The quotes you will find below are from a wonderful book written by Marlene Dietrich herself, and published by Doubleday. It was printed in the United States and was copyrighted in 1961, 1962. Like a “Dietrich Dictionary” this book is indispensable to fans of Marlene.
A sound I love. Probably because my ear connects it with France.
The most necessary food for the soul. More important than humans realize, or want to realize.
For most of us to be alone is misery.
On Some people it looks good.
A much abused word.
Elegant! Elegant! Elegant!
When your hair isn’t done or when you had no time to wash it – grab that scarf and you’ll be pretty and neat.
The all-important. The wonder. The never-disappointing. The reason for enduring anything and everything. Living confidence. The epitome of trust. A fragile, helpless Hercules.
Bachelorhood – a blessed state, unless you are old or middle-aged.
I love them except they make me lazy.
It’s a good thing or it’s bad, but beautiful! (Lyric by Johnny Burke)
When you are really hungry,
When you don’t want to to dress up,
When you want to feel at home,
In churches and when electricity fails they are all right.
Is a man’s best toy.
A species that is dying out.
Chocolate and brandy
Chocolate and calvados
Chocolate and whiskey
Chocolate and anything resembling alcohol
All make a good soldier’s breakfast.
Without it you mean little.
His names belies him. He is brave as a lion.
The men I like to talk to are invariably nondancers.
Your daughter is your child for life.
In the German language: the name for a key that opens all locks. Not a magic key. A very real object, necessitating great skills in the making.
Dress (On a budget)
Here are some basic rules: Don’t ever follow the latest trend, because in a short time you will look ridiculous. Don’t buy green, red or any other flamboyant-colour dress. A small wardrobe must consist of outfits that you can wear again and again. Therefore, black, navy blue and grey are your favorite colours. Don’t buy separates. Don’t believe the sales talk that you can have five dresses for the price of one. And don’t buy cheap materials, no matter how attractive the dress looks to you. Don’t say you can’t afford a dress made of expensive materials. Save up for it. If you have one good suit, preferably grey (navy gets shiny), two black dresses, a black wool skirt, a couple of black and grey sweaters, you’ll be well dressed most of the year until summer, when you’ll wear simple cotton dresses. Another suggestion, don’t send your clothes to the cleaner’s all the time. Spot-clean and press them yourself. It’s worth it because they last longer. And while you’re saving up for that good black dress, on your next date wear a black sweater and skirt. Nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t ruin the elegance of the outfit by overemphasis of the bosom.
all real men lover to eat. Any man who picks at his food, breaking off little pieces with his fork, pushing one aside, picking up another, pushing bits around the plate, etc., usually has something wrong with him. And I don’t mean with his stomach.
If he is a creative artist, forgive him.
Rarely found today. Women are not brought up to know about it and therefore lack even the desire to acquire it.
Expensive things look expensive. There is always a connoisseur in the crowd.
I like light eyes. The changes in expression and emotion are beautiful to see.
The certainty of the happy end is the magic of the tale.
If fame would be synonymous with fortune, wouldn’t that be fine?
Don’t follow it blindly into every dark alley. Always remember that you are not a model or a mannequin for which the fashion is created.
Woman’s greatest asset. Her own magnetic field into which the man is drawn.
Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.
“Let us take care of our happiness, go into the garden and work.”
At the best of times gender is difficult to determine.
The which I would like to know the meaning of.
A great luxury reserved for the rich who rarely take the opportunity to enjoy it. Most people with truly generous tendencies don’t have the same means to be generous with.
An unattractive object. Women have immense faith in the miracles a girdle can produce. I believe they are labouring under a false illusion. I don’t feel equipped to argue to vehemently about the pros and cons of girdles, except to say that the natural line of a woman’s body has its points.
Nobody will tell you gossip in you don’t listen.
Grief is a private affair.
Grumbling is the death of love.
Often mistaken for love.
The ultimate of quietude.
The Do Not Disturb sign in a garden.
I do not think we have a “right” to happiness. If happiness happens, say thanks.
I need harmony around me more than food, drink, and sleep.
They can be great fun. And it is true that they can put a woman in a good mood. Anyone who laughs at this fact just knows nothing about the finer points of woman’s capacity for survival.
Just read it and realize that BY OATH doctors must cover up for each other’s mistakes.
“It is so convenient to be frank and honest.” – Nietzsche
He meant “toward other people,” naturally.
Forgivable, except in a responsible job willingly undertaken.
“Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as life.” – Joseph Conrad
Super intelligence kindles my love.
There are more imaginary specks of dust casually brushed off gentlemen’s shoulders by women wanting to show intimacy in public than there are real specks of dust desirous of settling on a gentlemen’s shoulders.
Good outside the house, bad inside.
An uncontrollable passion, the Siamese twin of love.
Sometimes I like entire towns or places just because I don’t ever have to get out of my jeans.
I am a fanatic of the subject. To be just as should be taught to children as soon as they understand a language.
If you have to kill the taste of what you are eating, pour it on there.
I’m agin it.
