Morocco is too lightweight a story to be counterbalanced by the big-time direction given it. Marlene Dietrich has little opportunities in her first American talker. There’s nothing to the picture, except what Josef von Sternberg gives it in direction, and that’s giving it more than it’s got.
The story [from the play Amy Jolly by Benno Vigny] is given a terrific kick early, when Dietrich arrives in Morocco to star in the concert hall. The first evening of her appearance she gives the key to her home to a legionnaire, Cooper. After that the rest is apple sauce, even to her joining the female followers of the troops to keep near her soldier.
Adolphe Menjou has a walkthrough role, done with his acknowledged suavity. Ullrich Haupt handles a minor role very nicely. Cooper plays excellently. He gets the precise spirit of his role.
1930/31: Nominations: Best Director, Actress (Marlene Dietrich), Cinematography, Art Direction