Legend of the Lost

Legend of the Lost

Director: Henry Hathaway, John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Rossano Brazzi

Cast: Henry Hathaway, John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Rossano Brazzi

     
 

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Produced and directed by Henry Hathaway, The Legend of the Lost boasted the one-time-only teaming of John Wayne and Sophia Loren. Location-filmed in the Sahara desert, the story concerns the efforts of Wayne, Loren and Rosanno Brazzi to locate a missing treasure in the ruins of ancient Timgrad. Once found, the treasure is stolen by Brazzi, who leaves his

Overview

Produced and directed by Henry Hathaway, The Legend of the Lost boasted the one-time-only teaming of John Wayne and Sophia Loren. Location-filmed in the Sahara desert, the story concerns the efforts of Wayne, Loren and Rosanno Brazzi to locate a missing treasure in the ruins of ancient Timgrad. Once found, the treasure is stolen by Brazzi, who leaves his partners in the middle of nowhere to die like rats. Fortunately, Wayne and Loren survive the ordeal, though Brazzi is not so lucky. Of the three stars, Brazzi delivers the most interesting performance, while Wayne and Loren seem ill-at-ease throughout. The best aspect of this sometimes ponderous effort is the color cinematography of the great Jack Cardiff.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Henry Hathaway's Legend of the Lost (1957) was one of a small group of unusual late '50s films starring John Wayne in which the actor tried stretching himself in new roles. The other of those films and roles, including The Sea Chase (casting him as a World War II German ship captain), The Conqueror (as Genghis Khan), and The Barbarian and the Geisha (as a 19th century U.S. diplomat in Japan), were mostly missteps. Legend of the Lost, however, is interesting enough to make it worth watching, as one of the more successful of these experiments. Wayne portrays Joe January, a hard-drinking, hard-loving guide and adventurer -- prone to owing lots of money and spending a fair amount of time in jail -- with a sardonic wit, living in North Africa. It's close enough to the kind of part that Wayne often played that he can pull it off, and Rossano Brazzi's portrayal of Bonnard, the disillusioned (and ultimately insane) idealistic missionary who hires him, is interesting enough, and sufficiently offbeat in a John Wayne movie so as to make it all the more worth watching. What's more, the interaction between the two characters is drawn very nicely in a script that's clever enough to have Wayne's character allude derisively to King Solomon's Mines and the usual treasure-hunting fantasies associated with Africa. Their journey takes a violent and unusual psychological twist, though, when the real story of the Bonnard's father emerges. That revelation, amid the eerie setting of a dead North African city, is both unexpected and memorable. Additionally, cinematographer Jack Cardiff uses the film's exotic locales for all they're worth, capturing extraordinary images on the desert and in the ruins -- one shot in particular, of Bedouins appearing from over a rise in the distance, behind Bonnard as he speaks, is one of the scariest and most unsettling visual moments you'll find in an action-adventure film of this vintage. And, finally, as an international production, the producers of Legend of the Lost were able to cast Sophia Loren as Dita, a character who could be labeled as what she was -- a prostitute -- more clearly than ever would have been the case in a Hollywood production (not that they ever call her that outright, but it's made clear that her character's talents and activities extend to more than just picking pockets). The European-style scoring (with lots of wispy flute Arabesques, and reverb) is also an offbeat virtue. The one place where Hathaway and the script go awry is in the fight between January and Bonnard on the desert while en route to their destination; it lapses into slapstick when Dita bops Wayne on the head with a frying pan, and then takes several minutes to recover its bearings. Wayne and Hathaway would later collaborate much more successfully on The Sons of Katie Elder and True Grit, but apart from its one lapse in tone, Legend of the Lost now seems like a genuinely effective experiment by Wayne, at a time when few of his efforts to step beyond Westerns and war movies were working out.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/24/2016
UPC:
0887090120319
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
NR
Source:
Olive Films
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
10,936

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Joe January
Sophia Loren Dita
Rossano Brazzi Paul Bonnard
Kurt Kasznar Prefect Dukas
Sonia Moser Girl
Angela Portaluri Girl
Ibrahim El Hadish Galli Galli

Technical Credits
Henry Hathaway Director,Producer
Bert Bates Editor
Ben Hecht Screenwriter
Jack Cardiff Cinematographer
Nate H. Edwards Production Manager
Angelo Francesco Lavagnino Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Edward Morey Asst. Director
Webb Overlander Makeup
Robert Presnell Screenwriter
Gaia Romanini Costumes/Costume Designer
Alfred Ybarra Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Legend of the Lost
1. Chapter 1 [9:43]
2. Chapter 2 [11:13]
3. Chapter 3 [13:34]
4. Chapter 4 [15:50]
5. Chapter 5 [6:36]
6. Chapter 6 [5:08]
7. Chapter 7 [15:30]
8. Chapter 8 [17:21]
9. Chapter 9 [13:27]

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