19 user 4 critic

Desert Nights (1929)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 9 March 1929 (USA)
A con man and his beautiful accomplice kidnap a manager and steal $500,000 worth of diamonds, but end up stranded in the desert without water.


William Nigh


John T. Neville (story by) (as John Thomas Neville), Dale Van Every (story by) | 4 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
John Gilbert ... Hugh Rand
Ernest Torrence ... Lord Stonehill
Mary Nolan ... Lady Diana Stonehill


Hugh Roland is the manager of an African diamond mine, when Lord Stonehill and his daughter Diana arrive to visit the mine. He immediately takes a liking to the lovely Diana, but unfortunately they turn out to be imposters who seize a tray of diamonds and kidnap him while escaping to the desert. Not knowing how to survive in the desert, the two eventually must rely on Hugh to find water and get them out. Written by Robert Tonsing <rob_tonsing@msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A powerful love-drama of primitive passions and daring adventures on the desert wastes of the tropics. (Print Ad-Philadelphia Inquirer, ((Philadelphia, Penna.)) 18 April 1929) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


John Gilbert's last silent film. Later that year he would make his disastrous sound debut in His Glorious Night (1929). See more »


Hugh Rand: [referring to the hyenas] They'll eat everything but the buckle on your belt.
See more »

User Reviews

Unfairly forgotten & very enjoyable
11 July 2017 | by marym52See all my reviews

John Gilbert DIDN'T exit pictures because of a high voice. In fact, his voice was a gravelly baritone; not mellifluously romantic, but perfectly suited to the characters he played in his later sound films. It's too bad this was released as a silent.

This pre-code desert adventure film features solid performances by the leads (I always perk up when I see Ernest Torrance in the cast list), beautiful photography, and a plot full of tension from shifting power and sexual tension.

Gilbert plays a bad good guy-- roguish, gritty, full of dark humor, and willing to play his captors off each other with anything it takes for his survival. One reviewer compares him to Errol Flynn. I can see that, but also the Clark Gable of "Red Dust".

A good, suspenseful film with all the advantages of the late silent period.

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None | English

Release Date:

9 March 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thirst See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Silent (alternate version)| Mono (Movietone) (musical score and sound effects)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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