In England, Otis Madison learns from the girl that he loves, Isobel Brandon, that the man she loves is his best friend, John Geste, and so there is nothing that Otis can do but stiffen his upper lip and set sail for Morocco and tell John that he is the man that Isobel loves. This is not easy to do as John is confined to a prison for disgraced Legionaires and the people who put him there aren't overly concerned about who Isobel loves. But the resourceful John promises his love to an Arabian beauty, Zuleika, the 'Angel of Death', which gets him out of prison, and then he has to go after the evil Emir who caused him to fall into disgrace. Isobel waits patiently in England. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
A colossal flop, the film lost nearly $350,000, an astronomical amount of money in the early 1930s. As a result, the story of the Geste family was considered such a financial risk that producers weren't sure that making Beau Geste (1939) eight years later was a good idea. See more »
This early version of Beau Geste deals with the youngest brother. It is still French Foreign Legion adventure, and looks more like a stage adaptation than a large budget movie.
Like any Beau Geste, it deals with childhood companions who grow up and join the legion, and find themselves in heroic circumstances which remind them of their childhood.
The Geste movies don't usually get into the grit and grim the way most modern movie makers like to. They generally speak in "larger than life" terms, which hold for a few minutes of a man's life.
The acting leaves something to be desired. The plot is coherent, but barely. As adventure yarns go, there is no more silliness than usual.
There is some grit and grind, which is theatrically done instead of graphically. The men in a prison pit languish from days of thirst and hunger. A few things that happen seem inconsistent, but we get the gist of the plot.
Each Geste film has something going for it. One had Cooper, Milland, and Preston well cast. One had an introspective reluctant Cool Hand Luke sort of Geste, who was seen as a "mover" who wrote a letter, although the letter was really written by Leslie Nielson as a legion commander.
This one has a historic novelty, an American who is gayer than the British characters. This apparently was not lost on the audience of the day, and was intentional, as we see from a bit of comic relief.
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