Amanda Lee Koe at The Current:
The first real lesbian kiss in a film is an honor that rightfully belongs to Mädchen in Uniform. It’s true that a year earlier, in 1930, Marlene Dietrich played a tux-clad chanteuse who snogs a woman in a nightclub audience in Morocco, but Dietrich has no further contact with this female extra, and the kiss is cynically if efficaciously played to the star’s male love interest, a legionnaire (Gary Cooper) who’s watching her saucy performance intently. Unlike in Morocco, there are no titillated men to be found in Mädchen in Uniform. It is the schoolgirls who are jacked and lusty, the schoolmarms who are patriarchal and tyrannical. The kiss, which takes place behind the closed doors of a dorm, isn’t about who’s performing for whom. It’s about what it feels like for a girl.