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Fun, Hokey Love Triangle Drama Set in Arab Desert Oil Fields
First off, there are some very camp elements to this pre-code relic. The characters are shallowly scripted, but the principals creditably give them what they can. The ethnic stereotypes (and the wrong, wrong, wrong! depiction of Muslims at prayer!) may offend some, and anybody familiar with North Africa will notice many more howlers.
Still, Jack Holt's portrayal of Jim Bradler is almost Gable-esquire in its macho eloquence and Fay Wray is wonderful as hard, selfish Vida. The ending is unintentionally hysterical, but what elicits howls today may have only raised eyebrows among the cognoscenti in 1933.
While the story and production are impossible to take seriously, Holt and Wray make it very watchable, and the rest of it is just camp. Critically, I can't give this film high marks, but it's too fun to pass up.
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