Pearls of happiness

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German title Pearls of happiness
Original title Desire
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1936
length 90 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Frank Borzage
script Edwin Justus Mayer ,
Waldemar Young ,
Samuel Hoffenstein
production Frank Borzage,
Ernst Lubitsch
music Friedrich Hollaender
camera Charles B. Lang
cut William Shea

Pearls for happiness (original: Desire , alternative title: Sehnsucht ) is a romantic comedy film with Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper from 1936.


Tom Bradley, an impeccable and charming man, works as an engineer in the Paris branch of the Detroit-based automaker Bronson . After completing his assignment in Paris, he is scheduled to return to Detroit, but is given two weeks vacation before returning to the States. He has been fascinated by Spain since childhood and therefore chooses the country as a travel destination. For his trip, he gets a vehicle from his boss with an advertising slogan on the rear wheel: “It's good to have a Bronson”.

At the same time, Madeleine de Beaupre, a seductive woman, goes to a jewelry store in Paris. She is received by Aristide Duvalle, a well-known jeweler. He shows her the most expensive and precious pearl necklaces in town. Madeleine decides on a necklace that costs over two million francs . On the same day she goes to the well-known psychologist Dr. Maurice Pauquet. She politely asks him to meet her alleged husband Aristide Duvalle at 6 p.m. and to help him with his non-existent problems. Aristide Duvalle appears at the practice at 6 p.m. with the intention of punishing the alleged husband, Dr. Maurice Pauquet. When Madeleine receives the necklace from the jeweler Aristide Duvalle, she sends it to Dr. Maurice Pauquet and goes away. A misunderstanding arises between the two as each thinks the other is Madeleine's husband.

The misunderstanding between the jeweler and the psychologist finally clears up and the police look for the thieves. Madeleine is now near the French-Spanish border when she stops in a small village to check on her horn. There she meets Tom Bradley, who helps her with her problem. Both drive on until they meet again at the border a few hours later. Madeleine slips her necklace inconspicuously into Tom's jacket so that it might not be discovered on her. Tom puts his jacket in his pocket when he gets hot. Then both continue to San Sebastián .

Madeleine must now try to get her necklace back from her jacket. She fakes a breakdown and drives with Tom. After a few hours Tom stops to get his jacket out of the suitcase. Madeleine quickly gets behind the wheel and drives off without him. The necklace remains with Tom. She is later followed by the police and causes an accident as a result. Nevertheless, she manages to flee to San Sebastian and meet Carlos Margoli there. She should get the necklace for him because he wants to sell the necklace to a customer.

Carlos and Madeleine then manage to find Tom and steal the necklace from him. But a love relationship develops between Tom and Madeleine and this complicates everything for everyone involved. Tom wants to marry Madeleine, who loves him, but hesitates: she can't bring herself to tell him about her true background and fears that she will no longer be able to escape the criminal milieu. Madeleine gradually regrets her theft and wants to break away from the gang of criminals around Carlos. She finally tells Tom the truth and he stands by her. The two manage to steal the necklace from dangerous Carlos. Later they return the necklace in Paris and Madeleine gets away lightly with a pardon. They eventually get married to start a whole new existence.


Hollywood legends Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper play the leading roles in Perlen zum Glück . The screenplay is based on a play by Hans Székely and on the film The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez from 1933. The German director Ernst Lubitsch is directing some scenes as there were some misunderstandings between the director Frank Borzage and the production company Paramount .

The premiere took place on February 28, 1936 in the Paramount Theater, New York., The German premiere on April 2, 1936 in the Capitol am Zoo , Berlin.

The film was received positively by the audience and critics and is considered a successful example of what the Americans call "sophistication".


“Charming comedy with good actors and witty dialogues, whose game of appearance and being thrives on omissions and ellipses. Except for the somewhat awkwardly constructed end, a lively cinema entertainment. "


  • Homer Dickens, Robert Fischer: Gary Cooper and his films (OT: The Films of Gary Cooper ). Citadel Movie Books. Goldmann, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-442-10218-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Marlene Dietrich - actress . In: CineGraph - Lexicon for German-Language Film , Lg. 21, F 4
  2. Luck pearls. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used