IMDb > Desert Sands (1955)

Desert Sands (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
George W. George (screenplay) &
George F. Slavin (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Desert Sands on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 February 1956 (Sweden) See more »
With the Howling Fury of a Thousand Sandstorms They Struck! See more »
The French Foreign Legion battles rebellious Arabs in North Africa. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
One of the better Foreign Legion films See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ralph Meeker ... Capt. David Malcolm

Marla English ... Princess Zara

J. Carrol Naish ... Sergeant Diepel

John Carradine ... Jala

Ron Randell ... Pvt. Peter Havers

John Smith ... Pvt. Rex Tyle

Keith Larsen ... El Zanal

Lita Milan ... Alita

Philip Tonge ... Cpl. Sandy McTosh

Otto Waldis ... Gabin

Peter Mamakos ... Pvt. Lucia Capella
Jarl Victor ... Lt. Gina Mackie

Nico Minardos ... Gerard
Aaron Saxon ... Tamal

Albert Carrier ... Ducco
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Bourne ... Weems (uncredited)

Marc Cavell ... El Zanel as a Boy (uncredited)
Terence de Marney ... Kramer (uncredited)
Joseph DeCorse ... Arab (uncredited)
Rudy Germane ... Legionnaire (uncredited)
Bela Kovacs ... Maj. Henri Panton (uncredited)

Mort Mills ... Wolock - Radio Man (uncredited)
Peter Norman ... Dr. Kleiner (uncredited)
Joseph Waring ... Dylak Spokesman (uncredited)

Ben Wright ... Commandant Captain (uncredited)

Al Wyatt Sr. ... Arab (uncredited)
Joe Yrigoyen ... Arab (uncredited)

Directed by
Lesley Selander 
Writing credits
George W. George (screenplay) &
George F. Slavin (screenplay) and
Danny Arnold (screenplay)

John Robb (novel "Punitive Action")

Produced by
Howard W. Koch .... producer
Aubrey Schenck .... executive producer
Original Music by
Paul Dunlap 
Cinematography by
Gordon Avil (photographed by)
Film Editing by
John F. Schreyer 
Production Design by
Charles D. Hall 
James W. Sullivan  (as James Sullivan)
Art Direction by
Charles D. Hall  (as Daniel Hall)
James W. Sullivan 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jerry A. Baerwitz .... assistant director (as Jerry Baerwitz)
Paul Helmick .... assistant director
Art Department
Lou Asher .... property master
Sound Department
Joe Edmondson .... sound mixer
Al Wyatt Sr. .... stunts (as Al Wyatt)
Richard Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Yrigoyen .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Comer .... lighting technician (as Robert S. Comer)
William Margulies .... operative cameraman
Casting Department
John G. Stephens .... casting supervisor (as John C. Stephens)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Wesley Jeffries .... wardrobe (as Wesley V. Jeffries)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.00 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Desert SandsSee more »


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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
One of the better Foreign Legion films, 10 January 2005
Author: guanche from New York City

An exciting adventure film, with good battle scenes, interesting characters, stirring renditions of "Le Boudin" (the signature march of the Legion) and the little known and sexy Elizabeth Taylor lookalike Marla English, as the "Arab" princess. It seems like the Legion outpost is a modified "wild west" set and Marla and her maidservant's costumes appear to be reworked Mexican cowgirl outfits. Entirely apropos for the unintentionally hilarious love scenes with the Legion commandant (Ralph Meeker). Her brother, the sheikh, has a prep school accent, but it's not quite as bad as the Brooklynese dialect of Richard Conte's villain sheikh in 1953's "Desert Legion" ("Det ta da lejun!"). Mama Mia!!

The legionnaires are uncharacteristically complacent. After all, this is 1955 and the tribes just don't surround and attack Legion forts a la Beau Geste anymore. Not! They get a rude awakening when Marla and her brother; who believe their father was murdered by the French; unite the desert tribes and wipe out a column of legionnaires. The film does have some reality deficits. Even though it is the 1950s there isn't a motor vehicle in sight, although the new commandant arrives at the fort by helicopter, and the radio man is building a television set. The rifles carried by the legionnaires were over 20 years out of date at the time, and rifle grenades can't blow up buildings. But, this is an escapist actioner with some unintended laughs thrown in, not a History Channel Special. In that respect, it really hits the spot. There's even a James Bondish theme song at the beginning!

I recently saw this movie for the first time since the early 70s (on TMC) and I find it hard to believe that it was never put on commercial video.

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