6.3/10
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18 user 1 critic

The Desert Song (1953)

Passed | | Musical, Romance | 30 May 1953 (USA)
Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor... See full summary »

Writers:

(screen play by), (based upon the play by) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
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Sheik Yousseff
Dick Wesson ...
...
Azuri (as Allyn McLerie)
...
Gen. Birabeau
...
Hassan
...
Mindar
...
Lachmed
...
Neri
Mark Dana ...
Lt. Duvalle
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Storyline

Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor who is studying the desert, and whose attacks on the supply trains intended for Yousseff keep the Riff villages in food. Foreign Legion General Birabeau arrives to conduct an investigation, accompanied by his daughter, Margot. Birabeau hires Bonnard to tutor her, and she is attracted to a Legionaire captain, Claud Fontaine. While the general, Bonnard and Fontaine pay a visit to Yousseff, an American newspaper man, Benji Kidd, discovers a secret way in and out of Yousseff's palace, with the aid of Azuri, a dancing girl in love with Bonnard. The latter is forced to resume his role as the Riffs leader, and kidnap Margot until he can convince her of Yousseff's treachery. But Yousseff's men attack the Riff camp and take Margot prisoner. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The wind-swept sands of North Africa! Screaming Arab terror raids! The Harem Dance of Desire! The embattled Foreign Legion! The sheik's palace stormed! And the glorious music of the new "Desert Song" See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Khobar - Schrecken der Wüste  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Desert Song and the Cold War: The original refrain for The Riff Song includes the lines: "Ho!/That's the sound that comes to warn you/So!/In the night or early morn, you know/If you're The Red Shadow's foe/The Riffs will strike with a blow/That brings you woe!" In this remake, filmed in the early Fifties at the height of the Cold War and McCarthyism, the "Red Shadow" sounded uncomfortably like the Soviet and Chinese communists, so the lyrics were changed to "If you're El Khobar's foe". When Gordon MacRae re-recorded the songs for the record album featuring Dorothy Kirsten as Margot, the original lyrics were restored. See more »

Goofs

When the desert messengers are sending the message with their flutes, the fingering doesn't match the tones being played at all. See more »

Quotes

Azuri: It's you - the one with the face!
Benjy Kidd: It's you - the one with the body!
See more »

Connections

References The Mark of Zorro (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

The Riff Song
(uncredited)
Music by Sigmund Romberg
New lyrics by uncredited writers
Original lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Otto A. Harbach
Sung by Gordon MacRae and Men's Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

I would recommend this movie to anyone.
15 May 2004 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

As I said in my summary, I would heartily recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see a classy movie. It has a very worn plot, but its simplicity would appeal to anyone who is tired of seeing violence and sex on the screen. It is like anything goes!! Kathryn Grayson, and Gordon McCrae sang beautifully. I've seen other movies that they have sung in and they always put on a good show. As far as the scenery, it was very authentic, and the color was awesome. I haven't seen the movie since I saw it in the Music Circus, and the Theatre, but I will never forget the red in the costume that Gordon McCrae wore, and the white of the desert sands. You would have never guessed that this man wearing glasses was the one who would come to the rescue of Kathryn Grayson. I wish that they would show it on AMC or TCM; I'd love to see it again even if it's shown on a small screen.


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