6.0/10
1,008
39 user 19 critic

The Garden of Allah (1936)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 19 November 1936 (USA)
The star-crossed desert romance of a cloistered woman and a renegade monk.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
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 »


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
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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, Noël 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

Batouch: If only I could teach you English. Its the only language low enough to describe you. Hadj... I want to go home. I hate the desert...
Hadj: I want go home. I hate desert.
Batouch: Allah be praised. At last.
[Runs to Domini]
Batouch: Madame, Madame,
Domini Enfilden: Yes, Batouch.
Batouch: Madame, Everyday we go further and further into the desolation. And, I, but, please don't think that I complain, Madame. But, its Hadj here and all the others. They're all complaining. They all want to go back. Ask him for yourself, Madame. So great is his ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Marlene Dietrich (2013) 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

 
Fabulous camp!
8 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I give this movie an A+ for the sheer camp of it! As Dietrich's daughter Maria Riva wrote in the book on her mother, "If one sees The Garden of Allah in the context of high camp, it can be very amusing." And how! I laughed with delight at the overwrought score and the astoundingly, ridiculously, fantastically melodramatic dialogue. Viewers who've read the accounts of Boyer's toupee (it kept coming unstuck in the heat) will snicker every time it makes an appearance.

Dietrich and Boyer rarely look at each other when giving their lines -- instead they gaze dreamily off into the distance, presumably so their faces can be photographed at the best angle and with the most advantageous light (if you're starring in a turkey might as well look good!). Dietrich's costumes are out of this world. As Riva notes in her book, Dietrich managed to steal Paramount's Travis Banton and have him design some of the most divine gowns, such as the chiffon beige dress & cape.

I heartily agree with the other reviewers who rave about the Technicolor. It really is hard to believe the film was done in 1936 -- the color is fantastic.

In short, if you watch The Garden of Allah with a lenient attitude and embrace its silliness, you can't help but enjoy it.


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