Foreign Legion Major Foster (Hackman), an American haunted by his memories of the recently-ended Great War, is assigned to protect a group of archaeologists at their dig. Foster's unit ... See full summary »
By his dying father's last wish Joe is sent to the Wild West to become a real guy. The dreamy young man despises guns and fights, likes poems and prefers bicycles to horses. Now his three ... See full summary »
In Africa, many years ago, Slim and Tom don't like it when a German tyrant, starts selling all of the African wildlife to Canadian Zoo's! Slim and Tom must teach this guy a lesson by ... See full summary »
The "Trinity" crew makes another modern era film. Plata and Salud are pilots ditching aircraft for insurance money. They wind up crashing for real in the jungles of South America. The plot ... See full summary »
Renegade Luke has been living an easy life so far, travelling through the southwest with his horse Joe, making money by running small-time scams. All this comes to an end when he encounters... See full summary »
Busy and often absent father must take care of his two boys after his wife dies. They all live in Tunisia because of their father's job. The older boy is handling the difficult changes much better than the younger one.
Floyd, the owner of a bar on the Texas coast, has been depressed for a year after his wife disappeared in a swimming accident. He lives with his senile father-in-law "The General" and is ... See full summary »
Foreign Legion Major Foster (Hackman), an American haunted by his memories of the recently-ended Great War, is assigned to protect a group of archaeologists at their dig. Foster's unit includes the charming, thieving rascal Marco (Hill), who joined the Legion only to avoid prison. After long stretches portraying the boredom and hardship of day-to-day life in the Legion, Foster's command occupies a small village where the archaeologists believe they've found a burial site sacred to the Arabs. An Arab leader (Holm) uses this affront to unite the tribes in Jihad, and attacks the tiny Legion garrison at the dig. An epic battle follows, very reminiscent of the film "Zulu". Costumes, firearms, and props are all very authentic-looking, and show great attention to detail. Written by
Cameron Fairchild <firstname.lastname@example.org>
El Krim is based on the Morrocian revolutionary Abd el-Krim (1882-1963), the leader of a large-scale armed resistance movement in the Rif, a Berber area of north-eastern Morocco. See more »
The Legion uses French military equipment and customs. Yet in one scene, when the new recruits are awakened one morning, an American bugle call (reveille) is used. See more »
Maj. William Sherman Foster:
[Recounting bits of his past, in a somewhat rambling manner, to a prostitute who has been sent to his room]
I was in Morocco for 12 years. Do you know what a trench is? I dug trenches all over Europe. I ate in them, and I slept in them... I should have been a general in the U.S. Army. I was named after a general - - William Sherman... The Legion is my army now. Not the *vaunted* army of America - those bastards threw me out. All I did was tell them what I thought of them.
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I watched this movie today for the first time after stumbling across it on the IMDb a few weeks back.
I'm a big Gene Hackman fan and a war film fan so I didn't think I could go wrong purchasing this sight unseen.
Without detailing the plot too much, it is fair to say that this is standard Legionnaire in North Africa fare and not a lot different from Films like Beau Geste and the Van Damme Legionnaire film (which would seem to be a vastly inferior remake of this film).
The film starts at a slow pace. In some of the early bits the acting is a bit wooden and the film also gives the appearance of being made for TV (it gets much better).
Unfortunately the picture was a little bit grainy and I doubt it is a big enough film for any kind or restoration to ever be done on it.
Through reading the boards for this film it seems that there have been some cuts made to the Region 2 DVD and this may explain why the film seemed a bit slow to develop.
I was particularly impressed with the locations and sets used.
Hackman also started slowly but got better as the movie went along and he really hit his straps later in the film. Terence Hill was very good in a sort of role I haven't seen him in before.
The film takes the time to highlight the stereotypical harsh living conditions endured by the men in the Legion and also the strict discipline imposed on them, many of whom come from ill-disciplined backgrounds.
The injection of a love story into some war films (like Enemy at the Gates or Pearl Harbor) detracts from the overall quality of the film and seems to be done to create a wider audience appeal. In this film that is certainly not the case and the romance between Hill and Catherine Deneuve's characters seems to complement the rest of the film nicely.
There is only one real battle scene which comes towards the end of the film but it was worth the wait. Prior to this there are a couple of other tense scenes involving the Legionnaires and the Arabs.
The final battle can only be described as epic. It was one of the better large scale battle scenes I have seen in a movie (no CGI when this was made).
The film was not without some faults (I may be mistaken but my understanding has always been that while men of many nationalities serve in the Foreign Legion, the officers are all French) but it is certainly underrated.
Much better then some recent Hollywood fare we have been served up such as We Were Soldiers (also reviewed by me) and Windtalkers
I give it 7 out of 10.
Well worth seeing if you like a good war film.
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