|Marlene Dietrich and Theresa Harris|
In old New Orleans lady of leisure Countess Claire (Marlene Dietrich) has set her cap for the wealthy older banker Charles Giraud (Roland Young). But Claire has left behind quite a reputation in St. Petersburg, and to deflect Giraud's suspicion she also pretends to be another notorious woman from Russia, Claire's lookalike and [kind of] cousin, Lily. Complicating matters is a lusty sailor named Robert Latour (Bruce Cabot), who has an eye for Claire (and Lili) and vice versa. One could say that Flame of New Orleans is Dietrich's Two-Faced Woman [in which Greta Garbo pretended to be two different women] not just because of the plot but because Flame is similarly mediocre. However, the actors, especially a surprising Cabot, all do a good job, and they are backed by such stalwarts as Franklin Pangborn, Mischa Auer, Anne Revere, Laura Hope Crews, Andy Devine, and a host of talented black actors, including Theresa Harris [Baby Face] as Clarie's saucy, sexy maid Clementine. However, the film is predictable and not as much fun as it sounds. Clair also directed It Happened Tomorrow.
Verdict: Pleasant in many ways but minor. **1/2.