Sergeant Victor comes to the French Foreign Legion after taking the blame for his brother's crime. Cigarette falls in love with him though Major Doyle is in love with her. Doyle sends ...
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Michael "Beau" Geste leaves England in disgrace and joins the infamous French Foreign Legion. He is reunited with his two brothers in North Africa, where they face greater danger from their... See full summary »
Sergeant Victor comes to the French Foreign Legion after taking the blame for his brother's crime. Cigarette falls in love with him though Major Doyle is in love with her. Doyle sends Victor on dangerous assignments to be rid of him. He falls in love with Lady Venetia Cunningham, a visitor to the garrison.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the 1930s and 40s, there were a bunch of movies that glorified the French Foreign Legion and featured them as the good guys. Considering the films were made here in the States, it does seem odd that these colonials were talked about at all as well as glorified...but there was apparently some sort of romantic notion of bravery and chivalry associated with this army. Films such as "Beau Hunks", "Beau Geste", "Under Two Flags" and "Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion" are just a few of the many such films of the era about this outfit.
This film is set in North Africa and you must ignore that the natives are sometimes referred to as Arabs...they are most likely Libyans, Algerians, Tunesians or, perhaps, Moroccans--all North African countries occupied by the French at that time. The commanding officer, the Major (Victor McLaglen), has a bit of an infatuation with a girl oddly named 'Cigarette' (Claudette Colbert) and after a while, so does Sergeant Victor (Ronald Colman). But when a British lady (Rosalind Russell) shows up in the middle of this desert town, Victor is smitten and now has TWO ladies who think he's their boyfriend. Amidst these smoldering passions is an uprising (what else?!) among the natives and it's up to the Legion to kick butt and restore the peace.
While the cast is quite nice in this one, the film itself is only ordinary. I think much of the problem is that "Beau Geste" came out about the same time and was simply a much more exciting and interesting movie. It's watchable and mildly interesting but not much more.
FYI--It is interesting to see Claudette Colbert playing a French lady and using a French accent, as she was born and lived in France until she was a young girl. I assume her family must have spoken French at home and approximating the French accent must have been pretty natural for her.
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