Sunday, January 27, 2013

Domino Diaries 6

It should be no secret by now that Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich are the inspirations for J. Parker Wrighte and Domino Mueller. The first film was the lush melodrama Morocco, directed by Josef Von Sternberg, which introduced Marlene to American audiences. She makes her entrance at the cabaret dressed in a tuxedo, daring enough for a woman in the 30's, and then leans and kisses a young woman on the lips. After that, her romance with legionnaire Cooper is pretty tame. Fun stuff with lots of Foreign Legion action and Adolphe Menjou stealing a lots of scenes. It definitely was a first of its kind in American cinema. Very pretty people in a very pretty movie.

My favorite though is the second film, Desire, directed by the master of the light comic touch, Ernst Lubitsch. Cooper is a young engineer from the states on vacation who meets jewel thief Deitrich. There aren't really any surprises; you know Gary and Marlene will end up together, but watching them get there is a terrific ride. I'm sure this film was a big influence on Eisner in both his writing and drawing. A delightful way to spend an evening when you need a break from all the super hero CGI crap that's thrown at you these days.

Below is the revised splash part for the second chapter of All Roads Lead to Rome. And of course that is not Marlene with Parker but Devon Ayers, a character based on a famous dancer in film.

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