6.7/10
136
9 user 3 critic

Sword in the Desert (1949)

In 1947, with only months remaining until the partition of British-administered Palestine, an American freighter captain smuggles European Jewish refugees ashore under the nose of the British authorities.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sabra
...
David Vogel
...
...
Lt. Ellerton
Hugh French ...
Maj. Sorrell
...
Jerry McCarthy
...
Maj. Stephens
Stanley Logan ...
Col. Bruce Evans
...
Capt. Beaumont
George Tyne ...
Dov
...
Tarn
Paul Marion ...
Jeno
Marten Lamont ...
Capt. Fletcher (as Martin Lamont)
David Wolfe ...
Gershon

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Storyline

Cynical freighter captain Mike Dillon hopes to take the money and run after helping to smuggle Jewish refugees ashore in pre-Israel Palestine. But against his will, he's drawn into the escalating fight between British occupation forces and the founders of Israel. In a battle doubly terrible because the audience sympathizes with both sides, how long can Mike remain a bystander? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their story is written in the burning sands and Bullets Sing the Fame of Their Deeds !

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1949 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Desert Legion  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Chandler, a Jew whose real name was Ira Grossel, was extremely proud of his Jewish heritage. Kurta was the only explicitly Jewish character he ever got to play in his career. See more »

Quotes

David Vogel: You haven't much faith in mankind, have you?
Mike Dillon: Why should I have? What's it ever done for me?
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User Reviews

 
Where are the swords?
5 July 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dana Andrews (Mike) is the captain of a ship who doesn't mind what his cargo is as long as he makes money. This time around it's people. He smuggles Stephen McNally (Vogel) and some illegal Jewish refugees into Palestine under British rule. McNally is part of a terrorist group led by Jeff Chandler (Kurta) and Andrews is forced to join this gang as they are pursued by the Brits.

The film is OK but it is let down by the terrible acting by all of the English actors. The whole bunch of them play complete buffoons and one of them, who appears late on and is actually an ally of Chandler's group, is straight out of a "Carry On" film. He reminded me of Leslie Phillips and it would not have been out of place to hear him say those immortal words "..ding dong!" as he eyes up a lady. The British seem to be comedy characters who deliver their lines quite atrociously considering this is meant to be a serious film.

Stephen McNally is the best of the cast and there are a couple of good moments but we also get some terribly cheesy religious guff with Bethlehem appearing at the film's end. The best part of the film is the singing of Christmas carols and "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean" at the British camp.


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