MD on the Normandie


Martin Munkacsi, [Marlene Dietrich with luggage on the SS Normandie], 1936 (2007.110.1795)

At 10:15 AM on July 16, 1936 Marlene Dietrich and her daughter Marie (11) and 1,648 other passengers departed New York for Southampton (England) and Le Havre (Normandy, France) on the French ocean liner Normandie. On July 15, 1936, The New York Times reported that some of the noteworthy passengers making the transatlantic voyage included Marlene Dietrich (The Blue Angel, Blonde Venus, The Devil is a Woman, etc.), Mrs. and Mr. Irving Berlin (God Bless America, etc.), Max Reinhardt (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, etc.), David Sarnoff (RCA, etc.), and a boatload of diplomats (Egypt, Hungary, Yugoslavia, etc.). While in the United Kingdom Ms. Dietrich filmed Knight Without Armour (1937), directed by Alexander Korda. On July 31, 1936, The Times reported that Ms. Dietrich “rejected the Reich” and that she planned to “never go back” to her native Germany. Ms. Dietrich’s suite had a unique baby grand piano. (1936 was about five years after the beginning of the Great Depression.) The photo below was published, as a full page, in Harper’s Bazzar on September 1936, in an article called “Royal Progress on the Normandie.”

(Not coincidentally, we’re preparing and packing for a looooong summer vacation.)


Martin Munkacsi, [Marlene Dietrich with luggage on the SS Normandie], 1936 (2007.110.1794)

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