Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Anna May Wong
A French lieutenant makes a bet that he can seduce any woman in town in the two weeks before his regiment leaves for maneuvers, but his chosen target (a Parisian divorcée) isn't like other girls he's known.
After World War I, a war hero returns to Berlin to find that there's no place for him--he has no skills other than what he learned in the army, and can only find menial, low-paying jobs. He decides to become a gigolo to lonely rich women.
The bold Tira works as dancing beauty and lion tamer at a fair. Out of an urgent need of money, she agrees to a risky new number: she'll put her head into a lion's muzzle! With this ... See full summary »
Jean is a young cab driver. Anna, a flower-girl neighbour, is in love with him. But he is still thinking to Pola, who just left him. Jean asks her to the bal. Many events (Pola's come back,... See full summary »
Two small-time song-and-dance men come up with what they believe is a surefire publicity stunt, guaranteed to keep their names in the public eye--one of them will "disappear" in what looks ... See full summary »
1910 : A friend leaves his daughter, Lucette, with Emile a French film producer. Emile falls in love with her. Problems starts when his young friend Jacques returns from military service ... See full summary »
French farce comes to the New World in 1840 as Claire Ledoux convinces the middle-aged banker who is her fiance that she is two different women -- a deception made necessary by the arrival of a man acquainted with the swath she cut across Europe. Giraud has been about to foreclose on a $150 loan made to a sea captain who needed the funds to court Claire. Get Claire's "cousin" out of New Orleans before the wedding, Giraud tells the sea captain and the debt will be paid. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
What's the Matter with Father
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Lyrics by Harry Williams
Played during the opening credits.
Reprised at the Oyster Bed Cafe
Variations played as part of the score throughout See more »
Sandwiched in between some of her great films at Universal with John Wayne is this modest programmer for Marlene Dietrich that depends considerably on her charms to carry it off. Perhaps it might have been a much better film had the two leading men she wanted been available.
According to a recent biography of Marlene Dietrich, the two men she wanted for The Flame Of New Orleans were Cary Grant and Adolphe Menjou. She had worked with both before, Menjou in Morocco and Grant in Blonde Venus. She liked Menjou and sad to say MGM wouldn't make him available. At the time she and Cary Grant did not get along all that well, he played the other man in Blonde Venus. But in the interim he had gotten superstardom so Dietrich thought that Grant might prove to be a good screen partner now. Alas, that screen team was never to be.
Marlene and her maid Theresa Harris arrive in New Orleans where from the outset it's made plain to the viewer that Dietrich is out to hook a rich fish from the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. The one she looks to land is rich and fussy Roland Young and she does bait a trap for him. But a roistering sea captain played by Bruce Cabot spoils it all for her though eventually Young falls for her as expected.
Now if you can't figure out who she winds up with, there's something terribly wrong with you.
Cabot does give a strong performance as the captain, I'm sure he was a rougher type than Cary Grant would have been. Of course as was usual with Marlene and her leading man, the obligatory affair was had. But she also said she found Cabot to be something of a boor and dropped him quickly.
Theresa Harris had a very interesting and unusual role for a black actress of the time. She might be a maid, but she functions more like a partner in crime with Dietrich's schemes. She's nobody's fool in this film and even gets a love interest of sorts in Young's driver Clarence Muse.
The film did get an Oscar nomination for Best Art&Interior Direction and the sets were grand. Rene Clair did a very good job of conveying New Orleans of 1841. Still the film is minor league Dietrich and it could have been a lot better if she had gotten the players she wanted as co-stars.
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