In the mid 18th century, a wedding gown is found floating down the Mississippi River. Only three people know the secret of its damp origin, and the ripples of love lost and love found, rising and receding in its wake. The impoverished Countess Claire Ledoux (Marlene Dietrich) arrived in New Orleans with one thing on her mind -to marry a man of means. And with her engagement to gentleman Charles Giraud (Roland Young), it appeared to be smooth seas ahead... until Captain Robert Latour (Bruce Cabot) stormed into town, took the wind out of her sails and replaced it with a flutter in her heart. Though it would take fainting spells and double identities to delay and disguise the truth, the Countess would discover that the greatest treasure of all - a heart of gold - is worth more than a pot of it.
Flickering or guttering.
- The Flame of New Orleans review by NW
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A “comedy”, and crass. Script clunkingly unimaginative; dialogue wooden, characters cut from worn out cardboard. This film demeans both Fraulein Dietrich and M. Clair, each of whom was capable of better things - but where else could they go in 1941but Hollywood? Marlene Dietrich’s skill and power as an actress – see, for example, “Dishonoured” – were too often under valued. Should one blame the producers and their expectations rather than anything else? In Hollywood, of course, offer them an actress and all they really wanted was a doll – it did not matter whether it was called Marlene or Marilyn! I fear I am parading my personal prejudices, but this film did upset me, with its vulgarly glittering attempts to show a social scene and subordinate – if well played – coloured characters. (Theresa Harris, for example, was obviously capable of much more.) By contrast, as the leading man, I found Robert Cabot rebarbative … but blame the script, perhaps, rather than him for the brash vulgarity of his part. Crass; vulgar; I found it hard to see through to the end. (Good enough camera work …) Blank stars only.