Bagdad Cafe (1987) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Out of Rosenheim (Bagdad Café) is a look into the minds and lives of some people most of us have met but few of us know much about. This movie exemplifies how one person in the right place can affect a community of lives. The Adlons seem to express the view that all change and "magic" comes from hard work and mutual acceptance. A well-crafted view of the lives of tourists everywhere and the difficulties they can face. A Whimsical and lovingly Photographed look at the vast wasteland that is too often ignored by much of humanity.

  • Jasmin has a row with her husband in the middle of the desert, and storms off to a truck-stop cafe. She stays there, and starts to make friends with the regulars, including Rudi, an ex-set decorator from Hollywood who wants to paint her picture.

  • A lonely German woman ends up in the most desolate motel on Earth and decides to make it brighter.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • German tourist Jasmin Münchgstettner (Marianne Sägebrecht) has a big fight with her husband (Hans Stadlbauer) and stomps off in the middle of a desert highway. Similarly, short-tempered Brenda (CCH Pounder), owner of the dilapidated Bagdad Cafe, has a fight with her husband, who also drives off.

    Jasmin arrives at the Bagdad Cafe, suitcase in tow, and asks for a room at the adjacent motel, both of which are located in the middle of nowhere in the California desert. Jasmin stays a while, befriending Brenda's children and Rudi Cox (Jack Palance), a washed-out set designer from Tinsel-Town (Hollywood) and cafe regular.

    Jasmin, whose typical German fastidiousness can't tolerate disorder and dirt, starts cleaning and organizing her motel room and the café; while smooth-talking Rudi wants to paint Jasmin's portrait in a series of portraits, each more risqué than the last.

    Also a skilled magician, Jasmin begins entertaining the infrequent customers. Word of this gem in the desert spreads throughout the trucker community, and soon the café is packed, drawing the attention of the local Sheriff, Arnie (Apesanahkwat). Having no green card, Jasmin must leave, having over-stayed her tourist visa, but Rudi has a solution: Jasmin can stay if she marries him. She accepts his proposal and the show goes on with her magic tricks and the musical talents of Brenda and her children.

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