Sahara (1943) Poster

(I) (1943)

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A first-rate War film, with a masterful musical score...
Nazi_Fighter_David10 April 2005
"Sahara" is a first-rate War film, well directed by Zoltan Korda, which qualitatively balanced its superb action sequences with penetrating character studies…

Bogart is seen as a tank commander who, when separated from his unit in the Libyan Desert, picks up a group of allied (and eventually several enemy) stragglers and heads out in search of badly needed water… Once they arrive at a nearly dry oasis, and after he learns that a motorized battalion of Germans is also after the water, Bogart decides to make a valiant stand…

Bogart's characterization is excellent as he gave what many considered to be the most realistic portrait of the truly "American" fighting man yet pictured on the screen…

Assisting in the overall success of "Sahara" was a masterful musical score by Miklos Rozsa, who did similar duty the same year in another "tank" picture, Billy Wilder's "Five Graves to Cairo."
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9/10
An excellent WWII movie
bill-7904 March 2005
"Sahara" is interesting from several standpoints. First, it is an excellent drama, well acted and directed, with good production values. Second, it raises an interesting moral question. Third, it has implications regarding the main actor and his future movie career.

"Sahara," the story of a rag-tag group of soldiers fleeing from Rommel's Afrika Korps in a US tank, is enjoyable throughout. The cast is fine, representing a number of nationalities and even races. I think this is one of Bogart's better acting jobs, and J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges, Rex Ingram, Dan Duryea, and the others are equally good.

While this may be a propaganda film, it is no "our hero wipes out an enemy division without a scratch" potboiler. On the contrary, the decision made by Sgt. Joe Gunn (Bogart) to stay and fight a German regiment rather than heading for British lines is a desperate gamble little better than a suicide mission. This brings up my second point; the ethical question.

St. Gunn gets the idea to stay at the oasis they have reached in order to fight and delay a German regiment in hopes that such a sacrifice may help the Allied cause. He must convince the others, and one or two do not go along without some persuading. "I don't mind fighting and dying," one says, "but this is pointless." Well, that's the issue. How easy it is to find reasons NOT to stay behind and fight! Makes me appreciate the plight of our soldiers on Bataan and Wake Island, who had no choice. But this little band does stay and fight, and the story hangs on their decision.

My third point is a bit arcane, and has to do with Hollywood business practices of the 1940s. Bogart was, when this movie started production, about the biggest star in Hollywood. Remember, he had already made High Sierra," "The Maltese Falcon," and "Casablanca." Why then, did Warner Brothers lend him out to Columbia to do this picture? Columbia was still barely a second rank studio. What did they have to trade in return? Rita Hayworth? I don't think she made any films for Warners, but I may be wrong.

Lastly, it's interesting to note that Bogart, when he started his own company (Santana Productions) in the late 40s, signed a releasing deal with Columbia. I guess he must have been impressed with Columbia while making this picture, as well as "Dead Reckoning" (1947).

I strongly recommend "Sahara" to anyone who has not seen it. It's exciting action combined with interesting characterizations.
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9/10
When Hollywood Used To Know How Good Movies Were Made
vitaleralphlouis16 December 2006
One thing to know about this enduring minor classic is that it was never included in the Harvard University based eggheaded revival of Bogart films. The super-brains there only recognized Warner-Bogart movies, never those made by Columbia; even though several of Bogart's best were Columbia Pictures and African Queen and Barefoot Contessa were United Artists.

Columbia took a B-movie sized budget, a great story, excellent acting and made a classic which had a shelf-life in theaters and TV in excess of 40 years. The story was good enough to be remade as a western in 1953 called Last of the Comanchees. Two years ago, Hollywood used the same title (Sahara) to produce a huge budget color adventure movie (but with an altogether story). With unlimited resources and today's alleged high tech, Hollywood produced a mildly entertaining picture which had a shelf-life, not of 40 years, but way under 40 weeks.

The Bogart SAHARA isn't easy to find these days, but have a look on eBay or request it from Turner Classics. Timeless, it won't disappoint even after 63 years.
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8/10
A Tough Gritty Desert War Movie
Kirasjeri10 September 1999
Bogart does well as an American tank commander early in WW II coming across some retreating British infantry. They later make a dramatic last stand against the attacking Germans.

