7.2/10
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31 user 13 critic

Desire (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 28 February 1936 (USA)
An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief.

Director:

Frank Borzage

Writers:

Hans Székely (play) (as Hans Szekely), Robert A. Stemmle (play) (as R.A. Stemmle) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlene Dietrich ... Madeleine de Beaupre
Gary Cooper ... Tom Bradley
John Halliday ... Carlos Margoli
William Frawley ... Mr. Gibson
Ernest Cossart ... Aristide Duvalle
Akim Tamiroff ... Avilia - Police Official
Alan Mowbray ... 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)
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Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

28 February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pearl Necklace See more »

Filming Locations:

San Sebastian, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Gary Coopers tie is long and thin in the beginning of the luggage search at the border. It is tucked slightly into his trousers and has no tie bar. After one of the cuts to Dietrich, it is shorter and wider, and bears a tie bar. See more »

Quotes

Tom Bradley: There is no glamour about me. I'm not a king or a prince or a count. Not even an elk.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
"....disarm the fricassee...."
6 October 2010 | by AAdaSCSee all my reviews

Tom (Gary Cooper) encounters Madeleine (Marlene Dietrich) on his way to holiday in Spain. Unknown to him is the fact that she has just stolen $2 worth of pearls and is trying to smuggle them into Spain. She slips the pearls into his jacket pocket without him noticing so she can avoid the customs search. However, he takes off his jacket and packs it into his suitcase forcing her to stick with him until a moment arises where she can get the pearls back. Things don't work out as planned for her as when they part company, Tom still has possession of the pearls. Her partner in crime Carlos (John Halliday) is not happy with her when Tom suddenly shows up again. However, Madeleine is romantically won over by Tom, who is still unaware that he is carrying the valuable pearls, and this changes her plans.....

The film has a good cast with a special mention for Zeffie Tilbury as "Aunt Olga" who turns up late in the film - an old, frail lady on the outside but a cold, emotionless criminal at heart. She advises Madeleine to forget about love - it is much better to have the memory. There are many good scenes, eg, the end scene at dinner when Tom gradually reveals to Carlos what he knows about the theft, the beginning scene when Madeleine is carrying out her scam, the scene at customs on the border of Spain where we are unsure of who is going to get busted and how, etc. The story gets going from the outset and is played with humour. Cooper is funny as the salesman, eg, when he discusses which is the better word - "delighted" or "glad" - to his boss before he goes on holiday. The good cast keep the story going but unfortunately, the ending lets things down a bit. It's far too goody-goody.


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