Madeleine steals a string of pearls in Paris and uses US engineer Tom, who is driving on his vacation to Spain, to get the pearls out of France, but getting the pearls, back from him proves to be difficult without falling in love. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
No doubt of it, in Desire Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich were definitely fated to be together from the first time they had that fender bender in Paris before Coop got a good look at Dietrich and those celebrated gams.
Marlene Dietrich is a countess, but one of those members of the nobility upon whom hard times have fallen. She and a partner John Halliday support themselves through some clever jewel robbery. In fact she pulls one classic scam on jeweler Ernest Cossart and psychiatrist Alan Mowbray and winds up with a valuable pearl necklace.
The getaway proves to be a bit of a problem and she hooks poor innocent Gary Cooper at the customs inspection between France and Spain. She slips the swag into his pocket and at that point she's stuck with him. But it soon proves to be a very pleasant experience.
Desire was produced by Ernest Lubitsch and directed by Frank Borzage. There's definitely more Lubitsch than Borzage in this film. Borzage normally directed heavy duty romantic tragedies and his favorite leading lady was Margaret Sullavan in films like Three Comrades and The Mortal Storm. It's unusual for someone not die in one of his films. I'm not sure Lubitsch didn't direct a lot of this himself.
This was Dietrich and Cooper's second teaming, the first being the far more serious Morocco in which Dietrich made her American film debut. For some reason Desire was something the American movie public wasn't all that crazy about. I'm not sure why it's light and entertaining and should have done better.
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