Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Blonde Venus (1932)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Blonde Venus (1932)

In director Josef von Sternberg's melodrama:

  • the opening sequence in which Helen Faraday (Marlene Dietrich) and her friends were frolicking and skinny-dipping, but their nudity was teasingly obscured by tree branches when spied upon by a group of nearby tourist hikers
  • the memorable entrance sequence in a jazzy German nightclub (to the beat of an African drum) in which singer Helen opened the cabaret show by first appearing in a full-body gorilla suit as a chained ape, led into the audience by chorus girls (carrying shields and spears) adorned with war paint on their faces and wearing large black afro wigs
Chained Gorilla's Memorable Striptease: "Hot Voodoo"
Revealing Nightclub Singer Helen
  • the revelation of Helen via a striptease - at first she removed one glove to show off her human hand with bracelets, and then the second glove, followed by the removal of the gorilla head-piece; she placed a blonde Afro wig on her head before singing "Hot Voodoo" in a throaty voice - as she stood with hands on her hips before the chorus line of archetypal 'native' dancers --
    the lyrics:

    "Did you ever happen to hear of voodoo? Hear it and you won't give a damn what you do Tom-tom's put me under a sort of voodoo And the whole night long I dont know the right from wrong
    Hot voodoo, black as mud Hot voodoo, in my blood That African tempo has made a slave Hot voodoo, dance of sin Hot voodoo, worse than gin I'd follow a cave man right into his cave..."

Helen (Marlene Dietrich) Skinny-Dipping

Hot Voodoo: Gorilla and Chorus Girls


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