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Marlene Dietrich as Mademoiselle Amy Jolly: 5 Quotes About the Iconic Role

Marlene Dietrich as Mademoiselle Amy Jolly: 5 Quotes About the Iconic Role

By    |   Friday, 08 May 2015 05:08 AM

"Morocco," which served as German actress Marlene Dietrich's most famous role, is the tale of a love triangle that occurs during the Rif War that took place there during the 1920s. The film, directed by Josef von Sternberg and also starring Gary Cooper and Adolphe Menjou, was quite scandalous for the time, thanks to Dietrich's performing a key number dressed as a man, and then kissing another woman full on the lips.

The film earned Dietrich her only Academy Award nomination and brought her to the attention of moviegoers and film reviewers alike. Here are five quotes about Dietrich's legendary role:

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1. In his review for The New York Times, Mordaunt Hall felt that moviegoers should expect more from Dietrich because she was handicapped by the limitation inherent to the dialogue and direction in "Morocco."

"Miss Dietrich bears a resemblance to Greta Garbo, but her acting hardly rivals that of the Swedish star," wrote Hall. "She has, however, an ingratiating personality and one might be justified in presuming that if she had been given more rein by Mr. von Sternberg her work might have been more satisfactory, for her gamut of emotions here consists only of gazing intently, smiling and looking languid."

2. Writing for Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Dennis Schwartz feels that Dietrich shines far above the material: "Despite the absurd plot, the film was well-crafted, its exotic location and lush decor were pleasing to the eye, and the lively and steamy performances by the costars was pure movie magic. Dietrich excites when she sings a few numbers, I was especially pleased when she sang 'Quand L'amour Est Mort' and followed with 'What Am I Bid?' and then sells apples to the nightclub crowd."

3. One of the key scenes in the film is a song-and-dance number that Dietrich performs dressed in top hat and tails. Reviewer Jenny Jediny, writing for the film website Not Coming to a Theater Near You, observes the sexual heat, or what could be described as heat in a movie from the 1930s, that Dietrich delivers.

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"Dietrich, outfitted in a top hat and tails, regales an initially reluctant crowd (save Gary Cooper’s intrigued, applauding soldier), topping it all off with a quick but very deliberate kiss for a female onlooker, flush on the mouth," Jediny wrote. "This scene sums up contemporary love for all that is Dietrich: the androgyny, the overt sexuality, and that cool, collected gaze from Dietrich that quickens the pulse."

4. Eye For Film's Leanne McGrath notes that Mademoiselle Amy Jolly actually ends up being somewhat out of character for Dietrich when compared to the roles that follow later in her career: "'Morocco' is one of the few, if not the only, movie where Dietrich plays a woman who is not completely in control of her emotions. She is usually the calm, collected femme fatale with men bending over backwards to please her."

5. Parallax View's Richard T. Jameson gets straight to the point regarding watching Dietrich's performance in "Morocco."

"Watching Dietrich occupy cinematic space is one of the most intoxicating experiences that movies afford," Jameson wrote.

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Morocco served as German actress Marlene Dietrich's most famous role. The movie earned Dietrich her only Academy Award nomination. Here are five quotes about Dietrich's role as Mademoiselle Amy Jolly.
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Friday, 08 May 2015 05:08 AM
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