This West German film is set in the California Desert. A husband-and-wife pair of Bavarian tourists become stranded when their car breaks down; after a quarrel, the wife, Marianne Sagebrecht, gathers her luggage and stalks off. She stops at the Bagdad Cafe, a fleapit truckstop run by outspoken C.C.H. Pounder, who is also having husband problems. The Cafe has become a magnet for some of truly odd character: temperamental Hispanic cook George Aguilar, tattoo artist Christine Kaufmann, and onetime Hollywood set designer Jack Palance. Despite obvious personality differences, Sagebrecht and Pounder become friends. Bagdad Cafe was later adapted into a short-lived American sitcom starring Jean Stapleton and Whoopi Goldberg. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
At the start, my DVD was a bit grainy in texture and distorted in color. But soon it evened out and I was swept back into the wonderful, quirky story I had loved when I first viewed it in 1987. Both Jasmin and Brenda are survivors, but they drive each other crazy at first. The whole cast is outstanding, as is the scenery that does full justice to the vast spaces of the American Southwest. And the song is both eerie and beautiful...haunting, just like the desert.
Bagdad Cafe is a tale about a bunch of odd and diverse characters who are either secluded or stranded in the middle of nowhere. It's a nicer version of Pulp Fiction meets Wild at Heart in the way it takes its many quirky although interesting turns. Bagdad Cafe keeps you looking around the corner for the next event that occurs for odd character. In the end, Bagdad Cafe satisfies the weird sense of humor in all of us and delivers brilliant conclusions for each of the characters. It even boasts some star power (Jack Palance [City Slickers]and CCH Pounder [The Shield]. Bottom line: this little movie does big, bizarre, interesting things.