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The Garden of Allah (1936)

6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 853 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 18 critic

The star-crossed desert romance of a cloistered woman and a renegade monk.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Garden of Allah (1936)

The Garden of Allah (1936) on IMDb 6/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Tilly Losch ...
Irena
...
...
...
...
Alan Marshal ...
Lucile Watson ...
Mother Superior Josephine
...
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Storyline

Domini, an heiress who has led a cloistered life, visits the North African desert for spiritual renewal. There she meets Boris, recently escaped from a Trappist monastery. Their friendship ripens into love, but he conceals his past from her. Then in a remote oasis, they meet a man who knows his secret. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

desert | monk | monastery | secret | oasis | See All (42) »

Taglines:

BEWITCHED BY THE DESERT MOON... in a secret paradise of love! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Allahs have  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the actors David O. Selznick considered and tested for the role of the monk Boris Androvsky before casting Charles Boyer were Robert Taylor, Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, George Brent, Laurence Olivier, Fredric March, Brian Aherne, Noel Coward, Maurice Evans, Robert Donat, Ivor Novello, John Gielgud and Jean Gabin. See more »

Goofs

As the abbot and the major are walking down the hall, the shadow of the boom microphone keeps pace with them on the lower left. See more »

Quotes

Count Anteoni: A man who refuses to acknowledge his god is unwise to set foot in the desert.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Playboy: Inside the Playboy Mansion (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played as background music after the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
unusual film
8 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you did "The Garden of Allah" today, you'd have to play it for camp. As produced in 1936, it nearly is anyway.

Marlene Dietrich, Charles Boyer, Basil Rathbone, C. Aubrey Smith, and Joseph Schildkraut star in this David O. Selznick Technicolor production. The story concerns a religious woman, Domini, who is in mourning for her father and visits the convent where she lived as a child. The Mother Superior encourages her to go out and live, as she was her father's caretaker and didn't get out into the world.

She meets Boris Androvsky, and he seems even more unfamiliar with the world than she. What she doesn't know is that he was a Trappist monk and has left the order. The two fall in love and marry. However, someone eventually recognizes him, and his secret is revealed.

I have to say, I feel sorry for any ex-Trappist monk running into gorgeous Marlene Dietrich, especially under a desert sky. The atmosphere of this film is very moody, the color beautiful, and the photography sensational. Filmed in California and Arizona, it looks for all the world like an exotic desert setting.

Even with all this, and a young, handsome Charles Boyer, the film comes off as melodramatic and slight. Partly I blame the overly-dramatic music, but let's face it, the script isn't very good.

Marlene Dietrich is very good and underplays her role; Boyer's role is really impossible. He's confused and miserable through most of it. He was an excellent actor and pulls it off, though. Rathbone doesn't have a big role, nor does Schildkraut, but they were two of the best character actors around.

"The Garden of Allah" is definitely worth seeing - it's wonderful to look at, and when you see the Cyndi Lauper video of "Time after Time," this is the film she was watching in the beginning of the song.


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