Two actors make this movie a standout. J. Carroll Naish was of Irish descent, and he never played an Irishman in his long and great career as an actor. Check his movies and look for his great performances. Here he is magnificent as a tormented and disillusioned Italian prisoner (a German ally) who has to fianlly decide if he'll fight with the Germans or stand with the Allies, who could have let him die in the desert.

Rex Ingram was a fine black actor who here plays a Sudanese soldier in British colonial service. The depiction of a heroic black soldier was rare during World War Two (see my review of "Bataan"). He too was memorable. It's a fine film and worth catching whenever you can find it.
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Excellent film!
Hessian49923 June 2002
Shot in the American desert instead of the real Sahara due to the war, this movie is one of the best war films ever made. The desert is so bleak and barren, and the sun so bright, you can almost feel the heat in your living room. Sahara shows us just how brutal the conditions were in North Africa during the war, and how nature brought suffering to both sides. The Allied soldiers are a mix of a lot of different nationalities (American, British, French, South African, Irish, Sudanese) and we see how these men from diverse backgrounds come together to survive against the elements and the Germans. The Germans themselves have the usual stereotyping of nastiness that is found in most films of the 1940s, but even they are shown to be individuals and not a faceless enemy. Get a cool drink and watch Sahara - it's a great movie.
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8/10
Water
cope-811 November 2007
The Good Guys are desperate for water. The Bad Guys are desperate for water. Everyone is obsessed with the impossibility of getting water. Water. Water. Water.

There just isn't any. It's central to the plot. Everyone is terrified of dying for lack of it. They're ready to kill for it. They're ready to die for it. They travel miles and miles out of their way to get to wells.

And yet... when they start seriously shooting at each other, both sides are laying down a practically non-stop withering fire with.... WATER-COOLED machine guns!!!!!!

I guess they must have had a whole bunch of water all along!
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10/10
Rousing WWII Patriotic War Film
barontroll-117 February 2006
Sahara although not usually contained in the compendium of Bogey's best movies is a rousing WWII action movie. The plot involving a rag tag group of allied soldiers,along with Bogey's M-3 Grant Tank "Lulu Belle" holding a North African well against a motorized battalion of the Afrika Korps is enough to set the tone of this movie. I will not go into the plot any further but state that it was filmed in 1943 and it was a morale booster. The acting is first rate and the fact that an African-American actor, Rex Ingram was treated as an equal, as Sergeant-Major Tambul, Fourth Sudanese Battalion was far ahead of his time. A movie I see every time it plays. It was remade for TV with James Belushi playing the Bogart role as Master Sergeant Joe Gunn, USA and was a good movie in its own right. However, the Bogart version sets the standard. A must see movie for Bogey fans and WWII film buffs.

Michael Wolkow, Colonel, Infantry, Retired
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9/10
Pedantic But Entertaining
telegonus6 November 2001
This Zoltan Korda-John Howard Lawson World War II curio is at times a superb war film, with fine pace, excellent location photography and some excellent, unflashy acting. It is a story in the tradition of The Lost Patrol, as experienced U.S. Sgt. Humphrey Bogart, in a tank, helps a motley crew of soldiers, mostly British, in search of either their unit, safety or water, whichever comes first. They wind up at a desert fort and are eventually attacked by a German regiment that is also desperate and thirsty, and some exciting action scenes of fighting and exhausted men are the result.

Bogart is his usual charismatic self in the lead, and the supporting cast is nearly as good, especially Bruce Bennett and J. Carrol Naish; the former is quiet and dignified, as was his custom, the latter typically flamboyant, but this time his florid acting is appropriate. Overall I like this movie a lot. Like all the best war films, it focuses on seemingly small things, such as well that has gone dry (or has it?), the glaring sun, the little stories of home life,--for once not corny. There is a black African solider who is treated as an equal, and well-acted by Rex Ingram. Now and again, though, the movie turns preachy, as a certain internationalist tendentiousness creeps in, which, even if one finds its agreeable, detracts somewhat from the exciting story and makes it at times feel like a tract on the need for cooperation among nations.
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Excellent, if somewhat flawed
pv719891 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
SAHARA is an excellent war film and a very good portrayal of the kind of friendship and diversity the Allies needed to defeat the Afrika Korps in North Africa.

