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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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>
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 »
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:
[Marco has rescued Top Hat and brought him back to the Legion's fort. Major Foster is not impressed with this "heroism"]
On a march a man dies where he falls. We don't go back for stragglers.
I'll remember that, sir.
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This is a very unusual film in some ways, and very interesting. Gene Hackman is good, and Terence Hill is excellent in a different part for him. Hill almost seems to be acting as Steve Mcqueen. Whatever his technique, its effective. There is one thing that sets this film apart from every other movie out there, it has one of the all time great battles. Yes, it has to be one of the best ever filmed, a thing of true beauty. Violent, gritty, and very realistic. You can feel the desperation as the legionaires frantically play out their own version of Custer's Last Stand. Truthfully, the big climatic battle scene could stand alone as a good film. If you like Hackman or Hill/Mcqueen don't miss this one. Papillion joins the Foreign Legion...very cool!!!!! Loved it
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