Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor... See full summary »
H. Bruce Humberstone
When the famous singer Grace Collins got off the plane that had flown her a remote place in Northen Africa little did she know she would meet love and adventure there. If she came there, it... See full summary »
General Bierbeau sends his weakling son, Pierre, to French Morocco to fight Arab insurgents (the "Riffs") in the hopes that this will toughen him up. He soon becomes the Riffs' leader and ... See full summary »
'Neath a desert moon, this famous operetta about a lovelorn woman from Paris and the infamous rebel, the Red Shadow, plays out amid the blowing desert sands and cool evening breezes. Not as cinematic as later musicals, this 1929 mega-hit is basically a filmed stage play and runs 2 hours. But the actors are very good and the film is a precious time capsule of 1920 musical theater.
John Boles, who also starred in the 1929 hit RIO RITA, here plays the infamous Red Shadow who is really Pierre, the meek son of General Birabeau. Margot (Carlotta King) has come to Morocco hoping for romantic adventure but is about to marry the dull Captain Fontaine (John Miljan). Margot likes Pierre but cannot abide his meekness. While she pines for adventure, she is also repulsed by the brutality of the Red Shadow.
There's a whole East vs West mentality here in notions about women, love, manliness, etc. Thrown into this stewpot is the exotic Azuri (Myrna Loy), a half-caste dancer forced to live as a "bad girl." She is the only one who knows the identity of the Red Shadow.
For comic relief we have the dowdy Susan (Louise Fazenda) and her silly (read gay) boyfriend Benny (Johnny Arthur) who also seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Boles, King, Loy, Fazenda, and Arthur are all excellent in their roles.
The 1943 and 1953 versions got progressively sanitized and streamlined, deleting the comic roles, all sexual innuendo, and several songs.
The original 1929 film had several color sequences (apparently lost) but exists in complete form.
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