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In 1925 Damascus Harry Smith runs guns to the rebels under Emir Hassan. The French arrest him along with others and force him to sell weapons to them. He develops an interest in French intelligence officer Feroud's mistress Violette. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
According to actor Jamie Farr, the movie debuted on Saturday night at the Rivoli in his home town of Toledo. Most of Toledo's Arab-American community turned out to see it. As a scene where Bogart walks though a crowded bazaar begins to fade, an Arab voice is heard shouting, "Ya hallah deen bayak!" which caused most of the audience to collapse in laughter. The non-Arabs in the house did not understand why everyone else was laughing until the line was translated for them: "Goddamn your father!" See more »
Toward the end of the film, Col. Feroud walks around with Maj. Leon. Then they stop for a while and Leon takes the cigarette from his mouth with his left hand. In the next shot, he takes the cigarette from mouth again, this time with his right hand. See more »
[getting her a drink]
For you - chartreuse!
I want to tell you why I came.
[giving her the drink]
Whatever it is, it will look better through the bottom of this glass.
See more »
In a way Bogart's greatest performances have left Sirocco "priced out of the market." I won't argue that it's on the same level as Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, or Key Largo, but it is a surprisingly nuanced picture that gets unfairly criticized for not living up to some of the greatest films Hollywood ever produced.
Bogie is Bogie, tough-talking and trenchcoat-wearing as usual. He plays Harry Smith, a man who, ordinarily, doesn't take sides, but this time, see... there's a dame! That sounds a little dismissive, it's not meant to be. Nobody's ever played a "shades of gray" character quite like Bogart, in my opinion he could have done it a dozen *more* times.
Swedish actress Märta Torén (pegged as 'The Next Ingrid Bergman') is the dame. She really seems almost as out-of-place in the picture as she would have been in war-torn Damascus. Lee J. Cobb, playing the French commander Col. Feroud, chews the scenery a little but overall he gives a good portrayal of a man fighting for a cause he no longer believes in.
I'm a fan of both Zero Mostel (the original Max Bialystock) and Nick Dennis (the exuberant Greek mechanic from 'Kiss Me Deadly') and they both have good if small roles here.
I was impressed by the way Sirocco refused to overtly side with either the French or the Syrians. Neither does the film present Smith as anything but what he is, an opportunist. In fact, for me, it his teetering on the brink of whether to take sides or stay neutral (and thus be true to his own self-serving moral code) that provides the film's best drama.
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