During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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I have watched this movie twice and have been waiting for a DVD to be released for quite a while. You would think a film with Burt Lancaster, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre and Sam Jaffe would get some attention but, I don't believe this was ever available on VHS, either. Puzzling.
It's a good film and worth watching. The first time I saw this it reminded me a bit of Casablanca or To Have And Have Not. Oh, not in that class of those films but just being a solid foreign adventure tale with American and English actors in an exotic setting.
On the second viewing, I found the film lagged in a few spots, but it's still a very good movie. Lancaster is excellent as the good guy after diamonds in North Africa while Henreid is the sadistic bad guy and Raines is back somewhere in the middle as he was in Casablanca. Lorre and Jaffe are almost always fun to watch, too.
Calvert was a French actress and may not be that familiar to English-speaking audiences. Sometimes her accent is hard to decipher. I didn't find her appealing but I also wasn't as annoyed with her as others seem to be, either. I do agree there should have been a better female lead in here.
The film offers some good action and some nice black-and-white photography, especially with the nighttime desert scenes, which I really enjoyed. Hopefully, someone will do the right thing and make this available on DVD.
25 of 34 people found this review helpful.
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