7.8/10
4,479
47 user 18 critic

Beau Geste (1939)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 24 July 1939 (USA)
Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on the novel by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $0.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell
Beau Geste (1966)
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Michael "Beau" Geste leaves England in disgrace and joins the infamous French Foreign Legion. He is reunited with his two brothers in North Africa, where they face greater danger from their... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Heyes
Stars: Guy Stockwell, Doug McClure, Leslie Nielsen
Beau Geste (1926)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Michael "Beau" Geste leaves England in disgrace and joins the infamous French Foreign Legion. He is reunited with his two brothers in North Africa, where they face greater danger from their... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Brenon
Stars: Ronald Colman, Neil Hamilton, Ralph Forbes
Adventure | Crime | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Amid the anarchy of China, an American mercenary tangles with a ruthless warlord.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Akim Tamiroff
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Architect Peter Ibbetson is hired by the Duke of Towers to design a building for him. Ibbetson discovers that the Duchess of Towers, Mary, is his now-grown childhood sweetheart. Their love ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ann Harding, John Halliday
Gunga Din (1939)
Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Resigning his commission on the eve of his unit's deployment against Egyptian rebels, a British officer seeks to redeem his cowardice by secretly aiding his former comrades - disguised as ... See full summary »

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: John Clements, Ralph Richardson, C. Aubrey Smith
Attack (1956)
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between captain Cooney and lieutenant Costa run high.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutinary War begins.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver
The Plainsman (1936)
Biography | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Wild Bill Hickok attempts to stop an Indian uprising that was started by white gun-runners.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1885, a Texas Ranger travels to Canada to arrest a trapper who's wanted for murder and who's stirring up the Natives in a rebellion against the Canadian government.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Paulette Goddard
Beau Geste (TV Mini-Series 1982)
War | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Three brothers of a well-to-do English family join the French Foreign Legion.

Stars: Benedict Taylor, Anthony Calf, Jonathon Morris
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Charles Barton ...
...
Major Henri de Beaujolais
...
...
Lieutenant Dufour
G.P. Huntley ...
Augustus Brandon (as George P. Huntley)
...
Voisin
...
Edit

Storyline

Beau, John, and Digby Geste are three inseparable, adventurous brothers who haven been adopted into the wealthy household of Lady Brandon. When money in the uppercrust household grows tight, Lady Brandon is forced to sell her most treasured jewel the mighty "Blue Water" sapphire. The household gets it out for one final look, the lights go out and it vanishes stolen by one of the brothers, no doubt. That night, Beau, Digby, and John each "confess" and slip out, John leaving behind Isabel, whom he loves. They all join the Foreign Legion, and Beau and Digby are split from John and put under the command of the ruthless and sadistic Sergeant Markoff. Things begin to get hairy as the rest of the Legionaires plot a mutiny against Markoff, in the midst of an attack by Arab hordes. Written by Sam Hayes <gshayes@mail.gwi.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three against the world...brothers and soldiers all! See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 July 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drei Fremdenlegionäre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Barton, who has a small part as Buddy McMonigal, was, at the time, an assistant director at Paramount, having started his career as an actor. He had had a bad experience working as an A.D. to Paramount's top director, Cecil B. DeMille, on Union Pacific (1939) and refused to work with him again when he was assigned to. Paramount "demoted" him to a bit actor on this picture as punishment. Barton soon left Paramount for Columbia where he was made a director, and never worked for Paramount again. See more »

Goofs

When Beaujolais is examining the corpses at the beginning of the film, Voisin half-blinks twice. See more »

Quotes

John Geste: Charming fellow, our sergeant.
Michael 'Beau' Geste: A trifle uncouth, but the best soldier we'll ever see.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "The love of a man for a woman wanes and waxes like the moon . . . but the love of brother for brother is steadfast as the stars, and endures like the word of the prophet."

. . . Arabian Proverb. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Man with Bogart's Face (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

The Legionnaire's Song
(uncredited)
Music by Troy Sanders
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Beautiful Gesture.
28 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

People who know Julien Duvivier's "la bandera"(1935) will find analogies between the two movies.In both of them, the legion is an escape from law.The approach is different however:in "la bandera",the hero and his mates are simple,crude people.In Wellmann's work,they are distinguished,"noblesse oblige" characters.Wellman's movie has a romantic flavor,which is totally absent in Duvivier's pessimistic story.

It seems that "beau geste" has worn well,better than Duvivier's dated saga.Both movies have the same flaw:the Tuaregs are the "villains",we absolutely know nothing about them.In Duvivier's movie,we don't even see them,and they are always referred to as "the bastards" (sic)They seem reduced to attacking baddies,an entity whose humanity is denied. Wellmann's superiority lies in the fact that he plays the game of adventure ,now matter how unlikely it is while Duvivier has "realist" ambitions.

Wellmann smartly blends a whodunit with pure adventure elements.The solution of the mystery,which we learn at the very end of the movie is very unexpected and gives the movie some kind of Hustonian touch (and in 1939,Huston had yet to make a movie!)

As for the directing is concerned,the last third of the movie shines.If the legion routine life scenes inside the fort are inferior to those of Duvivier,on the other hand its finale is more moving and more astonishing.The sergeant,using dead bodies as scarecrows ,is almost surrealist and might have influenced the conclusion of Anthony Mann's "Cid".A scene we saw at the beginning ,"the Viking funeral" finds an absolutely brilliant explanation .While John (Ray Milland) is preparing the "ceremony" in a fort full of dead bodies,we don't realize.It's only when he explains to his brother (yes,there was a dog at his feet)that we understand.

A very fine cast,including Susan Hayward on the threshold of a brilliant career (it's her second movie).The title is justified too.Because "Beau Geste" means in French "Beautiful gesture".

NB: A trip to Norway taught me this:the Vikings were buried in the ground on their boats.


18 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?