6.0/10
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42 user 23 critic

The Garden of Allah (1936)

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

Plot Keywords:

desert | monk | monastery | secret | oasis | See All (43) »

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:

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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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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

Boris Androvsky: There are things in a man's life it's best to forget. There are dark places which should be left dark.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Star Is Born (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

No One But God and I Know What is in My Heart
(1936) (uncredited)
Written by Max Steiner
Sung offscreen by an unidentified woman at the hotel
Reprised offscreen by a chorus on the pilgrimage
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love & Destiny in the Sahara
20 February 2000 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

North Africa in the 1930's. To a small Arab town on the edge of the Sahara comes a beautiful woman looking for meaning to her life & a handsome Trappist monk fleeing from his crisis of faith. They will meet and passions will be stirred, but not even the Sand Diviner knows if they will find happiness or sorrow, here, in THE GARDEN OF ALLAH.

The plot is pure hokum, but the film is still great fun & beautiful to look at. Marlene Dietrich & Charles Boyer are a superb screen couple. She is, to put it simply, gorgeous, and Boyer gives a most effective, understated performance, letting his sensitive face do much of his acting for him.

The supporting cast is excellent: Basil Rathbone, in a sympathetic role as a Count who loves the desert; Joseph Schildkraut as a friendly, talkative guide (all the "Arabic" he & others speak in the film is pure gibberish); Lucile Watson as a gentle Mother Superior; Alan Marshal as an honorable young French officer; Tilly Losch as a dangerous dancer; Henry Brandon as a comic porter; John Carradine as the mysterious Sand Diviner; and magnificent Sir C. Aubrey Smith as a wise old priest.

Movie mavens will recognize Helen Jerome Eddy as a nun; Marcia Mae Jones & Bonita Granville (peeking over the nun's shoulder) as convent girls; gaunt Nigel De Brulier as a monastery lector; and Ferdinand Gottschalk as a hotel clerk, all uncredited.

Color films of the 1930's are both rare & lovely to look at, and this movie is no exception - the cinematography is as colorful as the desert itself. THE GARDEN OF ALLAH was the first Technicolor film to be shot on location. Yuma, Arizona gave the film makers all the sand dunes they could desire, but contaminated drinking water & 135 degree heat soon had the company in revolt. When the daily rushes showed Boyer's face had burned a bright tomato red, producer David O. Selznick finally gave in. The remainder of the film was shot on a Hollywood sound stage.


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