In Morocco, a French sergeant falls in love with the sister of an Arab colleague, a dangerous situation that could result in death for both of them. Complicating matters is the fact that ...
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In Morocco, a French sergeant falls in love with the sister of an Arab colleague, a dangerous situation that could result in death for both of them. Complicating matters is the fact that her father is an Arab chief fighting a local bandit who is also in love with her. Written by
Also an actor, a writer and a sculptor, British director Rex Ingram shot his only talkie in Morocco, at the heyday of the French colonial empire, to retire shortly afterwards from the film industry.
I have not much to add to the interesting comment made on the English version of "Baroud" (which means "fight" or "war" in Berber), except that I am far less enthusiastic about the film. The plot is as follows : Frenchman André Duval (Roland Caillaux) and his Moroccan friend Si Hamed (Pierre Batcheff) are both sergeants in the Spahis, the corps of Algerian-Moroccan native cavalry in the French Army. Duval falls in love with Si Hamed's sister Zinah (Rosita Garcia), even though an infidel's attentions to her can lead to his death. Zinah's father, Si Allal, is a Berber chieftain battling the bandit Si Amarok, who lusts after Zinah and plans to betray Si Allal... I have reasons to believe that the English version is better (although I haven't seen it), because the cast in the French version is not flawless. All right, Pierre Batcheff is perfectly cast as the young sheik, but Roland Caillaux is far from being mesmerizing. Then Rosita Garcia, as beautiful as she is, speaks with some unidentified accent (presumably South American) which makes her acting somewhat awkward. But the worst actor is certainly Arabella Fields. I agree with the comment of the English version (she really is the "mammy" style black nanny !), but what makes it worse is that she speaks French with a rather thick (and unmistakable) English accent (Josephine Baker-like) which is utterly ridiculous in that part of Africa. How can you believe such a part ? The best part of the film is the photography and the wonderful scenery. The rest can not stand the comparison with "Morocco" (directed by Josef Von Sternberg). If "Baroud" is definitely much more authentic than its Hollywoodian counterpart, it lacks a truly original story and above all unforgettable actors. I admit it is hard to match Cooper and Dietrich as well as Von Sternberg's extravaganza, but I was hoping for more from "Baroud".
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