|Index||3 reviews in total|
13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Good action film depicting the Foreign Legion in Indochina, 19 January 2005
Author: guanche from New York City
One of the few Foreign Legion films that takes the Legion out of the
desert. The Legion was instrumental in the conquest of Indochina in the
1880s, and fought a bloody, futile war in a vain attempt to retain it,
from 1946-54. In the late 40s, the French government prohibited sending
conscripts to serve in Indochina, so the Foreign Legion was greatly
expanded. A major falsehood presented by the film is the great effort
made by former SS enlistees to conceal their past, since the French
were said to execute any they discovered. The reverse was in fact true,
and the French actively (though covertly) sought out and recruited
former Wehrmacht and SS men. For the first time in the Legion's
history, large enlistment bonuses were paid and former officers and
senior noncoms were advanced to sergeant upon completion of training
and a short probation period. Jobs were hard to come by in postwar
Germany, and the French eagerly made use of this large pool of
disciplined, fully trained professional killers. Just the thing for a
dirty, distant, unpopular war.
Dick Powell joins the Legion to find a wanted SS war criminal. Despite the above, most of the movie is quite realistic and fast moving. There are good action, and even training sequences, and the atmosphere is appropriately gritty and depressing. The legionnaires are depicted with American M1 rifles. This was accurate in the early part of the war. Ironically, these were later replaced by inferior and obsolete French equipment.
An interesting mix of war movie and film noir done reasonably well.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A Milestone Of Sorts, 30 September 2009
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
A lot of post war politics gets mixed up in Rogue's Regiment, a story
about a manhunt for an escaped Nazi war criminal. The plot takes a lot
from the Orson Welles classic, The Stranger.
But when Edward G. Robinson is hunting Orson Welles and tracks him to Connecticut he's in the comfort zone of the good old USA even if he doesn't know that Welles is whom he seeks. But Dick Powell as an Army Intelligence Officer tracks his man all the way to Southeast Asia and has to join the French Foreign Legion in order to smoke him out.
Which brings us to the point that Rogue's Regiment can lay claim to the fact that it's the first Hollywood motion picture to talk about the Vietnam War. It wasn't Vietnam then, it was French Indochina where the French are rather foolishly trying to reestablish colonial control. A whole lot of history might have changed in the 20th Century if they had realized colonialism was dead. The rebels were called the Viet Minh then and they were making life very tough for French troops outside their outposts. Six years after this film was made, these same French Foreign Legionaires and regular French Army troops would be surrendering at Dienbienphu. But that's getting way ahead of this story.
The Foreign Legion has been the host to all kinds of criminals and other assorted riff-raff since its founding. They ask no questions when you enlist and Germans, some of whom might have been occupying France, are enlisting. It's here that our man hopes to find anonymity and here to where Dick Powell tracks him down.
With the able assistance of French Intelligence Officer Marta Toren who is working a case of her own, Powell ferrets his man out. In fact he uses the same gambit that Robinson does in The Stranger. There's another well known Nazi in the Legion company and Powell uses him as bait.
Such folks as Stephen McNally, Vincent Price, Edgar Barrier and James Millican fill out the cast in this story set in the then exotic locale of Indochina. Carol Thurston who played the tragic Tremartini in Cecil B. DeMille's The Story Of Dr. Wassell also set in Southeast Asia plays another exotic female in love with the wrong guy.
Though Rogue's Regiment gets a little silly at times, Powell gets captured by the Viet Minh and escapes rather too easily, almost like one of those serials, still the film is generally good. And being a first to talk about the war in Indochina, Rogue's Regiment is a historic milestone of a film.
I doubt though that the folks at Universal Pictures thought they were establishing a milestone.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Part noir, part war, 11 November 2008
Author: gordonl56 from Canada
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of a number of post ww2 noir dealing with escaped Nazi war
criminals. Notorious, The Stranger and Cornered would be several of the
more well known. In this one, Dick Powell is an army intelligence agent
on his way to French Indo-China. He is on the trail of a high-ranking
SS officer. The trail leads Powell to the French Foreign Legion camp in
Saigon. (The French used large numbers of ex-German soldiers in their
war with the Viet-Cong.) Powell's main problem is that there are no
known photos of the man he wants. He joins the Legion himself in order
to try and identify the swine. Said swine, Stephen McNally, is very
careful about his identity and bumps off everyone he thinks is a
danger. Helping Powell out on his case is French Secret Service agent,
Marta Toren. Toren poses as a singer in a cabaret frequented by off
duty Legion members. Also in the mix is Vincent Price as an antique
dealer who supplements his income with a little gun running for the
Viet-Cong. McNally, who picked Saigon and the Legion thinking it would
be the least likely spot to be recognized finds the opposite true. One
of his ex-staff officers from Dachau concentration camp happens to be
in the same unit. While out on patrol the men become involved in a
fire-fight with the Viet-Cong and McNally applies a few rounds to the
man's back. Problem solved. Not quite it seems. Old Vincent has tumbled
to McNally's identity and figures a bit of blackmail is in order. He
knows McNally has a large cache of jewels and gold taken from his camp
victims. Price wants most of it. McNally agrees as long as Price can
supply him with a passport and some American dollars so he can leave
the country. Both of course plan to double cross the other when the
deal is completed. Powell finally figures out what is going on and
arrives just as McNally has bumped off Price. A blazing gun battle and
a well staged round of fist-a-cuffs ensue before McNally is captured.
McNally gets the rope and Powell gets Toren. McNally as the vicious
Nazi on the run and Price as the blackmailing snake in the grass are
very good here. Powell and Toren both turn in merely adequate
performances. Rest of the cast includes Edgar Barrier, Richard Loo,
Philip Ahn and James Millican.
The director was Robert Florey. His work included MEET BOSTON BLACKIE, DANGEROUSLY THEY LIVE, THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS, DANGER SIGNAL and the very under-rated THE FACE BEHIND THE MASK. Screenplay was by Robert Buckner who did, DEPORTED, A PRIZE OF GOLD.
Toren, who died at age 31, managed to work DEPORTED, MYSTERY SUBMARINE, SPY HUNT, ILLEGAL ENTRY, ONE WAY STREET, Paris ASSIGNMENT and SIROCCO into her 4 year Hollywood career. The d of p was Maury Gertsman who worked on BLONDE ALIBI, INSIDE JOB, SINGAPORE, ONE WAY STREET, THE GLASS WEB and JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON.
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