The U. S. Marine Corps hymn starts with"From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli", and this film's story purports to be the reason why, and is give or take a few incidents in this movie: It is 1805 and the Tripoli pirates have challenged America's right to freedom of the seas---all of them, anywhere---so United Stares warships were sent to that port to bottle up their fleet and set the riff-raff right concerning who could sail where. (History begins to suffer a bit along about this point.) A U. S. Marine unit, headed by Lieutenant O'Bannon, was sent to attack them from the rear. He organized his unit around Hamet, Pasha of Tripoli, in exile after being overthrown by his brother. In Hamet's court was Sheila D'Arneau, a diploma's daughter, who disguises herself as a dancing girl, and joins the group of eight U. S. Marines and Hamet supporters in their march across the Libyan desert. O'Bannon and Shelia argue all the way to Tripoli. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
I've seen this film a number of times on TV and caught it in the theaters over a half-century ago and loved it. As a kid, it had great appeal to me and lots of action, fun and, of course, the lovely Maureen O'Hara, who was always worth the price of admission. John Payne was an underused, underrated actor who always turned in solid, albeit low key, performance. This film, which is a yarn based on the military action of the US Marines against the Tripoli pirates basically spins fight scenes between the bad guys and a coalition of good guys, including veteran character actor Howard Da Silva as a Greek mercenary. The good guys win, of course and Payne gets the girl (but we knew that anyway, didn't we?) and this is a film that if it pops up on the late show (no video or DVD listed), is certainly worth checking out for some good, solid escapism.
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