The Garden Of Allah

  • 1936
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Romance

A dense old pudding of a story, oozing color (Selznick's first) and weighing a ton thanks to Max Steiner's music. Dietrich, awash in swirling, blowing chiffon, is a "disiwusioned" socialite seeking truth in the African desert, an extreme choice for soul-searching. She falls into twin liquid pools of love, courtesy of the limpid eyes of Boyer. On their wedding...read more

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A dense old pudding of a story, oozing color (Selznick's first) and weighing a ton thanks to Max Steiner's music. Dietrich, awash in swirling, blowing chiffon, is a "disiwusioned" socialite seeking truth in the African desert, an extreme choice for soul-searching. She falls into twin

liquid pools of love, courtesy of the limpid eyes of Boyer. On their wedding night, a liqueur restores his conscience: he's a Trappist monk who deserted, and must now seek repentence. The 1904 novel was dramatized in 1911 and first filmed in 1917 with Helen Ware and Thomas Santschi by William

Selig, and again by MGM in 1927 with Alice Terry and Ivan Petrovich. By 1936, it reeked of mothballs, and since both stars were given to mooning and swooning with their great half-mast eyes, it almost appears they are commenting on it. Richard Boleslawski directed what he could of the story; it's

not only silly, but tedious too. That's Tilly Losch having the film's one and only hot minute as an Algerian whirling dervish---how Dietrich must have hated her.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A dense old pudding of a story, oozing color (Selznick's first) and weighing a ton thanks to Max Steiner's music. Dietrich, awash in swirling, blowing chiffon, is a "disiwusioned" socialite seeking truth in the African desert, an extreme choice for soul-se… (more)

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