Marlene Dietrich Suit

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Sternberg is known for his exceptional skill in lighting and photographing Dietrich to optimum effect. He had a signature use of light and shadow, including the impact of light passed through a veil or slatted blinds (as for example in Shanghai Express). This combined with the scrupulous attention to set design and costumes makes the films they made together among the most visually stylish in cinema history. Critics still vigorously debate how much of the credit belonged to Sternberg and how much to Dietrich, but most would agree that neither consistently reached such heights again after Paramount fired Sternberg and the two ceased working together. The collaboration of one actress and director creating seven films is still unmatched in cinema history, with the possible exception of Katharine Hepburn and George Cukor, who made ten films together over a much longer period but which were not created for Hepburn the way the last six von Sternberg/Dietrich collaborations were.