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Bagdad Cafe
Bagdad Cafe
Actors: Marianne Sägebrecht, CCH Pounder, Jack Palance, Christine Kaufmann, Monica Calhoun
Director: Percy Adlon
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
PG     2001     1hr 35min

German writer-director Percy Adlon makes a "remarkable" (Boxoffice) American debut with his "charming" (Vogue) Bagdad Cafe starring Cch Pounder (Face/Off) and Jack Palance(City Slickers). Injecting his bold and unique styl...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Marianne Sägebrecht, CCH Pounder, Jack Palance, Christine Kaufmann, Monica Calhoun
Director: Percy Adlon
Creators: Bernd Heinl, Percy Adlon, Dietrich von Watzdorf, Eleonore Adlon, Christopher Doherty
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/24/2001
Original Release Date: 04/22/1988
Theatrical Release Date: 04/22/1988
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 18
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Margaret S. (morgan2010) from GLENVIEW, IL
Reviewed on 8/13/2010...
I am calling you-ooohoooh.... That song alone made me watch this movie again. It is an odd ball cast and an odd ball story, but it is worth watching.
S A A. (Learned2Heal)
Reviewed on 10/13/2008...
A fairly obscure little movie that my husband and I are oh-so-glad we found. Great acting, quirky but interesting storyline. An atmosphere that is hard to describe. We have watched it many times over and would not part with our copy for the world.

A truly fun and amusing, quirky (did I mention that already? Well, it bears repeating), feel-good movie.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Freak Shows & Oddballs That'll Touch Your Heart
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 06/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bagdad Cafe is an odd film, and I mean that as a compliment. The characters are all greatly flawed individuals who, as the film starts, are largely unhappy. CCH Pounder plays Brenda who owns the cafe. This woman could scare the hide off a cat with that shrill voice that drives her husband off to park in the desert and observe her with binoculars for the rest of the film. Jasmin, the Bavarian German who likes her coffee strong, is fat and seems to change clothes regularly despite having a suitcase supposedly filled only with men's clothes. She is not the typical Hollywood star, but she comes to win our hearts. Jack Palance as Rudy Cox, the set painter from Hollywood, lives in a trailer and sees the world through rose colored glasses. His costumes are pure Santa Monica Boulevard chic. He charms us as he falls in love. The sequence of paintings he does as Jasmin gets progressively less dressed is hysterical. The other characters are also unique. Brenda's son who also has a son, a baby, wants nothing more than to play piano all day. The daughter dresses in trendy teenage garb and seems to repeatedly run off with anything with two legs and pants. Debbie, the tatoo artist, seems like an S&M freak, and eventually leaves because "there is too much harmony." The thing I love about this film is that most all of the characters change. Jasmin's unfolding is glorious. The themes in the movie of racial misunderstanding and harmony are also interesting. Jasmin has never seen blacks and pictures herself in tribal Africa being roasted for dinner. She's amazed at how light the palms of Brenda's daughter's hand is, a simple detail but beautiful in its innocent sense of wonder. The DVD version doesn't add a tremendous amount of extras such as bonus material, but the movie itself is the reward. If you like upbeat films somewhat off the beaten track, seek out this cinematic gem."
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 07/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Filmed not too far from here in the town of Baghdad in the Mojave Desert, Percy Adlon's BAGHDAD CAFE has charmed just about everyone who has stumbled across this literally off-the-beaten track 1987 gem that's now available for the first time in a bare-bones widescreen DVD transfer. The story is deceptively simple. Marianne Sägebrecht is a German tourist who leaves -- and is subsequently abandoned by -- her husband(?) in the California desert. In the middle of nowhere, she makes her way to the run-down, failing, Baghadad Cafe and Motel run by C.C.H. Pounder (ER's Dr. Hicks). The rotund Sägebrecht quickly becomes a part of the eccentric family under Pounders tough-talking rule. Not only that, her presence is the catalyst that transforms the forgotten roadside stop into a bustling business and a life-altering experience for all present. Jack Palance is extraordinary as an ex-Hollywood set designer and artist who sees Sägebrecht's true beauty and becomes obsessed about capturing it on canvas. What he sees Sägebrecht becomes and in the process impacts those she touches. This wonderful film is about loving and accepting and believing and discovering and being. The original music by Bob Telson includes the haunting "Calling You" sung by Javetta Steele. This is one for the digital library. Highest recommendation."
Can't expain the attraction � just see it
pasnat54 | Pasadena, CA United States | 07/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I found Bagdad Cafe on DVD three days ago and have watched it twice since, each time with a big smile on my face. It's difficult to explain why this movie is so haunting; if you try to tell a friend "You've got to see this movie because...", you'd be stuck for a definable reason. It's a very gentle character study of two women, different as can be, who come to understand and even like each other. They are both frustrated with their current positions in life. Jasmin (Marianne Sagebrecht), the stranded German tourist, is willing to start repairing her life, even in this bleak desert setting. Brenda (CCH Pounder) has led such a hard-knocks life that she can't understand or accept anyone trying to help her. There's a wonderful supporting cast surrounding them, but the heart of this movie is the way the two women learn to be friends. You're either going to love this movie or be totally bewildered by what I (and other reviewers) see in it.This movie was shot in Newberry Springs, near Barstow; the restaurant is still there (originally called Sidewinder Cafe, now renamed the Bagdad Cafe, of course). This is the favorite movie of one of my sister's friend who lives in Brazil. When this friend's daughter Paula visited recently, we stopped by the Bagdad Cafe on the way to Vegas; Paula's mom shed tears of delight when she saw pictures of her daugher making a pilgrimage to this high desert Mecca."