5.8/10
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9 user 9 critic

Desert Sands (1955)

Approved | | Adventure, Romance | 27 February 1956 (Sweden)
The French Foreign Legion battles rebellious Arabs in North Africa.

Director:

Lesley Selander

Writers:

George W. George (screenplay), George F. Slavin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Ralph Meeker ... Capt. David Malcolm
Marla English ... Princess Zara
J. Carrol Naish ... Sergeant Diepel
John Carradine ... Jala
Ron Randell ... Pvt. Peter Havers
John Smith ... Pvt. Rex Tyle
Keith Larsen ... El Zanal
Lita Milan ... Alita
Philip Tonge ... Cpl. Sandy McTosh
Otto Waldis ... Gabin
Peter Mamakos ... Pvt. Lucia Capella
Jarl Victor Jarl Victor ... Lt. Gina Mackie
Nico Minardos ... Gerard
Aaron Saxon Aaron Saxon ... Tamal
Albert Carrier ... Ducco
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Storyline

The French Foreign Legion battles rebellious Arabs in North Africa.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DESERT INTRIGUE, DANGER, LOVE! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 February 1956 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Les Rats du Bled See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bel-Air Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Desert Sands
Music by Paul Dunlap
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
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User Reviews

 
One of the better Foreign Legion films
10 January 2005 | by guancheSee all my reviews

An exciting adventure film, with good battle scenes, interesting characters, stirring renditions of "Le Boudin" (the signature march of the Legion) and the little known and sexy Elizabeth Taylor lookalike Marla English, as the "Arab" princess. It seems like the Legion outpost is a modified "wild west" set and Marla and her maidservant's costumes appear to be reworked Mexican cowgirl outfits. Entirely apropos for the unintentionally hilarious love scenes with the Legion commandant (Ralph Meeker). Her brother, the sheikh, has a prep school accent, but it's not quite as bad as the Brooklynese dialect of Richard Conte's villain sheikh in 1953's "Desert Legion" ("Det ta da lejun!"). Mama Mia!!

The legionnaires are uncharacteristically complacent. After all, this is 1955 and the tribes just don't surround and attack Legion forts a la Beau Geste anymore. Not! They get a rude awakening when Marla and her brother; who believe their father was murdered by the French; unite the desert tribes and wipe out a column of legionnaires. The film does have some reality deficits. Even though it is the 1950s there isn't a motor vehicle in sight, although the new commandant arrives at the fort by helicopter, and the radio man is building a television set. The rifles carried by the legionnaires were over 20 years out of date at the time, and rifle grenades can't blow up buildings. But, this is an escapist actioner with some unintended laughs thrown in, not a History Channel Special. In that respect, it really hits the spot. It even begins with a sultry, James Bondish theme song!

I recently saw this movie for the first time since the early 70s (on TMC) and I find it hard to believe that it was never put on commercial video.


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