12 user

The Desert Song (1929)

The Desert Song is a 1929 American Pre-Code operetta film directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring John Boles, Louise Fazenda, and Myrna Loy.



(screenplay), (play) | 3 more credits »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Paul Hudson, leads a group of desert bandits against some Nazis, who want to use them as cheap labor for their railroad.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Dennis Morgan, Irene Manning, Bruce Cabot
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor... See full summary »

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Gordon MacRae, Steve Cochran
The Squall (1929)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

In Hungary, a prosperous and happy family of farmers take in a Gypsy girl, Nubi, when she runs away from her "cruel" master. Her fickle and seductive nature soon causes discord among the ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Richard Tucker, Alice Joyce, Loretta Young
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Captain Donald King of the British Army goes to India just as World War I breaks out, convincing his comrades that he is a coward. In reality, he is on a secret mission to rescue British ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Myrna Loy, David Torrence
Noah's Ark (1928)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The Biblical story of Noah and the Great Flood, with a parallel story of soldiers in the First World War.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, Darryl F. Zanuck
Stars: Dolores Costello, George O'Brien, Noah Beery
Evidence (1929)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Evidence is a 1929 Pre-Code crime drama film produced and distributed by the Warner Brothers. It is based on the 1914 Broadway play Evidence by J. duRocher MacPherson and L. duRocher ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Adolfi
Stars: Pauline Frederick, William Courtenay, Conway Tearle
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

It's 1929. The studio gave the cinema its voice gave offered the audiences a chance to see their favorite actors and actresses from the silent screen era to see and for the first time can ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Adolfi
Stars: Frank Fay, William Courtenay, H.B. Warner
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor
Stars: Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy
Vanity Fair (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

This cinematic adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel stars Myrna Loy in her first starring role.

Director: Chester M. Franklin
Stars: Myrna Loy, Conway Tearle, Barbara Kent
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The Midnight Taxi is a 1928 early part-talkie thriller picture from Warner Bros. directed by John G. Adolfi and starring Antonio Moreno, Helen Costello and Myrna Loy. It is unknown whether ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Adolfi
Stars: Antonio Moreno, Helene Costello, Myrna Loy
Fancy Baggage (1929)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

In order to get back some very important papers from her father's business rival, a young woman pretends to be the rival's new secretary. Complications ensue.

Director: John G. Adolfi
Stars: Audrey Ferris, Myrna Loy, George Fawcett
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two sailors with a rivalry over chasing women become friends. But when one decides to finally settle down, will this mysterious young women come between them?

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Robert Armstrong, Louise Brooks


Complete credited cast:
Carlotta King ...
Jack Pratt ...
Roberto E. Guzmán ...
Sid El Kar
Marie Wells ...
Del Elliott ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lester Cole
Peggy Dale


The Desert Song is a 1929 American Pre-Code operetta film directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring John Boles, Louise Fazenda, and Myrna Loy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Warner Brothers' spectacular SINGING success







Release Date:

8 April 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Canção do Deserto  »

Box Office


$354,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



| (2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


306 feet of 2-strip Technicolor footage, depicting the Red Shadow and his Arab horsemen riding across windswept sand dunes, opened the film in 1929, but now only survives in B&W. See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Myrna Loy (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Agree with other comments,but film is underrated.
18 April 2006 | by (ANCHORAGE,Alaska) – See all my reviews

After five years and viewing the two later versions, I think that this primordial effort in filmed operetta is far too severely criticized.I agree with all the observations by other IMDb critics, but there are particularly expansive film production values: good tenor and bass voices among the soloists and choruses,such as those of Sid El Kar and Ali Ben Ali,including the choral settings of "One Alone", "Eastern and Western Love," and let's not overlook Clementina and her ladies in "Castanette", "On the streets of Spain","There is a key.".etc.,and much else.Much would be very non-PC today. The writers have not overlooked comedy in the shapes of Johnny Arthur and Louize Fazenda as Bennie and Susan.Bennie's reaction after a bad experience with a horse is priceless.(see the film, I'm not telling you) It's funnier still when he is dressed in an overlong night shirt, and when Ali Ben Ali, the much turbaned,whiskered,ear-ringed,feathered tribal chief and he argue about Bennie's future. He is much funnier than the newspapermen in the later versions,Lynn Overman, and a later forgotten actor; while Ali Ben Ali's wide-eyed ogling with Clementina is quite farcical. I liked John Boles' rendering of "Then you will know",but in the whole contrast with later musicals (and really this is operetta with some sung dialog) Boles is much more dashing than many later singing heroes unless you include the energetic prancing in "Seven Brides for seven brothers". Louize Fazenda and Arthur make a very comic couple and are full of wisecracks: "Why do men marry their secretaries?" Susan (Fazenda)"Well, if you're going to let a man dictate to you,you might as well marry him" On the whole, this is a large scale,very musical and unusual operetta,full of choruses,combining "the desert magic",horses,exterior scenery, men in uniform,very much ahead of its time. But this very essence of romance has its serious moments;the characters,so different from the pasteboard casts of other works, are almost three-dimensional:they have pasts,presents,futures and personal philosophies. Thus Margot,asked by her fiancé why she wears riding habit quips: "I don't suppose you noticed there was a moon out tonight" Gen.Birabeau" See,Margot wants to be carried off by a shiek,as in the story books.." Margot:" I know that Frencnmen are only shieks to the women they don't intend to marry." In the serious episodes, the "Red Shadow's", Pierre's, tentative nervousness during her solo of the "Desert Song" is well portrayed; Captain Fontaine,the fiancé, gets down to business in "I MUST go,Margot"; finally,the epitome of drama shows,when informed by a legionnaire of the "signal fires",Fontaine points up his revolver,fulminating,"A challenge! This will be his last!" In sum, a great orchestration of exotic choreography,comedy,romance,betrayal,crisis and resolution which significantly outperforms its successors decades later.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: