Bagdad Café (also known as Out of Rosenheim) is a 1987 German film directed by Percy Adlon.
The film is a somewhat surreal comedy set in a remote truck-stop café and motel in the Mojave Desert. The film begins when German tourist Jasmin (Sägebrecht) has a fight with her husband while 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). The cafe is visited by an odd assortment of characters, including
a strange ex-Hollywood set-painter (Palance), and a glamorous tattoo artist (Kaufmann). Through a passion for cleaning and for magic tricks, Jasmin gradually transforms the café and all the people in it.
The film runs 95 minutes in the U.S. and 108 minutes in the German version.
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)
- Full list of awards
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 20 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 '60s when U.S. Route 66 ran through the town; it (and the town) have since vanished. The site is marked by a railroad siding 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 has changed its name to the Bagdad Café. A small notice board on the café wall features snapshots of the film's cast and crew.
- There are currently (04/2007) 19 volumes of tourists' signatures on hand at the Bagdad Café, a few signatures are by movie stars who have stopped in. The current owner enjoys keeping the Café's movie spirit and ambiance alive as well as the friendliness.
- The actual café is almost identical to the one in the film; the motel is about a hundred yards off to the side of the restaurant. It sits empty and mostly boarded up, but you can easily see Jasmin's room at the far end. The water tower was specially built for the film.
- Shortly after the film was shot, Flagg and Calhoun became schoolmates at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. While Calhoun still acts, Flagg does not.
- Flagg is actually playing the piano in the film. He and his identical twin brother, Aaron Flagg, attended the School of the Arts together in the music department, and are skilled pianists.
- The original German version runs 20 minutes longer than the US release.
- The soundtrack album has a track where the director narrates the story, including the film's missing scenes.
- The soundtrack features the song "Calling You", by Jevetta Steele.