Humphrey Bogart plays Sergeant Joe Gunn, commander of a Grant/Lee Tank, also known as an M-3. The M-3s were superior to every British tank and were on par with the Germans' Mark IV Panzer. A slight flaw is that, outside of this movie, no subsequent film or documentary mentions any Americans being with the British 8th Army at Tobruk. Supposedly, the M-3s were shipped to Malta, the British base in the Mediterranean. By then, the Brits were well-versed in how to run it. Doubtless, any ship sailing straight from America to Egypt would have been blown to pieces by a U-Boat, the Luftwaffe or the Kriegsmarine.

Anyway, Bogart and his crewmates Bruce Bennett (aka Herman "Tarzan" Brix) and Dan Duryea are alone in the Libyan desert after the fall of Tobruk. Being 1943 and that this film was a feel-good piece of Allied propaganda, no mention is made of how the British wasted the incredibly gallant stand by the Free French at Bir Hacheim and let the Germans outflank them while they literally drank tea.

Bogart and crew head south to regroup, trying to coax as many miles out of Lulubelle, the name of the tank. They come up a diverse band of Allied soldiers from many nationalities -- English, Irish, Australian, South African and French. Together they head for the nearest well as they are desperately in need of water. Along the way, they pick up a Sudanese sergeant major named Tambul (excellently portrayed by Rex Ingram) and his Italian prisoner (the always reliable Irish-born J. Carrol Naish). It was a rare thing to see a black character portrayed as an equal with whites, but Ingram pulled it off seamlessly. Look for his scene in the well with Bennett when he is asked about the Islamic custom of having more than one wife. Anyway, Tambul leads them to a well, but it's dry, so he takes them to a second well where they find only a trickle of water.

During the trip they lose Lloyd Bridges in probably the briefest acting portrayal for a man billed fourth on the cast list. A Luftwaffe fighter pilot (Kurt Kreuger) strafes the tank, but is shot down when he is lulled into making one pass too many and flies within gun range of Lulubelle and Sgt. Gunn. Kreuger's role will become extremely important later, especially when he tries to force his reluctant Italian ally to show respect for Hitler and help Kreuger escape.

The plot gets even more interesting when Bogart persuades the men to stay at the well instead of taking all the water they can carry and leaving. The purpose was really for propaganda purposes, to show that the diverse allied soldiers could work well together and be willing to sacrifice their lives for each other against a common enemy -- a somewhat stereotypical, but well-played enemy led by veteran actor John Wengraf.

Other reviewers have noted that the battle was needless since the tank crew and allies could have taken the water and left the well, driving to the nearest British position. First of all, that would have defeated the propaganda appeal of the film. Secondly, the tank only had 150 miles, at best, of fuel. Sixty miles' worth was used to the first well, then another 50 to the second well. The tank could very well have been stuck in the desert, out of gas, waiting for the Luftwaffe to swoop down with a bomb. They don't mention it in the film, but for us viewers, hindsight is always 20/20.

Besides, all the fine acting of the first-rate cast would have gone unnoticed, including Louis Mercier as Frenchie LeBeau. His scene of how life in his village was as simple as cutting slices of cheese and washing them down with fine wine before the Nazis came in and killed everybody is excellent.

I don't think it's a spoiler alert to say that most of the actors don't make it to the end. Each dies a heroic death, including Tambul who takes care of a certain Luftwaffe pilot who throws racial slurs around way too easily while showing his Italian "ally" how ruthless a Nazi can be. The battle scenes are good, except way too many German soldiers stay on their feet even when explosions go off right next to them. Kreuger's role is good as he and Bogart square off in a classic battle of psychological warfare. Whose will will break first -- courageous allies fighting evil or disciplined, cold-blooded men desperate for water?

