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Germany / USA 1987
Directed by
Percy Adlon
95 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Bagdad Cafe

Bagdad Cafe is a gem of a film that is distinguished by a simple but inventive and humorous script by Adlon with his wife, Eleonore, quirky characters, exuberant cinematography by Bernd Heinl, evocative music by Bob Telson and with a memorable out-of-retirement performance for Jack Palance.

From the opening scene Adlon skilfully unfurls the story of the unlikely friendship between Jasmin (Marianne Sagebrecht) a holidaying German hausfrau stranded somewhere in the Mojave Desert after an argument with her slob of a husband and Brenda, who runs a two-bit gas station and motel and struggles to keep her work-shy family on the job. In this role CCH Pounder is unforgettable.

A feelgood movie without the usual sentimentality, it was a huge popular success and remains a consistently rewarding film even if the climactic musical number 'Brenda, Brenda' now feels a tad drawn out. Adlon and Sagebrecht combined again for Sugarbaby in 1985 and Rosalie Goes Shopping in 1989 but without anything like the same degree of box office success.

DVD Extras: New digitized version; a director's commentary in German; filmographies; trailer and photo gallery.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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