7.8/10
4,592
47 user 19 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
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 | 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
History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A small American contingent tries to train rural tribesmen to defend themselves against fanatical Muslim radicals in 1906 Philippines.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, David Niven, Andrea Leeds
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
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
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
Sergeant York (1941)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A marksman is drafted in World War I and ends up becoming one of the most celebrated war heroes.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie
The Westerner (1940)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Biography | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Adventurer Marco Polo travels to China, where he finds the Emperor Kublai Khan, court intrigue, danger, and unexpected love.

Directors: Archie Mayo, John Cromwell
Stars: Gary Cooper, Sigrid Gurie, Basil Rathbone
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:

THUNDERING DRAMA! (original ad - all caps) 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

At one point, Beau mentions the North West Mounted Police to his brothers. It proved to be a prophetic line; the very next year, Paramount re-teamed Cooper and Preston in North West Mounted Police (1940). See more »

Goofs

After Markoff puts the first corpse back on the wall to give the illusion that there are many legionnaires on the wall, it is clear that the "corpse" is still breathing. See more »

Quotes

[Schwartz is shouting at the legionnaires to mutiny against Markoff]
Michael 'Beau' Geste: Wait a minute. I don't know much about mutinies, but I do know it isn't good form to plan them at the top of your voice.
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

Version of Beau Geste (1926) 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

 
In The French Foreign Legion
19 October 2009 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

It gets off to a great start ... as a mystery. A relief cavalry approaches a Saharan desert outpost called Fort Zinderneuf, enclosed on all four sides. A cursory investigation from the outside indicates that all the soldiers at the fort are dead, propped up like mannequins with guns in their hands as if prepared to shoot. Then, without warning, two shots are fired at the arriving cavalry from inside the fort. The head of the relief cavalry sends a soldier in to investigate, but he disappears. When the relief cavalry moves inside the fort, a note is found on the body of one of the dead soldiers. The note is a confession of theft of a high-priced sapphire.

"Beau Geste" is a rousing adventure story of three brothers who start out as close-nit siblings in a privileged English household, and end up as adults in North Africa, as part of the French Foreign Legion.

The plot structure is mostly one long flashback. After the opening mystery, the plot reverts back fifteen years to when the three brothers were kids, with dreams of being in the military. The plot then progresses forward to reveal their actions that led ultimately to the film's opening mystery.

The plot is okay but a tad weak in the middle Act. Too much emphasis is placed on the sadistic Sgt. Markoff (Brian Donlevy), leader of Fort Zinderneuf. He overshadows the three brothers, and is thus somewhat distracting.

The film's B&W visuals are quite good. Yet, this is one film I would like to have seen in color. All that sand and the emptiness of the desert contrasts nicely with the staid, claustrophobic Victorian interiors the three brothers grew up in.

Acting is acceptable overall. But Gary Cooper is miscast in the lead role. He looks too old to play Beau. And his acting is rather wooden. I would have preferred a younger, perhaps less well-known actor.

Background music is wasted. It's too nondescript to contribute any emotional tone to the story, and it is at times manipulative.

Overall, "Beau Geste" is an engaging adventure story, with themes of loyalty, bravery, and honor. Despite some minor irritations, it's a well-constructed, highly credible film, one that is definitely worth watching.


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?