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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 »
In a very key plot point scene Balukjiaan goes to Smith's warehouse on behalf of French intelligence and tries to find out if there are any dried apricots. He uses as an excuse that he is throwing a birthday party for himself and has plenty of pilaf and pahklava, but nothing sweet for dessert. Pahklava is the Armenian name for baklava, which is a very sweet Greek and Middle Eastern dessert. Either the writers didn't know what pahklava is or the whole premise of needing dessert is mistaken. See more »
We do not fight to win. You will win, but it will be a victory you will regret.
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Sirocco was one of those independent productions that Humphrey Bogart's Santana productions did for Columbia Pictures after Bogey's long term contract with Warner Brothers expired. Bogey had a mixed record of success and Sirocco didn't exactly set the movie world on fire.
The story takes place in Damascus after World War I with the French given a mandate by the League of Nations over the former Ottoman Empire territory of Syria and the Syrians not really too crazy about it. They've got a guerrilla war going against them and it is being led by Onslow Stevens as Moulay Hassan.
The French occupying troops are led by General Everett Sloane with Lee J. Cobb as the Colonel in charge of intelligence. They're having no luck even trying for a cease fire. And there's a lovely black market in weapons being sold to the Syrians.
Which is where soldier of fortune Humphrey Bogart comes in. Bogey is at his most cynical here, too cynical probably to get a real rooting interest from the audience. He really has no inner core of decency that was apparent in Casablanca to which this film bears a superficial resemblance.
The Ingrid Bergman character is played by another Swedish actress Marta Toren who is Lee J. Cobb's girlfriend. Can you imagine Elsa Lund as a selfish slattern, than you've got what Toren is. Somehow her domestic problems also and fling with Bogart also don't arouse the audiences interest.
There are some good performances from supporting players like Zero Mostel, Nick Dennis, and Ludwig Donath as various Arabic types. You will enjoy them.
But I would also have to say that Sirocco takes place at a time when certain movements and issues were coming to the fore. Great questions were being raised and Sirocco answers none of them.
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