Wednesday, 14 May 2014

UFA Divas: Marika Rökk

I recognized that I unattended my big passion lately: old movies. So I decided to start an UFA-Diva series. 
Let´s begin with Marika Rökk

She was a Moulin Rouge and Broadway dancer before she signed by the Universum Film Studios in Germany. Her image was constructed by the Nazi propaganda as an Hungarian/Austrian counterpart to the Hollywood movie stars like Betty Grable. The slogans sounded like: She has the same humor and charme as the Americans, but a lot more paprika in the blood! You get it? Most of the movies that were produced in the time of the regime of Propaganda Minister Goebbels were very prude with one exception: Marika. She often wore half-naked or exotic costumes.

Let me show you some stills from the movie: "The woman of my dreams" from 1944. While the WWII was in his hard last year and the German army had high casualities, the UFA produced this revue in colour with big efforts. A little escape in a very difficult time...

Marika plays a showstar who needs a time off in the hills. The story is dull, but it contains a contemporary hit-song and the costumes are great. She was pregnant while the film was made, but you can´t see it. 

 I specially love the traditional style... 

 or this high turban with the wide shouldered silverfox fur.

The stage design is so beautiful and Art Deco. The stage costumes reaches from Balinesian dancer...

to a dangerous Spanish lady...

in a seems-like-naked dress...

or glittery floor-length evening robes with oversized hairflowers...

and even a 40s bride.

And of course everything ends up in a cheerfull happy end.

After the war, Marika was banned from the movies because of her closeness to the Nazi regime, but already in 1947 she was rehabilitated and made some more movies and TV shows. But she never reached her stardom from the 30s and 40s.Some people still remember her as a part of Nazi propaganda, others point out her talent.

So lets say goodbye to Marika Rökk with one of her Spanish dance numbers out of "Frauen sind doch bessere Diplomaten" from 1941:


  1. My kind of girl, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    I want all her dresses

  2. I was very happy to find this little tribute to Marika Rokk - she is not well known here in America. Die Frau meiner Traume is one of her few movies available here with sub-titles, and very enjoyable it is, too. You're quite right that the costuming is very good in this film, which is not always the case with UFA's movies. Rokk's clothes in 1940's Kora Terry are absolutely horrible - you cannot imagine anyone seeing a day's rushes when the film was being made and not seeing that the costumes were ugly and ill-fitted. I wish more of Rokk's movies were available here with sub-titles; it would make viewing her work much more enjoyable. Die Frau meiner Traume was made as the Reich was collapsing; I have read that certain sequences had to be re-done due to soundstages being bombed out by the Allies. You do not see even the tiniest hint of such trouble in Rokk's performance. She was an enormous star before and during the war, and continued to be one for decades afterwards - the only competition Dietrich ever had in Germany for professionalism and longevity.