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Paul Lartal leads a troop of legionnaires into ambush at the hands of Omar Ben Calif. Returning later at the request of Princess Morjana he is led to the hidden city of Madara, currently harrassed by the evil Crito. Lartal must do in the bad guys (which includes participating in a bare chested spear-throwing contest), save the city and comfort the Princess. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Based on a 1927 novel by Georges Arthur Surdez titled 'The Demon Caravan'. Surdez (1900-1949) contributed many "adventure" stories to such publications as 'Collier's', the 'Saturday Evening Post,' and 'Argosy.' He was especially noted for his French Foreign Legion tales. See more »
French Foreign Legion Captain Paul Lartal (Alan Ladd) travels to the hidden city of Madara in Northern Africa after a request for help he receives from local princess Morjana (Arlene Dahl). He met the woman under mysterious circumstances after his regiment suffered a deadly ambush at he hands of Omar Ben Calif's bandit gang. Lartel is convinced that Calif is in Madara under an undercover personality.
"Desert Legion" is an unpretentious adventure film with a fine cast, great color, acceptable settings and lots of action.
Alan Ladd doesn't add much to his carrier with his movie but it doesn't hurt it either. Arlene Dahl was made for Technicolor and plays her part fine. But perhaps the most interesting role is that of Richard Conte as Crito in one of the usual villain characters he played decently so often (no surprise there). The spears duel between Ladd and Conte is a highlight of the film most of all because of its originality back in 1953.
Light entertainment but enjoyable if you like adventure films.
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