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 his first discussion with Burt Lancaster's character (a hunting guide), Peter Lorre's character mentions that the hunting guide had been leading an expedition to "kill a lion" during his earlier mishap - there are no African lions in the Sahara, which is the "Rope of Sand" mentioned in the film's title. 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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What a great cast, what a top director and what a disappointing movie. I blame the script, or rather lack of one, cause nobody involved seems to quite know what it is all about. Something about diamonds? That'll do, let's start filming. Famously Casablanca was already in production without a finished script, and look how well that turned out, right? Just put some of that cast in another exotic location and Fate and sheer acting talent, aided by some stylish camera-work will do the rest. Alas, it didn't. The muddled story limps along from scene to tepid scene, the plot holes are abundant and the Great Romance never convinces for a moment. I kept hoping the story would catch fire at some point, but it never does. Will Paul Henreid turn out to be a Nazi war criminal? Where did Peter Lorre wander off to? Does Claude Rains have any aces up his sleeve? Why would anybody believe the girl killed the doctor? Is she a former member of the French Resistance, set out to kill Vogel? Wouldn't that sorta spice up this bland story? Nah, it turns out everybody is just what they appear to be. With some solid script doctoring this could have become a great adventure movie. Shame.
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