Rope of Sand

Overview

Producer Hal Wallis evidently hoped to recapture the magic of his earlier Casablanca with 1949's Rope of Sand. To that end, he hired three of Casablanca's supporting players: Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, and Peter Lorre. This time, Henreid is the villain, a sadistic police inspector named Paul Vogel. Stationed somewhere in Africa, Vogel hopes to find a legendary lost diamond field. His principal rival in this endeavor is jewel thief Mike Davis Burt Lancaster, who continues bouncing back from every death trap lain ...
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Overview

Producer Hal Wallis evidently hoped to recapture the magic of his earlier Casablanca with 1949's Rope of Sand. To that end, he hired three of Casablanca's supporting players: Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, and Peter Lorre. This time, Henreid is the villain, a sadistic police inspector named Paul Vogel. Stationed somewhere in Africa, Vogel hopes to find a legendary lost diamond field. His principal rival in this endeavor is jewel thief Mike Davis Burt Lancaster, who continues bouncing back from every death trap lain for him by the ill-tempered Vogel. The scenes in which Davis is subjected to various physical tortures is pretty raw for a 1940s film. Claude Rains co-stars as a diamond syndicate head misleadingly named Toady, while Peter Lorre does his shifty-mercenary act. Billed ninth as the nominal heroine is Hal Wallis' latest discovery, French actress/singer Corinne Calvet.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Surprisingly violent for 1949, Rope of Sand is a middling adventure yarn -- nothing special, but certainly entertaining enough when there's nothing else on the tube. As is so often the case, it's the screenplay that keeps Rope from being a better film. All of the ingredients for a good thriller are here, but they're slightly stale. They also seem to be thrown in somewhat at random, not because the story demands it but because the writers couldn't really come up with anything better. Director William Dieterle does the best he can with the material, and his work is fine -- but he still can't keep the film from dragging a little too often. Also working against the film is the female lead. Corinne Calvet is attractive and has some appealing qualities, but she's too weak a presence to hold such a key role, especially against an actor of such power as Burt Lancaster. Fortunately, the rest of the cast are more than up to their roles, and the contributions of Lancaster, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, and Paul Henreid are the biggest assets of the film. Lancaster, Rains, and Lorre are good playing familiar roles, but the big surprise is Henreid, who's cast against type as a sadistic villain -- and plays the role with great brio.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/5/2011
  • UPC: 887090026307
  • Original Release: 1949
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Aspect Ratio: Academy Aperture (1.37:1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Time: 1:44:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 24,483

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Burt Lancaster Mike Davis
Paul Henreid Commandant Paul Vogel
Claude Rains Arthur Martingale
Peter Lorre Toady
Sam Jaffe Dr. Francis Hunter
John Bromfield Thompson
Mike Mazurki Pierson
Kenny Washington John
Corinne Calvet Suzanne Renaud
Edmund Breon Chairman
Everett Brown
Harry Cording
Darby Jones Batsuma Chief
Art Foster Guard
Carl Harbord Operator of Perseus Club
David Hoffman Waiter
Josef Marais South African Veldt Singer
Jozsef Mariass Josef Marais
Ida Moore Woman
Nestor Paiva Ship's Captain
Georges Renavent Jacques the Headwaiter
Hayden Rorke Ingram
James R. Scott Clerk
David Thursby Henry the Bartender
Trevor Ward Switchboard Operator
Blackie Whiteford
Martin Wilkins
Technical Credits
William Dieterle Director
Franz Bachelin Art Director
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Walter Doniger Original Story, Screenwriter
Hans Dreier Art Director
Grace Gregory Set Decoration/Design
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Gordon Jennigns Special Effects
Charles B. Lang Cinematographer
Warren Low Editor
Josef Marais Songwriter
John Paxton Screenwriter
Carl Silvera Makeup
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Franz Waxman Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rope of Sand
1. Opening [:11]
2. The Boss Returns [19:50]
3. Card Sharks [13:37]
4. Boy Meets Girl [12:18]
5. Recruiting Help [11:17]
6. The Trap Is Set [7:48]
7. The Payback [14:20]
8. The Return [9:59]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Rope of Sand
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   Chapters
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