The sexual and dominant character of Amy Jolly is more than a nod to Dietrich's own unsubtle brand of bisexuality, and Morocco is undoubtedly most famous for the figure of Dietrich dragged-up on stage in top hat and tails, cigarette hanging from her lips, a sexy come-to-bed stare fixed on the crowd. In the first part of the film Dietrich cuts a cynical, fiercely independent, masculine figure who relies on no one and never asks for help - she lazily tears up the business card of the wealthy socialite who offers to show her round the town. The most overt display of this masculinity comes in the form of Dietrich sauntering up to a woman in the audience while in drag and kissing her full on the lips. Tom meanwhile appears to be head-over-heels, watching Amy in the crowd like some doe-eyed fangirl. This role reversal of Amy as suave man-about-town and Tom as submissive, adoring woman is realised by Amy handing Tom a flower and Tom tucking it behind his ear.
As the film progresses, however, we see the gender roles revert back to their more traditional forms. Tom becomes stubborn and proud, refusing to commit to Amy who has become an archetypal weak and helpless woman hopelessly in love with her man (so much so that she melodramatically follows him into battle). Indeed, the only role that doesn't revert back to a traditional stereotype is that of the rich socialite who remains besotted with Amy throughout the film (and is therefore 'feminised').
Morocco is a great piece of subversive cinema that was clearly way ahead of its time in its portrayal of gender and sexuality. Cooper is fantastic as Tom Brown but it's Dietrich, of course, who is the star of this film. Although still very young, you can already see her coming into her own as the super-sexy, dominant leading lady with the smoky voice that she would become years later in more mainstream films. It's not the most engaging story, and the dialogue is a little clunky, but it's a rare example of how brazen, bold and sexy cinema could be.
Heutige Rom-Coms behandeln keine Soldaten und Tänzerinnen in Marokko mehr, und vor allem ersetzen sie den Charme von einer Dietrich oder eines Gary Coopers durch PG-13 Erotik aus der Dose.
Was für den modernen Zuseher als erstes ins Auge springt sind die formidablen Kostüme und Sets. Ganz ohne große establishing shots" und on-location shooting" ist Morocco" bis in die Zehenspitzen atmosphärisch aufgeladen. Diese engen Gassen der Altstadt von Mogador, akzentuiert von harten Schatten in denen Räuber lauern zeugen von Josef von Sternbergs visuellem Genie.
Dass er weiß Marlene Dietrich in Szene zu setzen war schon von deren ersten Zusammenarbeit in Der blaue Engel" bekannt. Hier geht er einen Schritt weiter und steckt die Dietrich in Frack und Zylinder und betont deren kesse und burschikose Gangart.
Dies ist klassisches Hollywoodkino in Reinkultur, mit exotischer Location, charismatischen Hauptdarstellern und ohne großartigen Ideen oder einfallsreichen Dialogen.
Dieser Film, nur einer von vielen, verdankt seinen Ruhm der unvergleichlichen Atmosphäre und der wunderbaren Dreiecksbeziehung zwischen Dietrich, Cooper und Menjou.
Für Kinogänger in den 1930er Jahren mögen Afrika und Fremdenlegionäre noch um vieles mystischer gewesen sein als heute, aber gerade Filme wie Morocco" laden dazu ein, sich in diese Zeiten zurückzuversetzen und den Mythos der Fremdenlegion, der bis heute existiert, wirken zu lassen.
Truly, this film is all about Marlene, her neutral sexuality is exuding all over the screen with the top hat and the tuxedo when she renders her mesmerising performance as the chanteuse in the cabaret (not to mention the notorious girl-girl kiss scene, it must be a sensational topic at that time, it was 1930!). At the same time her quaint flair as a woman trapped in love but too proud to admit it in front of her beloved man has its momentum to propel the film with its uneven plot. I may be too harsh, the film is made 82 years ago, in the wake of talkie era, so I readjust my original rating from 4 to 5.
The patchwork of its very much run-of-the-mill script and camera movements (there are some rather frivolous shots of battle scenes which might fall into the laughingstock notch) are pretty much dated and ruefully, Ms. Dietrich cannot single-handedly save the film (her then English accent is still a bit grating, hope Iâ(TM)m not the only one to say that), the entire film doesnâ(TM)t sell the story in a fully credible structure, many details are being sidelined while the sentimentality is lingering on and on, or perhaps it is just another film fails to connect with when time mercilessly passes by. But last but not the least, its classic way of sending the âdare to loveâ? message is warm and encourage, the final bravura of pursuing her lover in the march has its own merit in that time, if I may divine.
MD was hot though.