In another nod to a WWII ally, the film was adapted from a Soviet play that originally had 13 Soviet nationalities coming together to fight the Nazis at Moscow.

As I said before, the film was made in 1943 and was a "feel-good" film made for the American public and our allies. Bogart holds up his end well, although he gets a bit too preachy at times. Bruce Bennett is a little too stiff and bland, but then again, he wasn't the most fluid Tarzan either.

The main flaw is that the German fighter plane was a painted-over American fighter. A lot of people in the 1943 viewings picked that out right away. But, it can be overlooked because the Luftwaffe wasn't giving up its planes without a fight.

All in all, a first-rate film. A lot of people overlook this gem when putting together a library of Bogart films. It easily holds up with "The Maltese Falcon," "The African Queen" and "Casablanca."
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8/10
Very good war drama
blanche-227 March 2009
"Sahara" is a 1943 film starring Humphrey Bogart, directed by Zoltan Korda, and intended as a propaganda film during World War II. It succeeds.

Bogart is a Sgt. Joe Gunn, and after Tobruk falls in North Africa, he leads a tank unit into the desert. He's joined by French, South African, British, and Sudanese soldiers. They come up against a group of Germans that want the water well where the tanks are stationed.

Besides Bogart, the great cast includes Bruce Bennett. Lloyd Bridges, Dan Duryea and J. Carrol Naish, and they all do an exemplary job. What I like best about this film is the atmosphere - the sun beating down, the dryness, the filth - you're thirsty just watching it.

It was films like this that probably kept people in the U.S. going during the war, I imagine. World War II has been highly romanticized, but despite the pretty songs, there wasn't anything romantic about it. Since there are no women in this film, there's nothing romantic about "Sahara" either. Very good work.
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6/10
Bogey Battles The Germans In The Desert
ccthemovieman-119 July 2006
I guess this is what you'd call a "man's movie," a tough war story with no female characters in the cast. Humphrey Bogart is an effective tough-guy American sergeant leading an international group of Allies in a tank across the Sahara desert.

Eventually they battle huge odds against an onrushing German forces. intent on getting water from a well that was being tapped by Bogart's crew. There are a few lulls when characterizations are made, and the anti-German fervor in here is a little overdone. However, since it made right in the middle of World War II, that's understandable.

