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A group of US Navy weathermen taking measurements in the Gobi desert in World War II are forced to seek the help of Mongol nomads to regain their ship while under attack from the Japanese air force. The Mongols are rewarded by an airlift of the finest saddles. Written by
Peter Fawcett <email@example.com>
In the very beginning of the film, Richard Widmark enters a Navy office to learn a new assignment. He enters the room and closed the door, latching it. Then one of the other two officers in the room walks over to the door and closed the door again, latching it. See more »
Better than average war film which gets extra credit for its unique setting in the Gobi Desert.
This film has the feel of a documentary as sailor Richard Widmark frets at his role at a remote weather station in the Gobi Desert and yearns to get a ship under him again. Ultimately, he returns to the sea in an unexpected fashion.
The relationship between the sailors and the nomadic Mongols is a crucial part of the film. The nomads are credibly portrayed as human beings who are neither all good or all bad. The film gets high marks for its portrayal of the Mongol culture. It would have been so easy for the film to show people who looked like the Native American Indians Hollywood films are so comfortable with. The Mongol yurts have a realistic look and the film truly succeeds here in portraying a different and likeable culture.
There is little action in this film, but that's really not a problem. The unusual and probably unique story line more than makes up for it. The ending is a little hard to believe, but remember that anything is possible in films. Enjoy it.
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