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Live scenes of Paris and a continuity Narrator link together four dramatic choreographies, all by Roland Petit: Carmen (1949), La croqueuse de diamants (1950), Deuil en 24 heures (1953), and Cyrano de Bergerac (1959).
On the mountainous frontier between British India and Afghanistan, circa 1860s, Zarak Khan kisses Salma, the youngest wife of his father, Haji Khan. Outraged, his father orders Zarak to be flogged to death but spares his life at the urging of an elderly Mullah. Zarak now leaves his village and becomes a notorious outlaw, prompting the British to assign a Major Ingram to capture him. Zarak and Ingram have several encounters, developing a grudging respect for each other. When Ingram is captured by Ahmad, one of Zarak's rivals, Zarak risks his life to save the British officer. Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
[speaking of his eldest son, Zarak]
He has betrayed me. Brings shame on my name and to the family.
So much shame that you beat him in front of women?
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Victor Mature puts on a turban and grows a beard to star as the title character in Zarak. It's the story of the eldest son of a clan chief who betrays his father with the father's youngest bride played by the Swedish Anita Ekberg. Just another case of an obviously Cauacasian woman playing an exotic Oriental and just by looks not carrying it off too well. Still she does what she can, Maureen O'Hara knew best of all how Anita felt cast in something like Zarak.
After being banished from the tribe, Mature becomes a bandit chief and the scourge of the territory in what is now Pakistan. Michael Wilding is sent to bring in Mature dead or alive, but other tribes are starting to get restless.
It maybe set in what was the real India then, but Zarak plays like an eastern western. Finlay Currie plays a mullah who pops in and out of the film at critical points in our protagonist's life. He's quite the saintly figure, more like a Christian saint than a Moslem one.
All in all a routine action film that fans of Victor Mature will appreciate.
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