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Desert Pursuit (1952)

In the mid-late 1800's camels were imported to various regions of the American southwestern deserts as pack animals and natives from the middle eastern countries came along as drivers and ... See full summary »



(screenplay) (as W. Scott Darling), (novel)


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Cast overview:
Ford Smith
Mary Smith
Leatherface Bates


In the mid-late 1800's camels were imported to various regions of the American southwestern deserts as pack animals and natives from the middle eastern countries came along as drivers and tenders, which is why there are three designated-as "Arab" villains in this American western: Prospector Ford Smith has hit it big and is leaving Nevada for California with his packs of gold. In Carson City, Nevada he meets Mary who has been fired from her job as a faro dealer, and she joins him posing as his wife. From the moment Ford and the girl start their journey they are often threatened by three following Arabs, Hassan, Kafan and Ghazili. Ford and Mary manage to outwit and elude them and finally reach a settlement of California Mission Indians during a Christmas Eve religious ceremony. When the three trailing Arabs arrive, they are received by the awe-struck Indians as reincarnations of the three Bibical wise men. The Arabs quickly take advantage of the situation and try to force Ford to hand ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Soldier of Fortune... and Lady of Chance...Beyond Reach of the Law...Face to Face With Assassin's Guns!







Release Date:

11 May 1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final screenplay of Scott Darling. It was released after he died. See more »

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User Reviews

Camels and horses and sand oh my!
28 March 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"In 1856 Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, organised the American Camel Corps of the United States Army, which mapped the southern route across the plains and deserts from Texas to California. The building of the trans-continental railroad ended the usefulness of the Camel Corps, and the animals were sold to private enterprise or escaped into the south-western desert where camels were still seen by lonely prospectors more than a decade later."

Quite what filmic significance that opening statement has to how Desert Pursuit pans out is anybody's guess, but it's there and clearly the pic was meant to be more thematically telling than the odd ball piece it is.

Out of Monogram, it's directed by George Blair and adapted to screenplay by W. Scott Darling from the novel written by Kenneth Perkins. It stars Wayne Morris and Virginia Grey, William Sickner photographs it out of Death Valley and the Sierra Mountains, and music is by Edward J. Kay. Plot pitches Morris and Grey on a journey through the desert trying to avoid three Arabian men who are up to no good. There's gold, camels, a burgeoning romance, oh and it's Christmas time as well, handy since there is three not so wise men on the scene and Grey's character is called Mary...

It's actually a harmless movie, a decent time waster. The musical score blends Oater strains with Arabian flavours, the locations gorgeous, while Morris and Grey are a likable coupling. There's the odd dummy flung about the place, the fist fights scarcely believable, and you know how this is ultimately going to end, but it's a fun enough dromedary ride regardless. 6/10

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