It's the story of a Foreign Legionnaire who meets and falls in love with a singer. [wiki]
Nominated for 4 Oscars:
Best Director: Josef von Sternberg
Best Actress: Marlene Dietrich
Best Art Direction
The only thing people remember about this film is Marlene wearing a man's suit during a musical number and kissing a woman. Wow! Shocking! And I bet it was shocking, for 1930. And once you go past that scene, this isn't much of a movie. The worst thing about it is actually the love story, which I found hard to believe and not something that would come naturally to these characters.
Marlene is beautiful, Gary Cooper is gorgeous, the cinematography impressive for that era. The musical numbers were a bit flat for me, but even with the unconvincing screenplay, I am surprised this wasn't among the 5 films nominated for Best Picture: while I am not a fan, this is much better than winner Cimarron.
My rating for the film: 5.5/10. But it had real potential.