There is some good photography in here with nice shadows form the sand dunes. Overall, a pretty solid war film that has decent action without overdoing it. Complementing Bogart in he cast are the likes of Bruce Bennett. Lloyd Bridges, Dan Duryea and J. Carrol Naish
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10/10
I was born with this movie.
baddog4422 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I first started watching this movie in 1954. I was 9. Everything about it, even from a screen not much more area than a paperback. I have liked this movie. I've probably seen it 100 times. The big effort you must face, is imagine seeing this movie in 1943. Talk about bleak. this is a class A, Profile One, propaganda special. This movie was made in order to increase the war effort at home, in the USA and to increase the enlistments in the service. There are no women in this movie, unless you count the tank, Lulubelle, and the guys are crawlin all over her. But she doesn't complain. This movie is not that long, there's nothing intricate in it. But the speeches made by Joe Gunn, Stegman, and Giuseppe, pretty much sum up what it was going to take to win. Lots of people were gonna die. Also if you look at it from the standpoint of Practical usage of talent and each soldier used to his most outstanding quality. This is not only a recruiting wonder, this is a motivational movie for mid management and for strategic thinkers. If you mind the little things, the big things, get in line. Watch it and be thankful for the Greatest Generation, no foolin.
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10/10
An early start at diversity in a WWII setting.
madmup14 May 2002
Have the video and watch it about every other month. Great scene with "Frenchy" cutting bread and cheese and chasing with wine. First saw this movie about 1950 and have always enjoyed the acting. Not "hoaky" like some of the other movies of that period. Well worth watching. All of the characters have some depth. Too bad they had to use a P-51C as a German Fighter aircraft. That was the only point that could have used some work, but in 1943 it was hard to "get" a BF-109 unless you were in a P-51.
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9/10
" There is only one kind of Miracle, that's the kind you work for "
thinker169125 April 2009
Many American words are considered oxymoron. The word Sahara for instance is the Arab word for Water. It is in this vast, arid empty nowhere our movie takes place. The film is called " Sahara " and stars one of the finest thespians ever to grace Hollywood. Although, Humphrey Bogart plays Sgt. Joe Gunn, for the benefit of the U.S. Army and it's war time propaganda machine, it nevertheless became part of his highly acclaimed film achievements. Set in North Africa, a U.S. Armored tank crew learns they have been ordered to fall back and regroup with Allied forces. Along the way, they are joined by a British Captain (Richard Nugent) and his men, find and befriend Giusepp, an Italian POW (J. Naish), a Frenchman (Louis Mercier) and a Sudanese soldier (Rex Ingram). The American crew, Bruce Bennett and Dan Duryea, believe they know Gunn well, so they're surprised when he discovers there is no water at a distant Oasis, but further learns a German Armored battalion is also advancing on the Oasis and decides to make a stand. Despite huge odds against survival, the handful of Allied soldiers and their single M3-Tank defend against the enormous wave of tired but thirsty enemy. What the Germans are unaware of, is Gunn and his men although holding the Oasis, are also in great need of water. Who will prevail as Gunn sends for help and the Germans prepare an all out assault against the outnumbered group? It is the desperate drama, the fine script and the pool of characters which makes for an excellent movie and one which earns this film it's status of Classic. ****
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7/10
A Good Old war Movie
icwrjohn6 September 2004
There's really nothing great about this movie but I find it enjoyable in so many ways. First of all, how often do you get a chance to see a tank of that vintage. Bogart plays a tough sergeant but being Bogart, there's a human softer side to him. One of the best scenes is watching the German troops moving forward, the survivors at the oasis are sure they are going to be overwhelmed, but the Germans are surrendering, all because they are out of water. "Wasser, Wasser," you can hear them saying as they stumble forward. Good little ending. I enjoy it just for fun. A number of good supporting actors round it out. And like all war movies made during WW II, it's got every kind of character from the tough guy to the disillusioned Italian, to the French African hero, to the sneaky craft Nazi. And did I mention the proper Brit? See it for fun.
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8/10
"We stopped them at El Alamein."
utgard1414 June 2015
Excellent WW2 film about a small group of soldiers fighting off Nazis in the Sahara desert. Humphrey Bogart plays an American tank commander who, along with his crew, picks up several Allied soldiers and a couple of Axis prisoners. Eventually they find water in a well by the ruins of an old fort. When the Nazis come looking for the same well, the soldiers have to decide whether to run or fight.

Terrific cast backing up Bogie. Special mention for Rex Ingram, J. Carrol Naish, and Bruce Bennett. Solid script and direction. Nicely photographed by Rudolph Maté with a good Miklós Rózsa score. Humphrey Bogart starred in some great WW2 movies. Most of them were made for Warner Bros. but this one was made at Columbia. I think this is the best WW2 movie they put out and it's on par with anything made at the other studios. A strong dramatic film with great characters and exciting action. One Bogie fans won't want to pass up.
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6/10
A War Movie That Doesn't Focus On Battles
sddavis637 April 2013
This is another of Humphrey Bogart's war movies, this one made for Columbia Pictures instead of his usual work for Warner Brothers. In some respects, it's a war movie with a difference, in that it focuses much more on the men than the fighting. Bogie's character is Sgt. Gunn, an American tank commander separated from his unit in North Africa, trying to get his tank and his men back to Allied lines. Along the way they pick up a few stranded British soldiers, and also take a few prisoners, most notably Italian Giuseppe (a role for which J. Carroll Naish was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar.)

The primary issue involved is not so much the battle against the Germans (although that comes in the last half hour or so) but is rather the battle with the desert. The men are running out of water, and are desperately searching for a well. There's a brief hint of some competition, as at first the British soldiers aren't clear that they want to be given orders by an American sergeant, but that gets resolved quickly. Naish did, in fact, do a great job as Giuseppe, portraying very believably the general contempt that many Italian soldiers had for the war. He was contrasted with a stereotypically gung-ho German soldier.

