Marlene Dietrich once said, "I am not a myth." But by referencing the term, Dietrich only reinforces the fact more emphatically. For, using almost any common dictionary definition of that word, Dietrich is a myth. Her image was fashioned by director Josef von Sternberg in films like The Blue Angel, Shanghai Express, and The Scarlet Empress, after which she maintained a Hollywood career that included Destry Rides Again, Rancho Notorious, and an accomplished performance in Billy Wilder’s Witness for the Prosecution. She has been an object of worship to millions throughout the decades, up to and including this jaded, post-modern 21st century. She is the "intellectual’s pin up girl," as author Herman G. Weinberg called her, of filmmakers and film critics alike. She is the "Monstre Sacre" as one of her recent biographers has labeled her. She is her own "Superior Product," (her daughter’s words) manufactured and refined in her fertile brain. In other words, Marlene Dietrich is an icon for all ages.
The Movie Icon series: People talk about Hollywood glamour, about studios that had more stars than there are in heaven, about actors who weren’t actors but were icons. Other people talk about these things, TASCHEN shows you. Movie Icons is a series of photo books that feature the most famous personalities in the history of cinema. These 192-page books are visual biographies of the stars. For each title, series editor Paul Duncan has painstaking selected approximately 150 high quality enigmatic and sumptuous portraits, colorful posters and lobby cards, rare film stills, and previously unpublished candid photos showing the stars as they really are. These images are accompanied by concise introductory essays by leading film writers; each book also includes a chronology, a filmography, and a bibliography, and is peppered with apposite quotes from the movies and from life.
All the icons in the first 20 books of the series were voted for by over 7500 TASCHEN readers in a special online poll!