5.9/10
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42 user 23 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

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

They loved each other with the fierceness of those who have been denied 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

One of the young girls doing needlepoint, in the first scene at the convent, is Marlene Dietrich's daughter, Maria Riva. 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: In the desert one forgets everything, even the heart one loves and the desires of one's own soul.
Domini Enfilden: Oh, you're a poet?
Batouch: Oh, how pretty, Madame understands me. Yes, Madame. Sometimes I'm dizzy with the beauty of my own thoughts.
Domini Enfilden: Perhaps, the sun has something to do with it.
Batouch: Oh, this sun is nothing. Wait 'til Madame gets beyond the mountains and into the gates of the Sahara. There the sun blazes.
Domini Enfilden: Let it blaze.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
The Bottomless Trunk of Clothes!
26 August 2005 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer give solid performances in this beautiful but empty film. The irony is that Dietrich plays a woman with a beautiful but empty life. Truly gorgeous cinematography and sets, and yes Dietrich's bottomless trunk of clothes are also fabulous. She look great; Boyer looks young and trim.

Story of a woman seeking meaning and an ex-priest seeking life seems pretty stale, but set against such unreal sets and skies it somehow works, given the two stars, the terrific score by Max Steiner, and a good supporting cast. The film runs like 76 minutes and seems badly edited, plus certain characters just appear or disappear.

Joseph Schildkraut is funny as the Arab guide, C. Aubrey Smith is the old priest, Lucile Watson the mother superior, Tilly Losch the dancer, John Carradine the diviner, and Basil Rathbone plays.... well I'm not sure. He just rides in from the desert and spoils everything! As others have noted, John Gilbert was slated to star with Dietrich. I can't help but think he would have been wonderful. The role of world-weary Boris would have suited the great Gilbert quite well. And after the success of Queen Christina (with Garbo), his career might have gotten back on track.

I can't think of any other 30s film Dietrich did in color. She looks great and wears some terrific clothes. My favorite is the Valentino as The Shiek-like outfit she wears by the pool.

Certainly worth a look for the lush sets and color and the two great stars.


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