Drama / Romance
Drama / Romance
The Foreign Legion marches in to Mogador with booze and women in mind just as singer Amy Jolly arrives from Paris to work at Lo Tinto's cabaret. That night, insouciant legionnaire Tom Brown catches her inimitably seductive, tuxedo-clad act. Both bruised by their past lives, the two edge cautiously into a no-strings relationship while being pursued by others. But Tom must leave on a perilous mission: is it too late for them?
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July 05, 2018 at 10:03 PM
Cooper Dietrich Gender Bender
What a sinister delight, Josef Von Sternberg guided Marlene to become Dietrich. He knew something about her that nobody knew, maybe not even her. but whatever it was it's still magic. When Gary Cooper sees her for the first time, she's dressed as a man and look at what happens in Cooper's eyes. Von Sternberg knew what he was doing. Deliciously twisted. She's in charge and yet she allows herself to surrender. Her masculinity blends to perfection with Cooper's femininity - It is clear now in 2018, I wonder how the 1930 audiences saw it. If you love movies, Morocco is a gift.
MOROCCO is first and foremost an atmospheric film. Anyone who looks for more didn't understand what Josef von Sternberg created here. It's pure atmosphere. A reverie. The film is at times creaky but it's understandable because it was made over 70 years ago! There are several stand-out scenes in MOROCCO, including the famous kiss scene and the one when Marlene breaks a pearl necklace but what makes this Sternberg film so memorable is the stunning ending. Suddenly, the creaky film looks positively contemporary. Are we really in 1930s and not the wild 1970s?!?! The brilliant ending MAKES the movie. Without it, it would probably have been an enjoyably moody but average 1930s flick. With it, MOROCCO becomes a timeless classic. It's probably the most stunning ending ever made, with so many layers of meaning with that one prolonged static shot. It's visually brilliant and sexy on so many levels.
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Marlene Comes to America
After her stunning international success in The Blue Angel, Marlene Dietrich was open to all kinds of film offers from all countries. She shrewdly negotiated with Adolph Zukor at Paramount Pictures in the USA and made her feature film debut in Morocco co-starring with Paramount's number one leading man Gary Cooper. She couldn't have predicted it, but it was a permanent move away from Germany.
Dietrich was a package deal for with her came the director of The Blue Angel Joseph Von Sternberg. No doubt Von Sternberg created the image that we now know her for, sensual, alluring, and standing by her man when she does make her choice.
One thing about Morocco I found different than most of the films I've seen of Dietrich is that she's not in control of the situation. In most films she usually is, but in Morocco Cooper's very much in charge. She's got a wealthy man in Adolphe Menjou panting after her, but she can't see him for beans. It's Gary Cooper an ordinary dogface Foreign Legionaire that she's fallen for.
Cooper in fact plays a part Tyrone Power would affect great success with later, a hero/heel. Cooper is carrying on an affair with the wife of one of the officers at his post when he meets Dietrich. The man must have had something going for him.
Von Sternberg did a great job in creating the atmosphere of not only Morocco, but of the Foreign Legion. Men with forgotten pasts and dubious futures, living only for the moment.
Although I think Marlene Dietrich did better films than Morocco in her Hollywood years, Morocco was a grand and auspicious beginning for her.