of footage, including Dietrich’s musical number by Dietrich, “If It Isn’t Pain (It Isn’t Love)”, was cut from the film, reducing the running time to 76 minutes.

Sternberg’s personal copy was screened at the 1959 Venice Film Fest, after which the film received limited circulation.