Don’t waste them. But don’t count them.
What every mother wants her daughter to be.
I love that town. No clocks. No locks. No restrictions. No heavy hands of the law or your shoulders when you roll those dice.
There comes a time when suddenly you realize that laughter is something you remember and that you were the one laughing.
There is no excuse for not writing letters. My mother used to say: “Don’t tell me you have no time to write to someone who is waiting.”
“There is a quiet place where no one disturbs you. You can visit every day-there you can write. You want to know what the place is? The emperor goes there on foot.”
Letters (of love)
Write them. Otherwise no one will know what wonderful feelings fill you. Even if the king or queen of your heart is unworthy (as you might have been told), write them-it will do you good. Keep copies.
Lily of the Valley
In France, on the first day of May, you bring a bunch of lilies of the valley to your beloved; and you must be the first to do so or it’s not true love.
Life is not a holiday. Should you approach it thus, you will find holidays aplenty.”
You must listen all the time or you lost contact.
1) Love for the joy of loving, and not for the offerings of someone else’s heart.
2) The lover’s criterion is: I want you to be happy-but with me.
3) Let him go-if he doesn’t love you anymore.
Let her go-if she doesn’t love you anymore.
4) “Before you love
Learn to run through snow
Leaving no footprints.”
This is Turkish proverb. How clear the picture and how easily understood.
Should be one of the Commandments.
When this adjective applies to your feelings, stop feeling whatever you are feeling.
Too bad most of us need it.
He wants to be the prince who rides to the rescue, to protect, to love the fairest of all women, nothing less. The images he has of this ideal woman are just the same the female has of the ideal man.
Good manners: Know your place.
Bad manners: Meddle.
Nothing will ever replace the joy of collection and rolling them.
There comes a moment when even the most intelligent woman hears herself say: “I have given you the best years of my life.
Married love (Strategy of)
Love him. Unconditionally and with devotion.
You chose him. He must be wonderful.
If you chose him for any other reason, your problem, whatever it may be, lies in the realm of which I know nothing.
If your brain, instead of your heart, pilots your emotions, there must be regrets. You cannot trust your brain. You can trust your heart.
I am deeply suspicious of one who carry martinis to the lunch and dinner table.
What a luxury! I never have time for it, but I’m for it.
They make me sick.
Being in the depths of sadness is just as important an experience as being exuberantly happy.
All the “sound,” which in today’s popular music and orchestrations is all-important, cannot replace melody. Sounds will come and go. Melodies remain.
Black, midnight blue, dark blue, grey-for suits. Pale blue, pink, white-for shirts. Black, dark blue-for ties. Black for shoes. Only Englishmen can wear brown rough suits and brown heavy-soled shoes and look elegant. Nobody else should try it.
Bad for you, and trouble for the barkeep.
It is easier for the unattractive girl to live a life of modesty.
“Money, which represents the prose of life, and which is hardly spoken of in parlors without an apology, is, in its effects and laws, as beautiful as roses.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
More solid than the ground under your feet when you are little, more solid than rock when you need to lean, harder than rock when the learning becomes a danger – when it’s time for you to walk alone
Love in its purest and most passionate form.”
There is much to be said for the custom of wearing mourning clothes when a tragic loss has left you without strength. The widow’s costume, particularly, inspires respect for sorrow, and the veil not only shadows her face but protects her from the glare of gay life around her. A woman in mourning is treated gently at a time when she needs it most.
How little time we working people have to listen to music, and what a loss this represents to our souls and our nervous systems.
Dark nail polish is vulgar.
Easy for the beautiful, difficult for the ugly.
People who can nap are lucky. Don’t disturb their napping just because you can’t do the same.
A dirty pastime.
The thing you hopefully buy when you first get married and which you wish you could return when you eyes encounter it crowding your closet while you grab for your workclothes year in and out.
The more plentiful the work, the less time to be neurotic.
New Year’s Eve
Gaiety, champagne, hope.
Nice and Easy
The nicest way of doing things.
I like the genuine Russian ones in Paris where one can cry over Little Cornflower with sobbing violins for company. Fashionable nightclubs do not attract me.
We all have quite definite ideas about what is normal. Let’s stick to those ideas and let psychiatry keep its definitions of modern man out of our vocabulary. We need some norms to go by in order to communicate without misunderstanding.
Contrary to popular belief it is possible to be completely objective about one’s own accomplishments and deeds.
That wonderful substance the other fellow gets rich on.
Have it. There is always time to cry later.
I need it. Emotionally and physically.
Oxygen (out of a tank)
Why wait till you are under a tent to breathe it in?
n Texas, when you say that a man is beautiful or handsome, you simply say: “His pants fit him.
T Tenderness is the repose of passion.” (Joseph Joubert quote)
Patience can become second nature, if taught early enough. One of those gifts to your children for which you will be hated first and loved later.
Why does it elude us so frequently, when it is so sincerely desired?
Any society that allows conditions to exist in which the adolescent begins to connect guilt with physical love raises a generation of defectives.
