From the Golden Age of Television, a live TV performance of the famed operetta, more faithful to the original than either the 1943 or 1953 film versions.


(television adaptation) (as William Friedberg), (television adaptation) | 5 more credits »

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The Desert Song is a 1929 American Pre-Code operetta film directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring John Boles, Louise Fazenda, and Myrna Loy.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: John Boles, Carlotta King, Louise Fazenda


Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rod Alexander ...
Salvatore Baccaloni ...
Felisa Conde ...
Castagnette Dancer
John Conte ...
Viola Essen ...
Bambi Linn ...
Earl William ...


From the Golden Age of Television, a live TV performance of the famed operetta, more faithful to the original than either the 1943 or 1953 film versions.

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Release Date:

7 May 1955 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Desert Song opened at the Casino Theatre on November 30, 1926 and ran for 471 performances. See more »


Version of The Red Shadow (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

Faithful version of the show
1 August 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

After Nelson Eddy left the big screen after Northwest Outpost for a while he concentrated on the concert stage. But as that was not bringing him in enough cash he switched to the nightclub scene where he was a leading attraction for the rest of his life. His singing partner was Gale Sherwood who was 28 years his junior. But rumors had it that they made beautiful music on and off the nightclub stage.

Which brings us to The Desert Song which was done live on television in 1955 and marked Nelson Eddy's last operetta role. The tape that survives and sadly only in black and white is the absolute real version that folks on Broadway saw in 1926 when it debuted. The three big screen versions all had plot changes of some kind. And the score is not intact in any of them. For that reason this DVD is to be treasured.

And it is to be treasured for the singing of Nelson and Gale. She was the equal of Jeanette MacDonald as a partner for him. But Nelson Eddy was also 54 when he did The Desert Song and looked every bit of it. Hardly the type to play the dashing Red Shadow. When he's not hitting the high notes of his baritone range, Eddy looks a little silly.

Still it is the music of Sigmund Romberg-Otto Harbach-Oscar Hammerstein, II that we treasure from The Desert Song. And the singing is fabulous.

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