Desire is the first Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper picture since Morocco (1930). The two stars work unusually well as a pair.
The direction is subtle and inspired, with many smart little Lubitschian touches adding to the general appeal of the yarn [by Hans Szekely and R.A. Stemmle] and its plot. Dietrich plays a jewel thief who gains possession of a valuable string of pearls. About half the footage is concerned with the efforts of Dietrich and a confederate to retrieve the pearls from Cooper who unknowingly has become their custodian.
The love scenes are excellently handled and written. A very good sequence is framed for the meeting between Cooper and the bogus nobleman, her accomplice, while another occurs later when efforts are made to get the two stars out of their beds one morning. The hand of producer Ernst Lubitsch is apparent here and in many other portions of the smartly-piloted romantic comedy.