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Desire (1936)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance, Crime  |  11 April 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,237 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 9 critic

An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief.



(play) (as Hans Szekely) , (play) (as R.A. Stemmle) , 5 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Tom Bradley
Carlos Margoli
Mr. Gibson
Ernest Cossart ...
Aristide Duvalle
Avilia, Police Official
Dr. Maurice Pauquet (mistakenly listed in end credits as Dr. Edouard Pauquet)
Zeffie Tilbury ...
Aunt Olga
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George MacQuarrie ...
Clerk With Gun (scenes deleted)
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Customs Official (scenes deleted)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


LOVE WAS HER PRECIOUS LOOT! (original print ad - all caps)


Comedy | Romance | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

11 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pearl Necklace  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Gilbert was initially cast as Carlos Margoli. Promised to be his comeback role after a string of flops, he filmed a few Technicolor costume tests with Marlene Dietrich (whom he was dating at the time). He had a heart attack in his dressing room only days before shooting started and was immediately replaced by John Halliday. A few days after his abrupt replacement, Gilbert died of alcohol-induced heart failure. Peggy Stallings' "Flesh and Fantasy" states that Gilbert and Dietrich were living together when she tried to use her influence to have him cast opposite her in the film. She withdrew her support when the actor renewed his friendship with former fiancée Greta Garbo. After this, Dietrich renewed her relationship with Gary Cooper, who got the part. Gilbert's fatal heart attack occurred on the same day Cooper's casting was officially announced by Paramount. See more »


Aristide Duvalle: Cigarette?
Madeleine de Beaupre: No, thank you, I don't smoke.
Aristide Duvalle: Nor do I. A barbaric habit. One fills one's lungs and other people's eyes with smoke.
See more »


Featured in Marlene (1984) See more »


Music by Friedrich Hollaender
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Written for the movie and possibly used instrumentally
See more »

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User Reviews

great for a seventy year old film
29 March 2006 | by (London) – See all my reviews

My wife got me to watch this film the other day and i was expecting a really corny old film,but instead i found it really entertaining and i would have watched it just for the lovely vintage cars that you see so much of in this film.They don't make cars like that anymore.The plot of the film was very simple,although the robbery was very clever,in other words the film never becomes complicated,you never get lost,which is just right for a light comedy.Marlene is very seductive and very convincing as the shady lady who fools Gary Cooper,the pair are excellent together,the chemistry between them is electric.I don't know why this isn't a classic as it hasn't really dated,I think a modern audience would still enjoy this film, as i did.I think in future ill always give these 1930s romances the benefit of the doubt,as there may be others like this one that are total gems.

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