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March or Die (1977)

PG  |   |  Drama, War, Adventure  |  8 September 1977 (West Germany)
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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 »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maj. William Sherman Foster
Marco Segrain
Simone Picard
Francois Marneau
El Krim
Rufus ...
Sgt. Triand
Marcel Bozzuffi ...
Lt. Fontaine
Top Hat
Paul Sherman ...
Fred Hastings
Mean Corporal
Marne Maitland ...
Luigi Bonos ...
Wolf Kahler ...
First German
Matthias Hell ...
Second German


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The magnificent story of every courageous man who has ever gone out to face death and every brave woman who has ever waited for him to return. See more »


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 September 1977 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Marchar o morir  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)


$1,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Selected by Quentin Tarantino for the First Quentin Tarantino Film Fest in Austin, Texas, 1996. 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 »


François Marneau: Major Foster is a hero of the War.
Maj. William Sherman Foster: I'm afraid there are no heroes in war - only survivors.
Mollard: Come now, Major. You needn't be modest with us.
Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Testily] "Modest"? I took 8,000 men with me. I came back with 200. I think I've earned my modesty.
See more »


Version of Legionnaire (1998) See more »


Plaisir d'amour
By Johann Martini and Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian
See more »

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User Reviews

Love and War in a French Colonized Morocco
22 November 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Dick Richards's 'March or Die' is an interesting film set in Morocco during the French colonization. It nicely entangles the war drama and the love triangle. As the captain, we see a ruthless William but his feelings for Simone show a more human side. Marco is the clever thief and a skilled smooth talker with a good heart but he too has a vulnerable side. Simone is perhaps the most complex of characters as she is ambivalent concerning William and in love with Marco though she cannot bring herself to say it. The main characters are quite well fleshed out. The pacing is slow at times. The love sequences are well executed and it is very well underplayed. There is no sugar syrupy moment. The cinematography is okay. A wonderful Gene Hackman is both hateful and sympathetic. Terence Hill performs very naturally. Max Von Sydow is good but Ian Holm is unintentionally funny and it looks as if he's mocking a Moroccan tribes leader rather than playing it. A radiant Catherine Deneuve is sublime. Gosh, she looks so beautiful! The rest of the cast do well. The movie sort of has a dated feel to it but 'March or Die' is good enough watch for a Thursday night.

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