Vienna-born, New York–raised Josef von Sternberg (Shanghai Express, Morocco) directed some of the most influential, extraordinarily stylish dramas ever to come out of Hollywood. Though best known for his star-making collaborations with Marlene Dietrich, Sternberg began his movie career during the final years of the silent era, dazzling audiences and critics with his films’ dark visions and innovative cinematography. The titles in this collection, made on the cusp of the sound age, are three of Sternberg’s greatest works, gritty evocations of gangster life (Underworld), the Russian Revolution (The Last Command), and working-class desperation (The Docks of New York) made into shadowy movie spectacle. Criterion is proud to present these long unavailable classics of American cinema, each with two musical scores.
The following DVDs are included in this set:
- Six scores: one by Robert Israel for each film; two by the Alloy Orchestra, for Underworld and The Last Command; and a piano and voice piece by Donald Sosin for The Docks of New York
- Two new visual essays: one by UCLA film professor Janet Bergstrom and the other by film scholar Tag Gallagher
- 1968 Swedish television interview with director Josef von Sternberg, covering his entire career