MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 9,860 this week

March or Die (1977)

6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,947 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 7 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 20 Nov 2011
 
a list of 200 titles
created 04 Jan 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 29 Mar 2012
 
a list of 1034 titles
created 02 Nov 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "March or Die" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: March or Die (1977)

March or Die (1977) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of March or Die.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Sergio Corbucci
Stars: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Luciano Catenacci
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Franco Rossi
Stars: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Giuseppe Colizzi
Stars: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Reinhard Kolldehoff
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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 »

Director: Enzo Barboni
Stars: Terence Hill, Robert Vaughn, Ross Hill
Misunderstood (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Gene Hackman, Henry Thomas, Rip Torn
Adventure | Comedy | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Italo Zingarelli
Stars: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Joe Bugner
Action | Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Enzo Barboni
Stars: Terence Hill, Gregory Walcott, Yanti Somer
Zandy's Bride (1974)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Zandy Allan purchases a mail-order bride, Hannah Lund. He treats her as a possession, without respect or humanity, until their shared ordeal as they struggle to survive develops in him a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Troell
Stars: Gene Hackman, Liv Ullmann, Eileen Heckart
Lucky Lady (1975)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A trio of rum-runners during prohibition in the 1930s engage in a menage-a-trios after business hours.

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Gene Hackman, Liza Minnelli, Burt Reynolds
Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Little Rita has a dream: she dreams of a better world and she believes that all the evil in the world originates from gold. So she has decided to blow up all the gold she can put her hands ... See full summary »

Director: Ferdinando Baldi
Stars: Rita Pavone, Terence Hill, Lucio Dalla
Org (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Fernando Birri
Stars: Terence Hill, Lidija Juracik, Isaac Twen Obu
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Eriprando Visconti
Stars: Terence Hill, Martin Balsam, Paola Pitagora
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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 <fairchop@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 September 1977 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Marchar o morir  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gene Hackman had been experiencing pains in his back. The film's insurance company refused to allow the shooting to continue because a permanent injury to Hackman could have cost it a lot of money. The insurers suggested shooting the film somewhere in the deserts of the United States. But the color of the sand dunes in Agadir is not the same as the color of the sand in Nevada. Several big American transport planes were used to transport tons of sand from the Agadir dunes in order to camouflage the sand of Nevada. (Source: Beyond Casablanca, Page 131). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

François Marneau: Your Excellency, I have devoted my life to enhancing France's prestige as the cultural center of the world - not only for our pleasure and education, but also for the vast sums of money these treasures create.
Minister: Monsieur Marneau, exactly what was there at Erfoud?
François Marneau: A city, which has been covered by the desert sands for almost three thousand years. Where the Berber "Joan of Arc" is buried. They call her "The Angel of the Desert." And legend has it, that entombed with her is an incalculable fortune ...
See more »

Connections

Version of Legionnaire (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Really a very good war movie, but could have been epic
4 April 2011 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

This movie *could* have been as epic a movie as, say, "Apocalypse Now," "Lawrence of Arabia," or "Platoon." Instead we have a colorful, atmospheric period piece, set largely in the Moroccan desert, that plays like a wealthier version of "The Siege of Firebase Gloria." Not that that in itself serves to denigrate this movie. Not at all. Heck, "The Siege of Firebase Gloria" is a pretty decent war pic in its own right. It's just that I get this nagging feeling, that "March or Die," with a little extra input on production values, wider desert shots, more background flashbacks, etc., *could* have been a much more memorable, larger-than-life sort of picture.

But what "March or Die" lacks in the sheer epic expanse of other big-name war movies, it more than makes up for with carefully measured performances by the principal characters, not the least of which is that turned in by Gene Hackman, who plays a certain Major Foster - a cynical but nonetheless highly disciplined former American officer, booted from the "vaunted" army of America, who has found his military niche in the austere, almost mysterious world of the French Foreign Legion.

