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? —IMDb
Born in Vienna, director Joseph von Sternberg spent much of his youth in New York; his entrée into show business was as a film repairer for the World Film Company of Fort Lee, NJ. After returning to Austria to complete his education, he joined the U.S. Signal Corps as a photographer in 1917, then took assistant director jobs after the end of World War I. It was either actor Elliot Dexter or an anonymous producer who suggested that Sternberg would go farther in the industry if he affixed a “von” to his last name, à la Erich von Stroheim. Von Sternberg went whole hog in creating a “genius” veneer, adopting a strutting, imperious attitude, dressing in regulation beret and puttees, and even growing an obnoxious little mustache so he would be certain to be hated and feared. This posturing tended to obscure his genuine cinematic gifts, especially in the field of photographic lighting and composition (at one point, he was the only director permitted to carry an American Society of Cinematographers… read more
Just like the character Amy Jolly who follows her man into the desert, Dietrich followed her mentor von Sternberg across the Atlantic to Paramount after the success of The Blue Angel where the studio sought to market her as a German version of MGM's Swedish import Garbo. Reunited with von Sternberg, Dietrich earned her only Oscar nomination in this beautifully exotic romantic drama alongside the always reliable Coop.
Clues to the dawning of a new era in cinema in a 1930 photo of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
Donald Richie passes, Michael Mann prepares a new project, Miyazaki concept sketches & more.
Language: English, French
Genre: Romance, Drama
Director: Josef von Sternberg
Cast… read review