The climax comes with a battle against a German battalion that's also desperately searching for water. Hopelessly outnumbered, Gunn decides they should take a stand and delay the Germans as much as possible. The scenes of desert warfare were believably portrayed (and the desert landscape was totally believable.) The result of the "battle" was perhaps not believable enough, unfortunately. It's an interesting movie, less action-packed than many war movies and as a result a bit slow perhaps at the start as it builds toward that last battle.
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7/10
Mightiest adventure drama set in Libyan desert during WWII dealing with an Allied lost patrol battling Germans
ma-cortes13 June 2012
Wartime classic film with powerful direction by Zoltan Korda including scenarios set in Lybia desert but filmed in Southern California desert, Palm Springs, and Yuma, Arizona , being based upon an incident in the Soviet film ¨The Thirteen¨ directed by Mikhail Romm and made about six years prior to this movie . "In June, 1942, a small detachment of American tanks with American crews, joined the British Eighth Army in North Africa to get experience in desert warfare under actual battle conditions. History as proved that they learned their lesson well" . While the WWII raged in Europe American/British troops were fighting in a far part of the world , North Africa . Small solitary patrols moved over the vast Libyan desert that seemed on fire with the sun . The molten sky gloated over them . The endless desert wore the blank look of death . Yet these men marched on without a murmur , fighting an unseen German enemy who always struck in the dark . Sergeant Joe Gunn (Humphrey Bogart replaced Brian Donlevy for this Columbia Studios film whilst Donlevy in turn replaced Bogart on the same studio's ¨Once Upon a Time¨ and even originally offered to Gary Cooper, who turned it down) and his tank (called Lulubelle" is a M3 Lee tank) crew (Bruce Bennett, Dan Duryea) pick up five British soldiers , a Frenchman and a Sudanese man (Rex Ingram) with an Italian prisoner (J. Carrol Naish who was nominated for Oscar) crossing the Libyan Desert to rejoin their army after the fall of Tobruk . A brave group of American and British soldiers lost in the desert are shot by the Germans , one by one and some battered fighting men battle it out to the finish . Dead the official commander they are ruled by the sergeant , then arise boiling passions in the burning sands . The bunch works together to vanquish a much larger Nazi army that wishes the same water well that they have . ¨The film is dedicated to the IV Armored Corps of the Army Ground Forces, United States Army, whose cooperation made it possible to tell this story."

The motion picture gets brief psychological remarks about diverse characters , and although is completely developed on the wide desert , the tale results to be a little claustrophobic . Produced by Columbia Pictures with a script by the black-listed John Howard Lawson and as executive producer Harry Joe Brown . Philip MCDonald (story's author being based the movie) had been recruited in the British cavalry during WWI (1917) and he ulteriorly wrote an intrigue and suspense tale , adding his war memories and taking an incident based on the Soviet Photoplay "The Thirteen" . The film contains Miklos Rozsa's powerful and emotive musical score . Very good cinematography in white and black by Rudolph Mate was nominated for Academy Award . The Sahara desert in this movie was portrayed by the California desert's Borego Desert which is located in the Imperial Valley, north of the American-Mexican border as well as Brawley, Imperial County, California ; Chatsworth, California and the sand dunes of Yuma, Arizona . Two thousand tons of sand were transported to the filming set in order to create the feel of loose desert sand, the shadows were spray-painted on desert hills to make them be seen more clearly by the audience ; moreover, sand dune ripples were created by spray-painting the sand with light paint and then turning on a wind-machine.

