French-language film poster
|Directed by||Percy Adlon|
|Music by||Bob Telson|
|Editing by||Norbert Herzner|
|Distributed by||Island Pictures|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Bagdad Café (also known as Out of Rosenheim) is a 1987 German film directed by Percy Adlon. The film is a comedy set in a remote truck-stop café and motel in the Mojave Desert. It centers on two women who have recently separated from their husbands, and the blossoming friendship that ensues. It runs 95 minutes in the U.S. and 108 minutes in the German version.
German tourist Jasmin Münchgstettner (Sägebrecht) from Rosenheim and her husband fight whilst they are driving across the desert. She storms out of the car and happens upon the truck stop run by the tough-as-nails and short-tempered Brenda (Pounder), whose own husband, after an argument out front, is soon to leave as well. Jasmin takes a room at the adjacent motel. Initially suspicious of the foreigner, Brenda eventually befriends Jasmin and allows her to work at the café.
The café is visited by an assortment of colorful characters, including a strange ex-Hollywood set-painter (Palance) and a glamorous tattoo artist (Kaufmann). Brenda's son (Darron Flagg) plays J. S. Bach preludes on the piano. With an ability to quietly empathize with everyone she meets at the café, helped by a passion for cleaning and performing magic tricks, Jasmin gradually transforms the café and all the people in it.
- Marianne Sägebrecht — Jasmin Münchgstettner
- C. C. H. Pounder — Brenda
- Jack Palance — Rudi Cox
- Christine Kaufmann — Debby
- Monica Calhoun — Phyllis
- Darron Flagg — Salomo
- George Aguilar — Cahuenga
- G. Smokey Campbell — Sal
- Hans Stadlbauer (German) — Herr Münchgstettner
- Alan S. Craig — Eric
- Apesanahkwat — Sheriff Arnie
The movie was a success at last
Awards and nominations
- 1988: won Bavarian Film Award Best Screenplay (Eleonore & Percy Adlon)
- 1988: won Ernst Lubitsch Award (Percy Adlon)
- 1989: nominated for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Bob Telson for the song "Calling You")
- 1989: won Amanda Best Foreign Feature Film (Percy Adlon)
- 1989: won Artios Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy (Al Onorato and Jerold Franks)
- 1989: won César Best Foreign Film (Percy Adlon)
In 1990, the film was turned into a television series starring James Gammon, Whoopi Goldberg, Cleavon Little, and Jean Stapleton, with Stapleton as Jasmin and Goldberg as Brenda. In the TV version, Jasmin was no longer German. The series was shot in the conventional sitcom format, before a studio audience. The show did not obtain a sizable audience, being forced to compete with ABC's Top 30 hit Family Matters and was cancelled after one season.
Bagdad, California is the original setting (Bagdad, Arizona is an unrelated town). There was an actual Bagdad Cafe that existed in the 1960s when U.S. Route 66 ran through the town. The town of Bagdad included a café, a gasoline station, cabins for rent, and an airstrip. When Interstate 40 opened and bypassed two-lane Route 66, commerce collapsed and the businesses that were once Bagdad all closed and eventually the town was completely razed. It is marked today by a clearing on the north side of old Route 66 and a single tree.
The film was shot at what was then the Sidewinder Cafe in Newberry Springs, California, 50 miles west of the original site of Bagdad on old U.S. 66. Since then, the café has become something of a tourist destination and to capitalize on the movie it changed its name to the Bagdad Café. A small notice board on the café wall features snapshots of the film's cast and crew.
The principal piano pieces heard, performed by Darron Flagg, are preludes from Book I of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier: the C major, no. 1, BWV 845; the C minor, BWV 846, no. 2; and the D major, no. 5, BWV 850.
- "Percy Adlon's Trek to 'Bagdad Cafe' - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1995-05-25. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Bagdad Cafe' Serves Endearing and Quirky Version of America - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1995-05-25. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- Maslin, Janet (1988-04-22). "Movie Review - Bagdad Cafe - REview/Film; Exotic U.S. In Bavarian Perspective - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- "Bagdad Cafe - Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- "Box Office Champs, Chumps : The hero of the bottom line was the 46-year-old 'Bambi' - Page 2 - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1989-01-08. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- Tucker, Ken (March 30, 1990). "Bagdad Cafe". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- Harris, Mark (December 21, 1990). "Goodbye to Bagdad Cafe". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- Bagdad Café at the Internet Movie Database
- Bagdad Café at Rotten Tomatoes
- Time Out film review
- Channel 4 film review
- The website of the Bagdad cafe
- California's Gold Road Trip - Newberry Springs