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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 <email@example.com>
Early Technicolor, subdued and with shadows playing over the wide stretches of sand and silk (Dietrich's wide array of costumes), is the real star of this desert opus that should fascinate any student of cinematography interested in exploring David O. Selznick's use of color a few years before GONE WITH THE WIND.
MARLENE DIETRICH strikes some awesome poses and looks stunning in all of her close-ups and CHARLES BOYER is a suitably romantic figure as he copes with a secret unknown to her--he's a man hiding his past as a monk. She's searching for true love after a girlhood devoted to her sick father and Boyer seems to be the living embodiment of her ideal.
It's all so unreal and yet it's hard to turn away from the gorgeous colors and not be drawn into the story. When things get too dull, there's always Basil Rathbone, Joseph Schildkraut and C. Aubrey Smith in the supporting cast to bring some added color to the tale.
It's Technicolor heaven for Dietrich's fans and to top it all there's a nice Max Steiner score in the background. None of it can be taken seriously but it has its compensations from a visual standpoint.
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