Magnificent direction by the British Zoltan Korda and excellent interpretations make this a very good film . This particular story was former and subsequently remade and reworked several times : The first time by John Ford in ¨The lost patrol¨ with Victor McLagen and Boris Karloff ¨ set in Mesopotamia ; ¨Bataan¨ by Tay Garnett with Robert Taylor in Philippines jungle ; ¨Last of Comanches¨ made by the same studio about a decade later , was loosely based on this movie , realized by Andre De Toth with Broderick Crawford in Califonia desert ; and even part of ¨Flight of Phoenix¨ by Robert Aldrich in Sahara desert . The motion picture will appeal to cinema classic moviegoers .
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8/10
Bogart is great in this tense war drama
NewEnglandPat30 September 2009
One of Humphrey Bogart's best films is this tough, scrappy war adventure of Allied troops banding together in the Lybian desert to outsmart and subdue an overwhelming force of German soldiers. Bogart is the picture's dominating force with snappy one-liners and biting commentary as only he could deliver them as he leads his troops in the search for water and safety from the hot sun. Soldiers from various Allied countries are represented in the movie that mirrors the plot of "The Lost Patrol" and Bogart is supported by a great cast that includes Dan Duryea, Lloyd Bridges, Bruce Bennett, Rex Ingram and J. Carrol Naish, the latter very appealing as an Italian soldier taunted by a German prisoner. Rudolph Mate filmed the picture with crisp lensing and Miklos Rosza's heroic score is a fine accompaniment to a great story.
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7/10
Lulubelle and the water for arms proposition!
hitchcockthelegend6 July 2008
Just after the fall of Tobruk, tank commander Sgt. Joe Gunn and his crew slowly make their way thru the desert. As they move on they pick up a number of passengers, some British soldiers, a Sudanese corporal with an Italian prisoner, a Frenchman, a South African and a grounded Nazi Fighter Pilot. As this unlikely mixture of a unit moves on it becomes paramount that they find water, however, there is a fully armed German unit in the area and they also are in desperate need of water.

A great cast boasting Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges, Rex Ingram and Dan Duryea, are expertly directed by Zoltan Korda while the wonderful cinematography from Rudolph Mate helps to seal the deal for this being a technical pleasure. Yet as good as the technical aspects are, this really has a firm emphasis on story. Written by John Howard Lawson (who would become one of the Hollywood Ten), it's chief triumph is with the humane approach, there's no fancy dan cloaking to smoother the picture, this is the perfect movie for those seeking a change from gun blasting bravado war films.

Easy on the eyes and ears, Sahara is a very enjoyable film experience that I recommend to lovers of finely crafted golden oldies. 7/10
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6/10
Man and Tank
sarx-115 February 2006
The great thing when Sahara opens is Bogart's relationship with his tank. Maybe he's been in the desert too long! But he's fairly explicit in his attitude, and can't talk about his tank without likening it to a girlfriend. He says that that the sound it makes is sweeter than anything any woman can say. Five minutes later he runs into an uppity British officer in the dunes, who disparages his tank - and Bogart gets quite upset. In one of his few displays of aggression in the film Bogart defends his tank's honour. The others fight for their causes – yes – but the only bait Bogart will rise to is another man disrespecting his Lady Tank.

Meanwhile there is a play of nations going on around Bogart. The Nazi is arrogant and won't be touched by the Sudanese. There is a vengeful little Frenchman and a comic Italian for pathos (his name is even Guiseppe). The British display constant pluck. Now the tank is carrying so many men, that it has become a mother figure, and 45 minutes in it's already "old girl".

It's a greatly entertaining film, and it's fun watching Bogart negotiate, strong arm and wisecrack his way to glory. I think Bogart served the Allies just fine by shooting not overly propagandist movies like this. The ghostly German army, struggling forward for thirst, is a great image to finish on.
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7/10
An Oldie, but a Goodie *Possible Spoiler*
the_sabre25 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Picked this movie up at a pawnshop for three dollars. Have to say I got my money's worth. The actors do a good job with their parts and the soldiers are given some distinguishing factors to tell them apart. There is an excellent diatribe by the Italian prisoner of war near the end of the movie. All in all, a good war movie.
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Very Entertaining
Michael_Elliott22 January 2009
Sahara (1943)

