I am really surprised that this film only has a rating of 6.4 as of the time I did this review. While not exactly a great film, I do think it's one of the best films Dietrich did and it's a shame it isn't more highly regarded. I think a lot of the reason I liked the film so much is that the usual silly Dietrich persona as the "über-vamp" isn't present and her role required her to actually act. I just hate seeing film after film after film in the early days of her career where she seemed more like a caricature or cliché than a real woman. I don't necessarily blame Dietrich for the silly vampish films she made in the 1930s--audiences loved them and they did make her famous. But here, she showed she really could act. After all, just looking at her in films like MOROCCO, BLONDE VENUS and THE BLUE ANGEL, who would have guessed that she was well-cast to play a Gypsy! I was quite prepared to hate the film because of this casting decision, but it worked--she was pretty believable and a lot of fun to watch as well! The film is, essentially, a vehicle just for Ray Milland and Marlene Dietrich--the other supporting characters are very much secondary to the movie. Milland is a wanted spy in pre-WWII Germany and in his efforts to escape, he stumbles upon a rather frisky lone Gypsy (Dietrich) who instantly takes him to be a fulfillment of prophecy--in other words, her new lover! Milland is quite stuffy but reluctantly agrees to travel in her wagon--even putting on body paint and piercing his ears to make him look like a Gypsy (hence the title to the movie). Over time, he slowly starts to realize that underneath her very uncouth exterior is quite a woman and romance slowly blossoms.
The film in a word is "charming". A nice romance with a good dose of comedy and fun--just the sort of picture you wish Hollywood still made. Also, please note the performance of Murvyn Vye as "Zoltan". He was very magnetic in the short time he was on film and I just loved his deep and beautiful voice.
Finally, a sad note to consider. While the film is set in Germany, no mention is made of the upcoming Gypsy Holocaust. During the war, throughout German territory, the Nazis exterminated a huge percentage of Gypsies and so the final nice ending to the film is a tad far-fetched.
Adventure / Romance / War
Adventure / Romance / War
On the eve of World War II (1939) English officer Ralph Denistoun is in Nazi Germany on an espionage mission to recover a poison gas formula from Prof. Krosigk. He is helped by Lydia and her band of gypsies. Naturally romance develops along the way. —Don Femia
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