A home without a piano is waiting for something.
Easy to learn. Easy to practice.
I love them. I eat them.
I hate it, but men fall for it, so go on and pout.
He arrived on the scene when the young needed a romantic image. He filled the bill, and on top of that he can sing. And he has the sound of today.
A man’s good right.
I bow respectfully to this science.
Not everyone called a quack is a quack-except quacks and ducks.
There is nothing better.
There should be a law against it.
If they are personal, don’t ask them.
I love them because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizably wiser than yourself.
A great medium; and I won’t let anyone bury it yet.
It is not very wise to buy a red dress. But I can understand the temptation-simply because men will say: “Who is that girl in the red dress?”
Commonly used in America, even by children. Outside of America only used when suggested to people who have really done something.
You have to be born with it.
Most rich people are pretty dull.
I like them best freshly cut from the garden. The blonde one with the tender, drooping stems small as a rose should smell.
The best measuring cup of your love.
Bitter in childhood, sweet in adolescence, tragic in old age.
A wonderful invention for all people like myself who like to eat on the run.
A deceptive fabric. It looks good enough to eat when it is spread out, but made into a dress it transfers it’s shiny quality to the bearer and spreads hr out. There are some beautifully clinging unshiny satins in France for long evening dresses. Difficult to find ieven in the land of silk.
The celestial taskmaster. He won’t let you get away with anything.
One should think twice before burdening a good friend with a secret.
Anyone who was seduced wanted to be seduced.
The most useful of all disciplines.
In fear of being sentimental people often shun sentiment. A sad confusion.
In America an obsession. In other parts of the world a fact.
Shoes are more important that suits and dresses. Good shoes give elegance to your entire appearance. Buy one pair of good shoes instead of three pairs of bad quality.
One of the most gentle of all men I know.
Your son isn’t your son for life-if he is normal.
At certain times soup is the ideal food. Soup not only warms you and is easy to swallow and digest, it also creates the illusion in the back of your mind that Mother is there.
The only defect with which I an lose my patience.
The root of great evil. Give children honey instead.
To each his own. Symbols are necessary.
There are people who have a natural built-in tact of the heart. If you know one, treat him gently; they are hard to come by.
But tact can be taught; best when we are young, and not by words but by example.
Teach your teen-age daughters not to tease boys into physical desire. You might save their lives.
Tenderness is the greater proof of love than the most passionate of vows.
I can truthfully say that times were always bad as long as I can remember.
teach it to your children. It is most important to the saving of their souls.
A treasure and a burden.
To lose your prejudices you must travel.
It’s a flower: Trillium erectum. Also called birthroot and bethflower. Medicinal use: astringent.
Lucky is the ugly duckling. Keep that in mind and don’t envy the pretty duckling. The dizzy pursuit of pleasure the pretty duckling succumbs to, does not tempt you constantly. You have time to think, to be alone, to be lonely, to read, to make friends, to help other people. You’ll be a happy swan. Just wait and see.
I can’t stand ultimatums, particularly not in connection with emotional decisions. The person giving an ultimatum in necessarily the stronger one and is taking advantage of this position.
A man would rather come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman.
Variety is the spice of life only when it is not for its own sake.
Lots of people do.
What other people have.
I like the wild ones and the garden violets that smell strongly. The hothouse ones can just as well leave in the hothouse.
It is one of the more healthy drinks in the alcohol field.
If beautiful voices were sold over the counter prettily wrapped, women would buy them. Too bad they aren’t.
If you have been in it, don’t talk about it.
The weak are more likely to make the strong weak than the strong are likely to make the weak strong.
The power wealth gives is a dangerous power, especially in the hands of the wealthy.
Made for the very thirsty. A pale summer beer. Drink it in a large, wide open glass. You can buy it in stores that German imports.
I cringe every time I see a child eating a sandwich made out of American white bread. Give them whole wheat or rye if you love them.
A master builder who knows his tools and uses them expertly to frame out the structure on which he hangs the garlands of his wit and wisdom.
The wishes of a mother for her child are few; they can be held in a baby’s hand.
“If all the harm that women have done
Were put in a bundle and rolled into one,
Earth would not hold it,
The sky could not enfold it,
It could not be lighted nor warmed by the sun.” – James Kenneth Stephen
They didn’t “mean to,” Mr. Stephen.
1) Words can bruise and break hearts, and minds as well. There are no black and blue marks, no broken bones to put in plaster casts, and therefore no prison bars for the offender.
2) Lover’s words: “How beautiful you are, now that you love me.”
3) Once lovers have exhausted the simple talk of lovers, describing the glory of it all, and have agreed on the words and feelings on their first meeting, they should stop talking. It is inevitable that words straying outside of this narrow circle will bring disharmony.
An abbreviation which should be forbidden by the police.
In American slang: a ten thousand dollar bill.
The gayest of all colours. Yellow walls make a sunny room.
Youth is optimism and trust.
the frustration caused by a stuck zipper is indescribable. Learn to repair zippers. You will save time, nerves, and money.