USA, 1930 (MIFF 1967, Programme 33)
Director: Josef von Sternberg
Dietrich's first American film was a highly romantic farrago about a singer in a Moroccan cafe, the wealthy hedonist who loves her and the Legionnaire whom she finally decides to follow into the desert, joining the band of native women who follow their men whatever the hardship. Marlene's two songs were bold in all senses of the word. The richly compulsive story was sustained by the effective use of natural sound and cluttered visual detail: filtered sunlight, lattices, hanging vines, crowded streets and cafes.