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The Garden Of Allah [1936] [DVD]


Price: £6.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Garden Of Allah [1936] [DVD] + Shanghai Express [DVD] + Morocco [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Marlene Dietrich, Charles Boyer, Tilly Losch, Basil Rathbone, C. Aubrey Smith
  • Directors: Richard Boleslawski
  • Writers: Lynn Riggs, Robert Hichens, W.P. Lipscomb, Willis Goldbeck
  • Producers: David O. Selznick
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Fremantle
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Aug 2001
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MNI1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,797 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Mar 2006
Format: DVD
Strong 1936 drama about a rich but unfulfilled woman Domini Enfilden (Dietrich) who seeks her destiny in the deserts of north Africa and meets Boris Androvsky (Boyer) a Trappist monk who has deserted the order. The chemistry between the mature Dietrich and the young and incredibly handsome Boyer in his first starring role is excellent.
We also have Basil Rathbone in a sympathetic role as a friend, and the unforgetable C Aubrey Smith as a priest, with his magnificent features, they don’t seem to make them like this any more.
Fine directing of a timeless story with acting and dialogue that does not date
This is the first film where they attempted to shoot Technicolor on location, but unfortunately after a short time the hardships and perils of the Arizona desert proved too much and the remainder of the film was shot on soundstages.
The restoration of the 1936 Technicolor is superb, although Technicolor does not have the natural quality of modern colour systems it has a heightened colour depth and saturation that is the stuff of nostalgia.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Miland Joshi on 19 Mar 2005
Format: DVD
Anyone interested in early colour feature films should see this - and anyone who hasn't realised just how good films of the first half of the 20th century can be. This remastered version of an early Technicolor film produced by David Selznick in 1936 will not disappoint. It is beautifully photographed, and the affinities with Gone With The Wind will be immediately obvious to the viewer, though at 78 minutes it is only a third of the latter's length. As a story it offers first rate entertainment, combining piety, romance and tragedy with a memorable conclusion.
Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 17 Dec 2010
Format: DVD
From the days when Technicolor really was glorious and rather splendidly restored on DVD, The Garden of Allah is one of those films that's often so gorgeous to look at you can overlook the fact that there's not much going on. Part of that early-mid 20th century literary genre of disastrous geographical journeys of self-discovery, the first half is deceptively sensual as Marlene Dietrich's devout convent girl who has gone to the desert to find herself and Charles Boyer's unworldly runaway monk meet and fall in love in a place with a very different morality to the one they were raised in. An erotic dance sequence with an Arab dancer who Joseph Schildkraut's loquaciously camp local guide goads into attacking his simple brother (Henry Brandon) could almost have come out of an African cousin of Black Narcissus (though it's doubtful that Powell and Pressburger would have included an extra who seems to be clearly miming masturbation in the background: how that passed by the Breen Office censors is a true question for the ages). Certainly John Carradine's sand diviner foretelling great joy and greater suffering and Basil Rathbone's European count who has been adopted by the desert could have stepped out of the pages of Rumer Godden's novel. Sadly the second half never lives up to the promise of the first, not helped by the shifting sands of time and popular morality in an increasingly secular society making Boyer's betrayal seem less Earth-shattering than it did in 1936 and the terrible dilemma the lovers are faced with seem not quite such an insurmountable cause of turmoil.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dance Veteran on 26 Sep 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a fan of Marlene Dietrich I don't know how I could have missed this film in the past. Highly atmospheric and romantic, Dietrich plays a devout young woman devastated by the death of her father who seeks solace in the desert (the Garden of Allah) but meets up with a monk on the run whom she unwisely marries. The monk, Boris, is played by Charles Boyer with all the allure of a maniacal serial killer, whereas Dietrich's other admirer, played by handsome Basil Rathbone is a man content in his own skin. Her choices do seem to me a bit off the wall.

Although no doubt filmed in a Hollywood back lot, the film does evoke North Africa rather well. Quality is so-so with the sound being only just acceptable but I was disappointed to discover that the bonus features that are supposed to come after the film were not accessible on my copy.

Like other reviewers I couldn't believe what I was seeing regarding the masturbating Arab, clearly censorship was far more liberal in 1936.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film, released in 1936 in Technicolor, lasts a little under 1hour 20minutes, yet after sitting through it one feels it must have taken somewhat longer.

A young man (a youth really), Boris Androvsky (Boyer), attaches himself to a monastery where he takes the solemn vow of silence (amongst other vows) self-imposed upon the Trappist Order. Silence is not a bad thing so long as it is tempered with common sense and so speech is allowed only when and where strictly necessary. This is the case when the young Boris is summoned to the meal table to be presented to a visitor (a soldier who appears later in the desert) who admires a wine produced within the monastery to a formula known only to him. But, the messenger returns to the table empty handed - the young monk has fled the building thereby abandoning his vows and putting him at the mercy of God's wrath. We are not aware until much later in the film what led to this act of disobedience.

By chance another devout Christian, an heiress in the form of Domini (Marlene Dietrich) bumps into Boris on a train. She is at once struck by the young man's demeanour to which she quickly become attracted. Some extraordinary sequences follow that serve to illustrate Boris's unworldliness and to further consolidate Domini's curiosity. Apparently they both have the idea that their wanderlust will best be served by confronting the sands of the Saharan Desert. Before venturing out two things have to happen, first the meeting with Count Ferdinand Anteoni (Baisl Rathbone), and a little later their marriage - Boris to Domini, that is. (Incidentally Domini has pots of money and this will account in part for why she is made up to the nines no matter the circumstances.
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