How exactly a Yank ends up in command of a Foreign Legion battalion leaves a little to the imagination - or at least prompts the viewer to make the necessary allowances for artistic license. True, the FFL was, and is, open to recruits from just about any country, but most of the officer ranks are usually reserved for the French. Some of the officers do in fact work their way up from the bottom, so maybe this explains Major Foster's leadership position.

In any case, I felt it was one of the better performances of Hackman's career. Though his Major Foster is an officer clearly under a lot of personal stress, with a lot of "ghosts in his closet," Hackman carefully avoids the temptation to imbue this man with excessive amounts of passion that I seem to associate with a Gene Hackman performance. And it works well in this movie, because he is *supposed* to be a man of discipline. In fact one of his more memorable lines in the movie is when he reminds a group of unruly recruits, on their way to joining up with the Legion, that "the Legion is the most disciplined army in the world."

The movie itself is a fairly engrossing mixture of military action and political intrigue - namely, certain powers in France saw fit to use Major Foster's Legion battalion as a sort of "protection squad" to help protect a vital archaeological dig in the Moroccan desert, on lands traditionally inhabited by various Arab tribes. Neither the Arab tribesmen, nor Major Foster himself, are really too keen on the prospect of foreigners coming in to usurp other peoples' wealth. But Major Foster, ever the military man in spite of creeping cynicism, does what he is told, or, as he coldly explains to El Krim, the leader of one of the militant tribes (nicely played, oddly enough, by British actor Ian Holm): "A soldier goes where he is sent."

A very interesting host of characters comes into play throughout the movie, including Max Von Sydow as the archaeologist intent on digging up the treasure in the desert - not only for the glory and coffers of France, but, we can assume, for his own personal aggrandizement.

The Legionnaires themselves are an odd and, at times, colorful lot, much as you'd expect from a disparate group of desperate lads, all seeking anonymity, adventure, escape, redemption, or whatever else it is they expect to find in the Foreign Legion: there is Marco, a slippery jewel thief who seems to con his way in and out of everyone's life, but nevertheless has a heart of gold (though, at times, you wonder if he didn't steal that gold in a heist); there is a tragically inept soldier known only as Top Hat, a former musician whose background and reasons for being in the Legion are never really explained; there is a hard-as-nails battalion officer, a certain Lt. Fontaine, who gives no mercy to the troops, and expects none in return - only discipline. There are assorted other nationalities represented in this odd mix of Legion troops, including a young British lad who meets a particularly unpleasant fate at the hands of the Arabs; a handful of ex-German soldiers, joining up after Germany's defeat in the recently-ended Great War; and also an expatriate Russian, named Ivan, who seems to represent some of the human global spillage caused by the Russian Revolution, just then occurring in his homeland. The Legion seems to be not only the best, but perhaps the only, place for him, and the rest of them, to call home.

Last but not least is beautiful Catherine Deneuve, in a minor role, playing a war-weary French widow, thrown into this Moroccan mix due to circumstances beyond her control. I really liked her appearance in this movie. Though she didn't have a particularly heavy part, I would not call her the obligatory female "fluff" - she did in fact add some balance and nuance to the story that, for me anyway, was really quite meaningful.

The movie ends with an epic battle scene reminiscent of other siege-type movies, where the onslaught of seemingly endless streams of enemy soldiers against a thinly-defended garrison IS the battle royale, the raison d'etre of the entire movie. The battle scene is well-done and ultimately poignant. In fact, the entire movie was well-done and poignant. It just seemed to be lacking those few extra points that snatched it from the jaws of greatness. Be that as it may, it is a great war movie worth seeing by any die-hard war movie fan. And if it prompts you to study further about the history of the French Foreign Legion, as it did me, then, so much the better.


11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Soundtrack dconstant
Uncut full version of "March or Die" ncand3d
Unintentionally Funny stockcontroller
Foster's speech to a grave ianprl
Zulu so much better then this campy movie gaelichero-1
Discuss March or Die (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?