*** (out of 4)

Exciting and highly entertaining WW2 drama has Humphrey Bogart playing the leader of a tank crew who are slowly trying to make their way to safety by crossing the Sahara Desert. Soon the group of men begin to struggle as the sand storms and lack of water begin to have a toll on them so they decide to give their lives and battle a large number of German's. This is certainly one of the better WW2 dramas out there and I guess it's what you'd call a "man's movie" since there isn't a single woman in the film. The movie works so well because of the wonderful cast who turn in some great and memorable performances. Bogart leads the way and turns in another winning performance but I'd stop short of calling it amongst his best. He certainly fits that tough guy role better than anyone in history so there's no problem believing anything his character is doing. The supporting cast is where the real greatness is as several members are able to outshine Bogie. J. Carrol Naish gives one of his greatest performances with a spot on Italian accent. It's a real shame so many people just remember Naish from his later day exploitation titles because he was certainly one of the better character actors from this era. Lloyd Bridges, Rex Ingram, Bruce Bennett and Richard Nugent also add great support. Guy Kingsford also should receive special attention as Stegman. I think the best part of the movie is the first sixty-minutes or so where the men are having to deal with the desert as their main enemy. The effects of them dealing with a sand storm was very well done as was a terrific scene where the men get to taste water for the first time in days. I think the later part of the story gets a tad bit far fetched but one should also keep in mind that movies like this were being made to make those watching them feel proud of the troops battling in the real war.
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7/10
"Nothin' but static and Heil Hitler!"
classicsoncall19 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Humphrey Bogart excelled in crime, gangster and noir films, but he acquits himself reasonably well in the World War II adventure film "Sahara". He portrays an American tank commander waylaid in the Libyan Desert with two comrades, radio man Jimmy Doyle (Dan Duryea) and machine gunner Waco Hoyt (Bruce Bennett). With their trusty armored tank Lulubelle (Lulubelle) the opening scene has them following general orders to retreat in the face of a German advance that has them blocked on three sides. Running into the remnants of a British 8th Army unit, the sides hook up to form an international group of ragtag soldiers whose fortunes shift more than the desert sands around them.

Besides the inherent story of good versus evil, and freedom versus Nazi propaganda, the film also serves as an effective psychological drama in it's one on one vignettes focusing on members of the group. Particularly effective is the cat and mouse game played out by Bogey's Sgt. Gunn character and his German counterpart Major Von Falken (John Wengraf). At this point in the picture, Gunn and company had virtually nothing to lose in a desperate gamble to hold off the enemy until support could arrive. Or would it? In a brilliant scene, two Allied soldiers pretend to lavish themselves with bathing water, when it's just about all they have to share among ten men.

But take your pick. For a film that comes in at just over an hour and a half, it deftly details the backgrounds of it's principals and provides an insight into their motivations and humanity. Each of the Allies in turn prove to be heroes in their own way while maintaining a soldier's discipline. Even Italian prisoner Giuseppe (J. Carroll Naish) has a chance to shine in his eloquent argument against the downed German flier (Kurt Kreuger), preferring imprisonment rather than fighting against an enemy he doesn't hate. Powerful!

The film effectively places the viewer in that most uncomfortable of elements, a vast barren desert where you can feel the searing heat with every awkward step in the sand. Needed light moments are provided by the side bets Waco and Jimmy have on the outcomes of their sergeant's decisions. When Gunn hands over Waco's winnings at the end of the movie, you wish that everyone could have come out a winner and a survivor.
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10/10
Perhaps the outstanding movie of its genre.
PWNYCNY26 July 2010
This movie withstands the test of time and therefore is a classic. All the facets of movie production fall right into place in this outstanding movie about sacrifice and heroism. Instead of being hokey, this movie offers a strong and compelling story about survival and does this with an all-male cast. This movie may be the penultimate war movie; it is at least an excellent example of the genre. Theatrics are set aside as the the story immediately unfolds and follows a straight path leading to a strong dramatic finale. Humphrey Bogart and the rest of the cast are excellent. Especially impressive is the performance of J. Carroll Naish as an Italian POW. Although made during World War Two, the movie succeeds in keeping propaganda to a minimum and concentrates instead on telling a story. The movie maintains a steady level of suspense as the audience is made to wonder whether the tank crew will survive. In the era of flashy special effects and computer graphics, it is refreshing to watch a movie that relies solely on acting and actual sets and locations to tell a story.
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