5.9/10
1,338
45 user 22 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:

Robert Hichens (novel), W.P. Lipscomb (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:
Marlene Dietrich ... Domini Enfilden
Charles Boyer ... Boris Androvsky
Tilly Losch ... Irena
Basil Rathbone ... Count Ferdinand Anteoni
C. Aubrey Smith ... Father J. Roubier
Joseph Schildkraut ... Batouch
John Carradine ... Sand Diviner
Alan Marshal ... Capt. De Trevignac
Lucile Watson ... Mother Superior Josephine
Henry Brandon ... Hadj
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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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marlene Dietrich's first film in Technicolor. 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

Father Roubier: Take care! You've come to a land of fire. And I think you are made of fire.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6
(1825)
Composed by Franz Schubert
Played on an organ at the wedding
Reprised as background music in the desert
See more »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful Color In A 1936 Film!
29 January 2010 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Audiences back in 1936 must have been stunned at what they were watching: a full-fledged, beautiful full-length Technicolor film. I can't say for sure, but this might have been the first one (3-strip). At any rate, it still looks beautiful over 70 years later on DVD. In fact, just how good it looks is amazing.

Kudos for that have to go out to Director Richard Boleslowski, Director Of Photography Virgil Miller, Selznick International Pictures and, for the DVD - MGM Home Entertainment. All of them combined to give us one of the best-looking films of the classic-era age.

I thought the story was so-so: excellent in the first half, stagnant in the second. It gave a nice message in the end, even though a lot of people might not have been happy with it. I can't say more without spoiling things.

Marlene Dietrich never looked better, I don't believe, and certainly never played such a soft-hearted character ("Domini Enfilden"). Heart-throb Charles Boyer was the male star and Domini's object of affection, but some of the minor characters were the most interesting to me. People like Joseph Schildkraut as "Batouch;" John Carradine as "The Sand Diviner;" The most memorable, to me at least, was the dancer "Irena," played by Tilly Losch. Wow, there is a face and a dance you won't soon forget! I've never seen anything like it in the thousands of films I've viewed. Just seeing her do her thing was worth the price of the DVD. Looking at her IMDb resume, she was only in four movies, but they were all well-known films.

Basil Rathbone, the actor who really became famous for playing "Sherlock Holmes," also is in here as is C. Aubrey Smith, another famous British actor of his day. Schildkraut, by the way, will be recognized by classic film buffs as the man who played the arrogant sales clerk in the big hit, "The Shop Around The Corner," with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan.

The beautiful direction, photography and color, and Tilly's dance, are the things I'll remember best about this movie which is a lot of good and not-so-good things all rolled into one. Had the last half hour been better - although I admire the ending - I would have rated it even higher. It's definitely one film collectors want to add to their collection.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Garten Allahs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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