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Bagdad Cafe (1987)

Cast: CCH Pounder, Marianne Sägebrecht, Marianne Sägebrecht, more...
Director: Percy Adlon, Percy Adlon, Percy Adlon
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Studio: MGM
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Independent, Germany
Running Time: 92 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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This West German film is set in the California Desert. A husband-and-wife pair of Bavarian tourists become stranded when their car breaks down; after a quarrel, the wife, Marianne Sagebrecht, gathers her luggage and stalks off. She stops at the Bagdad Cafe, a fleapit truckstop run by outspoken C.C.H. Pounder, who is also having husband problems. The Cafe has become a magnet for some of truly odd: temperamental Hispanic cook George Aguilar, tattoo artist Christine Kaufmann, and onetime Hollywood set designer Jack Palance. Despite obvious personality differences, Sagebrecht and Pounder become friends. Bagdad Cafe was later adapted into a short-lived American sitcom starring Jean Stapleton and Whoopi Goldberg. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Desert Blue
Quirky, indie comedyalso set in a tiny desert outpost of a town

The only other Adlon film currently available on DVD, this one features Alaska as the backdrop for an unlikely relationship

GreenCine Member Reviews

Quirky and Sweet by TAubuchon March 22, 2002 - 12:25 PM PST
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
I found this to be a wonderfully quirky character study. Though a West German film, Percy Aldon captures the feel of Mojave Desert. This desert town of Bagdad, and the beautiful sunsets played well off the very European style acting. Marianne Sägebrecht, Jasmin the odd German tourist was complex, existential and highly amusing. CC H Pounder, who plays Brenda the owner of this broken down truck stop, was simultaneously caustic and venerable. Jack Palance as the eccentric artist obsessed with Jasmin was worth the price of the ticket alone. Then comes the magic and the music. This amusing yet dry movie, burst into a music, quite unexpectedly. I found Aldon's views on the poverty and desolation of the American West at times dead on, other time naive and simplistic, but always interesting. This is not a straight forward movie, it is practically drowning in metaphor and refuses to let reality get in its way, but it filled with quality character actors and interesting themes.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.28)
167 Votes
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Lost in Abstraction
Movies with lots of empty space.
committed [classics]
movies i love enough to want to own... -or- if i only had a collection.... (hint hint). probably more than a bit random, but all good movies worth seeing again (and again). once again, work in progress...

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