5 January 2008 | jotix100
Bijou Blanche, a sort of chanteuse, provoked a riot, literally, everywhere in which she appears. When we first see her, she is arriving by ship to a place she is not exactly welcomed, she goes to the Seven Sinners club, where its owner doesn't have too many fond memories of Bijou, but she is a woman who will bring a lot of business his way. Ms. Blanche has the right amounts of sophistication, beauty and elegance that proves to be disarming for the men lucky enough to get her attention.
Bijou, who has a two-man entourage, Little Ned, and Sasha, soon discovers the American Navy, which has a presence in the island. It takes little before most of the sailors discover the mysterious beauty who can belt a song as well as play pool like a pro. Lt. Dan Brent, also falls under her spell, in spite of being the unofficial escort for the daughter of the man in command.
There are enough tensions in the air as a sinister Anthro, who wants Bijou for himself enters the picture. Anthro is a man who knows how to throw a knife as Tony, the owner of the club, can attest. Bijou has the kind of reaction men seem to have whenever she is around. One of the most fun brawls occurs at the Seven Sinners, but at the end, Bijou has her way, as it's always the case.
Directed with his usual style by Tay Garnett, the new DVD copy has an excellent quality since it is part of a newly released package featuring films of John Wayne. The great Marlene Dietrich is Bijou, a woman who knows what makes men tick. She kept reminding us of Destry, in that in both films she played saloon entertainers. A young, handsome John Wayne is perfect opposite Ms. Dietrich. Their chemistry is right.
The pleasure of watching this movie is watching an interesting supporting cast full of familiar faces. Broderick Crawford and Misha Auer play Little Ned Finnegan and Sasha, who are devoted to Bijou. Oskar Homolka is perfectly menacing and gives the film another dimension in the mystery surrounding his persona. Billy Gilbert also puts an appearance as Tony, the owner of the joint.
Not seen often these days, "Seven Sinners" is worth a look because of the amazing cast and the fun everyone seemed to be having, and of course, Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne at their best.