Jeanne Little as Marlene Dietrich
Jeanne Little performs this rendition of Marlene Dietrich's signature song 'Falling in Love Again (Can't Help It)' in 1984.
The homage to Dietrich is lovingly rendered without Jeanne's usual gags and daffiness. A projected photograph of Dietrich effectively sets the scene and tone for the performance, with the photo dissolving into vision of Jeanne in the same pose, dressed in character.
The camera barely changes throughout the song as Jeanne fills the frame. The effect is quite mesmerising and draws the viewer into the performance.
This performance is indicative of Jeanne's rich and evocative voice and performance style. It's a fine example of her ability to act and mimic other performers, which she used to good effect when touring Australia with her one-woman cabaret show Hello Dahling! in 1991. The show included numbers made famous by Dietrich, as well as songs by Cole Porter, Noel Coward and Janis Ian.
In 1994 she launched Marlene – A Tribute to Dietrich, a show she wrote with her husband Barry, and toured it around Australia and the US for the next 10 years. Jeanne's other cabaret shows include More of Little and MM – A Tribute to Marilyn Monroe.
The song, written by Friedrich Hollaender, was originally performed by Dietrich on the soundtrack of German film The Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel, Josef von Sternberg, 1930).
This excerpt is taken from a compilation called The Mike Walsh Show Archive No. 503.