Sahara

( 3 )

Overview

Humphrey Bogart considered this World War II action epic from director Zoltan Korda one of his finest films. Sergeant Joe Gunn Bogart is the commander of an American M-3 tank crew allied to the British Eighth Army, which is defeated by the Germans at Tobruk. Joining the scattered retreat across the Libyan desert, Gunn and his two remaining men, Jimmy Doyle Dan Duryea and Waco Hoyt Bruce Bennett search for water. Instead the tank crew finds an international mix of stragglers, including an officer doctor Richard ...
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Overview

Humphrey Bogart considered this World War II action epic from director Zoltan Korda one of his finest films. Sergeant Joe Gunn Bogart is the commander of an American M-3 tank crew allied to the British Eighth Army, which is defeated by the Germans at Tobruk. Joining the scattered retreat across the Libyan desert, Gunn and his two remaining men, Jimmy Doyle Dan Duryea and Waco Hoyt Bruce Bennett search for water. Instead the tank crew finds an international mix of stragglers, including an officer doctor Richard Nugent with several soldiers and a British Sudanese sergeant, Tambul Rex Ingram, with his Italian prisoner of war J. Carrol Naish. The rag-tag column shoots down an attacking plane and takes its German pilot Kurt Kreuger as a second captive, although a soldier, Fred Clarkson Lloyd Bridges is killed in the fighting. After one well turns out to be dry, the troupe finally reaches an abandoned mosque with a well that provides a trickle of water. Two more prisoners are taken while scouting the area and reveal that an entire German battalion is en route to the same well. Gunn misleads them into believing that there is plenty of water to go around, sets them free to report back to their superiors, and then persuades his fellow Allies to help him fight the enemy force that's en route, even though they are staggeringly outnumbered. A betrayal, an escaped prisoner, and bloody skirmishes follow in short order as Hoyt goes in search of help while Gunn and his compatriots attempt to crush the German battalion. Sahara 1943 inspired several subsequent action films, most notably Last of the Comanches 1952, and was remade as a 1995 cable television movie.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Zoltan Korda's Sahara was one of the more exciting action movies to come out of World War II, with a brace of fine performances and a plot -- derived, in part, from The Lost Patrol as well as from a Soviet-made documentary entitled The Thirteen -- that has been reused at least a dozen times since (most directly in a solid western called Last of the Comanches). But it was also a movie that helped its director find his own "voice" as a filmmaker, and stands as a uniquely leftist (but not communistic) action film to come out of Hollywood in the middle of World War II. Director Zoltan Korda was the left-leaning brother in the filmmaking family led by Alexander Korda, and throughout the 1930s had been forced to sublimate his own ideological leanings to those of his far more conservative brother. Zoltan was an action film director without compare, but while he was working under Alex, the dramatic content of his movies always ended up pro-imperialist and little more than patronizing to Africans. (This could be seen most clearly in his Sanders of the River, a movie that Zoltan intended as sympathetic to the African people, but which Alex recut and reshot to reflect a demeaning attitude that so offended its star, Paul Robeson, that he never made another movie for the Kordas and spent years apologizing for having been in it.) Sahara, made for Columbia Pictures rather than for Alexander Korda, was the movie where Zoltan's sympathies with colonized and oppressed peoples finally broke out into the open, and his antipathy toward British imperialism finally manifested itself. The hero is American, portrayed in low-key fashion by Humphrey Bogart. He's almost an archetype, a cool, clear-thinking tactician, unencumbered by racial or class prejudice, and immediately takes charge of the contingent of British soldiers on the run from the Germans, telling them how to survive, how to fight and, in many ways, how to live. The British aren't depicted as evil so much as aloof in terms of their officer class, and motivationally out of reasons for fighting the Germans. The movie is a subtly ideological work with a heavy emphasis on action, and it gave Bogart (as well as Bruce Bennett and Dan Duryea) a chance to play uniquely clear and richly heroic roles. The filmmaker would later bring Alan Paton's Cry, The Beloved Country to the screen at a time when few people outside of South Africa knew or cared about the racial divisions in that country.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/6/1996
  • UPC: 043396600980
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Sgt. Joe Gunn
Bruce Bennett Waco Hoyt
Lloyd Bridges Fred Clarkson
Rex Ingram Sgt. Tambul
J. Carrol Naish Giuseppe
Dan Duryea Jimmy Doyle
Richard Nugent Capt. Jason Halliday
Pat O'Moore Ozzie Bates
Louis Mercier Jean Leroux
Carl Harbord Marty Williams
Guy Kingsford Peter Stegman
John Wengraf Maj. von Falken
Hans Schumm Sgt. Krause
Kurt Kreuger Capt. von Schletow
Frank Lackteen Arab Guide
Frederic Worlock Voice Only
Peter Lawford Bit Part
Technical Credits
Zoltan Korda Director, Screenwriter
Lionel Banks Art Director
Abby Berlin Asst. Director
Harry Joe Brown Producer
Lodge Cunningham Sound/Sound Designer
William Kiernan Set Decoration/Design
John Howard Lawson Screenwriter
Eugène Lourié Art Director
Rudolph Maté Cinematographer
Charles Nelson Editor
James Rice Screenwriter
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2015

    Classic WWII action flick with an excellent cast. Multi-national

    Classic WWII action flick with an excellent cast. Multi-national allies highlighted but it didn't take away from the action. Good clarity of video and audio, however, I hope someone restores this film to clean up minor snow and give it bluray clarity. Highly recommend this flick.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent story, well-acted

    This is a fine little film about a rag-tag group of Allied soldiers in the north African desert struggling to find water while staving off the Germans. It's not only the 'good guys' versus the 'bad guys,' but the good guys versus time and nature. Bogart is great, as one would expect, but the supporting players do well, too, especially Rex Ingram as Tambul. A lesser-known movie, unusual considering Bogart's involvement, with a strong story and an interesting twist at the end. Interesting, too, that it was produced and released in 1943, during the height of WWII. If you enjoy films like 'Flight of the Phoenix' you'll enjoy this. Rocommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews