Amy Jolly is the main protagonist of the 1930 film Morocco. She's a world-weary chanteuse attempting to hide from her past, and gets a job at a local club a cross-dressing nightclub singer which attracts the attention of womanizing Legionnaire soldier Tom Brown, whom she's develop romantic feelings for.
She's portrayed by Marlene Dietrich.
Why She Rocks
- With the movie being the first movie done in Hollywood by Marlene Dietrich with Von Sternberg directing, this serves as Marlene's true introduction to American audiences in the English language, and it is quite visibly a great effort by both director and actress in the creation of a new feminine myth which Marlene would represent throughout her career: the new sensual goddess, accessible and inaccessible at the same time, wonderfully and apparently aloof and distant, but also carnally at hand, sometimes paying the price of love in her own flesh.
- She's got a snarky and clever sense of wit and humor, and was shown to have excellent chemistry with Tom Brown and I strong loving relationship. Additionally, she's meant to serve as an archetype of a white colonialist behaving as white colonialists behaved.
- With the film examining the "interchange of masculine and feminine characteristics" in a "genuine interplay between male and female." Dietrich's performance dressed in "top hat, white tie and tails" includes a "mock seduction" of a pretty female cabaret patron, whom Dietrich "outrages with a kiss." Dietrich's costume simultaneously mocks the pretensions of one lover (La Bessière) and serves as an invitation to a handsome soldier-of-fortune (Tom Brown), the two men being presented as contrasting conceptions of masculinity." This famous sequence provides an insight into the character, Amy Jolly. Dietrich's impersonation is an adventure, an act of bravado that subtly alters her conception of herself as a woman, and what begins as self-expression ends in self-sacrifice.
- She's intentionally written to be a mysteriously written, and to have a mysterious past she's trying to get away from, although it's been hinted that it's involved a possibly true love she's once had
- As a cabaret singer, not only is she a beautiful singer, she's also shown that she's not so easily deterred. During her first performance where she's ruthlessly being booed at, she just casually stands on stage, smokes, and stares them down. It's almost like she's completely used to this treatment.
- For the film's nearly 90-minute length, it takes very long for her and Tom Brown to actually speak to each other – but they’re flirting from the first moment that they lay eyes on one another. All through the cabaret show, so much is said through simple expressions. Things proceed like so. She slips him a flower, then an apple, and finally a key. At this point, he gets the drift and we do too. Later that evening he winds up at her flat, and they spend their most substantial amount of time together. But it’s full of odd exchanges and meandering conversations that run the risk of sounding aloof. In fact, their entire relationship is replete with oddities. For being romantic protagonists, they sure don’t act like it at times.