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(1930 b 90')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Based on a novel by Benno Vigny, a cabaret singer has to choose between a millionaire and a soldier in the French Foreign Legion.

On a boat landing at Mogador rich La Bessiere (Adophe Menjou) offers to help Amy Jolly (Marlene Dietrich). At a nightclub La Bessiere joins Adjutant Caesar (Ullrich Haupt) and Caesar's wife (Eve Southern), who waves at Legionnaire Tom Brown (Gary Cooper). Lo Tinto (Paul Porcasi) presents Amy, who is booed; but Tom starts the applause. Dressed in a tuxedo, Amy sings "Quand L'amour Est Mort" and kisses a woman. After changing to a short dress, Amy sings "What Am I Bid?" and sells apples. La Bessiere gives her money; she offers an apple to Tom, but he pays. Amy gives Tom her key. Madame Caesar stops Tom on the street, but he goes to Amy's place. They both left their past, and neither respects the opposite sex. Tom leaves, and Amy goes out to find him. Caesar spies on his wife. Tom knocks down two men and is questioned by Caesar, who summons La Bessiere and Amy. Caesar admits his wife was involved and keeps Tom under guard. Amy asks La Bessiere the price of his help. Tom is transferred, and La Bessiere tells Amy, who declines his diamond bracelet. La Bessiere offers to marry Amy, but she says no. Tom hears and says good-bye, kissing Amy, who says, "Don't go." Tom asks her to go with him to Europe; but seeing the bracelet, he writes on her mirror, "I changed my mind."

As Tom is departing with the Legion, Amy and La Bessiere see him kissing women good-bye. Men march, and women follow. La Bessiere finds Amy angry at Tom for leaving her. Caesar sends Tom to take a machine gun and goes with him. Caesar is killed. La Bessiere and Amy celebrate their engagement. La Bessiere says that Tom is returning. When Amy hears the drum, she drops her pearls and goes to find Tom. She learns where he was left and tells La Bessiere she is going to Tom. La Bessiere orders his car, and they look in the hospital. Amy finds Tom with a woman carving a name on the table. Tom asks Amy if she is marrying La Bessiere, and she says yes. Tom asks Amy to see him off at dawn. After he goes, Amy sees her carved name. In the morning Tom says good-bye to Amy and La Bessiere. When the men march, Amy follows with the women.

This drama subtly portrays how the magnetic power of sexual attraction can overcome the lures of wealth and comfort. Both Amy and Tom seem to have run away from previous relationships, but neither can escape the other.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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