Sgt. Mike Kincaid of the French Foreign Legion learns, from a Riff prisoner, that an attack will soon be made by the villainous Hussin on the Legion's outpost of Tarfa. Kincaid volunteers ... See full summary »
Two years ago, hunting guide Mike Davis was with a client who trespassed on diamond company land and found a rich lode; Paul Vogel, sadistic commandant of company police, beat Mike nearly to death but failed to learn the location. Now Mike is back in Diamantstad, South African desert, and manager Martingale has a better idea: he hires delectable adventuress Suzanne to ferret out Mike's secret. But she soon finds she's playing with fire. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
During one scene with Burt Lancaster, Corinne Calvet felt nauseous and threw up on her leading man. She was not able to film anything else that day. She remained grateful to the actor that he never mentioned it after she returned and gave her suggestions and encouragement. She credits him for her success in Hollywood. See more »
The title "Rope of Sand" refers to the Sahara Desert, however the setting is "Southwest Africa" and Capetown is mentioned several times - these geographical features lie at opposite ends of the continent (the Sahara in the north). See more »
This part of the desert of South Africa, where only a parched camel thorn tree relieves the endless parallels of time, space, and sky, surrounds like a rope of sand the richest diamond-bearing area in the world -- an uneasy land where men inflamed by monotony and the heat sometimes forget the rules of civilization.
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This is a film of considerable charm and interest, a postwar noir updating of the Warner Bros. "Casablanca"-style foreign intrigue routine that substitutes a refreshing toughness for the earlier films' cotton-candy romanticism. As usual, the stalwart leading man plays second fiddle to the character roles. Claude Rains takes his wry-and-witty routine to the level of sublime high camp, Peter Lorre purrs lyrical philosophy in a rumpled linen suit and three-day beard, and Paul Henried does much better as the arrogant, sadistic villain (reminiscent of Ronald Merrick in "Jewel in the Crown") than he ever did as a leading man. There's even subtle criticism of the apartheid system thrown in. What could have been a minor classic and certainly the best of the "Casablanca" clones is severely compromised however by the presence of Corinne Calvet, whose ferret face and rusty-hinge voice make a potentially pleasurable film difficult to watch, let alone enjoy.
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