The movie “Morocco” by Josef von Sternberg shows Marlene Dietrich as the singer Ami Jolly in a cabaret. She falls in love with the soldier Tom Brown acted by Gary Cooper and is loved by the richest man in town La Bassier (Adolphe Menjou). La Bassier does everything to make her love him and even gives up at the end when Ami Jolly follows Tom Brown into the dessert.
The sequence with the two musical performances follows the introduction of the main characters. This is further split into two different parts. The first part shows Tom Brown, a soldier who arrives at a Moroccan town by foot. He is instantly attracted to a woman who is presented in the first couple of scenes and he makes a date with this woman. We are also introduced to La Bassier in this sequence, he arrives by ship and he is attracted to Ami Jolly. He tries to get her attention by helping her and giving her his calling card. She tears the calling card and throws it away. A comparison is drawn between the Moroccan woman and Ami Jolly in that Ami Jolly is presented as being more sophisticated than the Moroccan woman. This comparison can also be expanded to discuss the division between the rich and the poor. This can be seen in the way both men dressed and comported themselves. Tom Brown the soldier does not dress like a businessman like La Bassier does. In addition to this, La Bassier has a calling card; this calling card represents the class distinction that occurs between both men since only the rich had calling cards at this time. The first sequence is presented as a series of competition. It can be summarized as: Tom Brown versus La Bassier; Moroccan woman vs. Ami Jolly, coming by foot vs. coming by ship, no money vs. money and sexual success vs. no success. I think the movie is made to be a constant competition to show the subconscious rivalry that exists between men and women and also between money and love.
The important sequence, where the only two musical scenes are presented starts with a shot, in which the viewer walks into the hall of the cabaret. This gives the viewer the impression that he is within the setting. Ami Jolli performs on stage in her two musical scenes. In this sequence we have again the comparison between La Bassier and Tom Brown. Now there are more people in this setting besides La Bassier, Tom Brown and Ami Jolly and they are Ms. Caesar, his wife and Lo Tinto the owner of the cabaret.
- Quote paper
- Marco Kaiser (Author), 2002, Abaut Major Filmmakers - The two musical scenes in the Josef von Sternbeg movie “Morocco”, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/78899