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
Morocco is perhaps the most tender Sternberg-Dietrich film. Amy Jolly lacks the impish gaiety of Lola Lola, being older and world weary; she makes up for it with her complexity. Gary Cooper! who would have thought a flower in the ear would suit him so. Its interesting to compare the essentially aesthetic sensibility of Sternberg with the moral one of Nick Ray in the similar Bitter Victory...
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
If one needed proof that filmic melodrama can be raised to the level of high art then the Marlene Dietrich/Josef Von Sternberg collaborations from the 1930’s would be exhibits numbered 1 through to… read review