Morocco (1930)

Morocco Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Morocco Movie Review

Morocco is a 1930 romance film directed by Josef Von Sternberg and starring Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich. It is such a slight, really disappointing movie.

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I seem to have the unhappy faculty of causing trouble… wherever I go

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Morocco is one of those movies that were so popular in its time. It is the same as ‘Shanghai Express‘ in that it is not only a collaboration between Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg, but it also happens in a foreign country and it focuses less on plot and more on the experience. I dislike that approach and this movie is even weaker than the aforementioned one mainly because it lacks the star turn from Dietrich and it isn’t as entertaining.

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Morocco Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

The characters are so forgettable. Amy is pretty solid, but Tom Brown is such an underutilized, very disappointing, dull character and he is one of the biggest problems of the film. Marlene Dietrich did a pretty good job in her role and she is as beautiful as ever, but Gary Cooper is nowhere near as memorable as her and that was a problem. Another problem is the chemistry between the two as it was nowhere to be found, at least that’s what I felt. It was so disappointing watching these really good-looking, talented people not creating a spark whatsoever.

As I said, Morocco focuses on its setting a lot and although it does have some interesting scenery here and there, the technical aspects are lacking for the most part. As for its direction and pacing, both are solid, if not great. Josef Von Sternberg is to me an overrated director as most of his movies of the time are pretty weak to me and this is no exception.

Morocco’s highlights are of course that great, memorable ending that is such a strong scene and of course the scene where Dietrich kisses a girl. Although it was too brief and it wasn’t as memorable as I expected it would be, it’s still an interesting sequence, especially for its time.

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Morocco Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Morocco’s problem has to be the emphasis on that setting and experience instead of storytelling and characters. The dialogue is pretty solid, but is unfortunately not present as much. The film mostly focuses on the visuals and body language which is why it would have worked better as a silent film in my opinion. The character development is pretty mediocre and the plot isn’t bad, but it is so forgettable and so underdeveloped that I didn’t particularly care for it.

The film does have its charm and it is great watching these two actors together, but it is such a lost potential regardless as both of these actors deserve a better treatment in terms of script and characterization. And the film is mostly predictable, although it ends on an admittedly fine note. It received four Academy Award nominations and it didn’t particularly deserve either of those, but the nod for Dietrich is nice as she really is the best part of an otherwise weak movie that disappointed me a lot.

Morocco does have a good turn from Marlene Dietrich, it is charming at times and it has a couple of interesting sequences, but it is mostly a middling affair with more emphasis on its setting instead of story, characters and memorable romance leading to a film that is underdeveloped and weak in most of its aspects with the character development and script being the worst offenders.

My Rating – 3

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Posted in 1930, 1930s, Drama, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Romance and tagged , , , , , , , .

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