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The Crimson Playgoer

Rather Weak Plot is Carried to great Heights by Fine Performance of Mariene Dietrich

By J. M.

The much heralded Marlene Dietrich has at last come to Boston in Josef Von Sternberg's latest production, "Morocco". This new German star appears to be a combination of Greta Garbo and Evelyn Brent in more than one likeness. She has the same trick of using lassitude as a means of conveying the impression of inner fire that the Great Garbo has adopted. In appearance, there is the Garbo hair and the almost wooden face together with the Brent-like sharp jaw, set mouth and pointed nose; but she is more beautiful, though a less skillful actress, than either.

Gary Cooper is at his best here as a carefree Legionnaire with the usual forgotten or unmentioned past. His habit of underacting is prominent, leaving a great deal to the audience, especially when Marlene Dietrich is in the same scene. These two are constantly leading the audience towards an intellectual understanding of the actors' emotions, and not pandering to their visionary sense alone.

Adolph Menjou portrays a wealthy man about town with honorable intentions but who is never better than second best in the campaign to win the fair Dietrich. He is an admirable choice for the part of such a suave character.

The direction by Von Sternberg is impressive as always. In the small use of conversation or rather the absence of it at times, the manner of unraveling the story becomes a matter of keen interest rather than a recitation by a story teller. The photography is excellent; the use of light and shadow of the vine shaded streets on the marching Foreign Legion being particularly effective.

The ending of the picture is an attempt at the dramatic but because it is not only anticipated by the preceding sequences but also improbable, the desired climax is not attained.

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