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Directed by Josef von Sternberg

United States 1930 91 mins. In English

Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg’s first Hollywood collaboration, Morocco is a gauzy, dust-covered tale of lust and betrayal, following the ex-patriot cabaret singer Amy Jolly (Dietrich) as she resettles in the North African country. Caught between two men—the wealthy interloper La Bessière (Adolphe Menjou) and the rough-around-the-edges légionnaire Tom (Gary Cooper)—Amy lacks in both choice and space, pining for Tom, whose murky past mirrors her own, while shackled to the demanding La Bessière. Tom’s forays deeper into the ongoing war force Amy’s hand as the star-crossed lovers seek happiness in a world gone mad. For this initial star turn, Dietrich was brought under contract at Paramount Pictures despite her star-making German film The Blue Angel having yet to come out on US shores—a show of faith by the studio that she was indeed the real deal.