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The Garden of Allah (1936 film)

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The Garden of Allah
File:The Garden of Allah 1936 poster.jpg
1936 US Theatrical Poster
Directed by Richard Boleslawski
Produced by David O. Selznick
Written by William P. Lipscomb
Lynn Riggs
Willis Goldbeck
Based on The Garden of Allah
1904 novel 
by Robert S. Hichens
Starring Marlene Dietrich
Charles Boyer
Basil Rathbone
C. Aubrey Smith
Joseph Schildkraut
John Carradine
Alan Marshal
Lucile Watson
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Virgil Miller
Edited by Hal C. Kern
Anson Stevenson
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • October 15, 1936 (1936-10-15)
Running time
79 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Garden of Allah (1936) is a dramatic film made by Selznick International Pictures, directed by Richard Boleslawski and produced by David O. Selznick. The screenplay was written by William P. Lipscomb and Lynn Riggs, who based it on the 1905 novel by Robert S. Hichens. Hichens's novel had been filmed twice before, as silent films made in 1916 and 1927. This sound version stars Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer with Basil Rathbone, C. Aubrey Smith, Joseph Schildkraut, John Carradine, Alan Marshal, and Lucile Watson. The music score is by Max Steiner.

It was the third film to be photographed in Three-strip Technicolor, and gained an honorary Academy Award for cinematography. The filming locations were in Buttercup, California and Yuma, Arizona.


Trappist monk Boris Androvski (Charles Boyer) feels enormous pressure at having to keep his vows as a monk, so he flees his monastery. Yet he is the only one who knows the secret recipe of the monastery's famous liqueur, a recipe passed down from one generation of monks to another. Meanwhile, heiress Domini Enfilden (Marlene Dietrich) is newly freed from her own prison of caring for her just-deceased father and also seeks the exotic open spaces of the North African desert to nurture her soul.

Androvski and Domini meet, fall in love, and are married by the local priest, after which the newlyweds are whisked off into the scorching desert – a trip that the local sand diviner has forecast will bring happiness and a bad end. Domini is unaware of Androvski's past as a monk.

When a lost patrol of French legionnaires finds its way into camp, one of their number recognizes the liqueur he is served. The truth comes out, and a guilt-ridden Boris decides to return to the monastery, parting from his wife.



The film was originally budgeted at $1.6 million but this went over by an estimated $370,000, which ended up being roughly the size of the loss the film recorded.[1]

Following the success of the movie in Brazilian cinemas, in Rio de Janeiro the park between the beach neighborhoods of Leblon and Ipanema, i.e. Jardim de Alah, was named after the movie.

See also


  1. ^ David Thomson, Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick, Abacus, 1993 p 230

External links

Template:David O. Selznick