During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.
Newspaperman Bill Bradford becomes a special agent for the tax service trying to end the career of racketeer Alexander Carston. Julie Gardner is Carston's bookkeeper. Bradford enters ... See full summary »
Fritzi Haller is a powerful casino owner in Chuckawalla, Nevada. Her daughter Paula (having quit school) returns at the same time as racketeer Eddie Bendix, who left under suspicion of murdering his wife. Paula and Eddie become involved; each for their own reasons, Fritzi, Paula's old beau Tom, and Eddie's pal Johnny try to break up the relationship. Then Eddie's past catches up with him in an unexpected way.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
At 40 minutes in, when Tom Hanson (Burt Lancaster) pulls up to where Paula Haller (Lizabeth Scott) is and parks, the car is at an angle to the walk, but then all of a sudden it is parallel with the walk. See more »
Although Desert Fury was the first film actually released under his studio of Paramount, Burt Lancaster had already made quite a splash for himself in The Killers and Brute Force. In this one he's third billed behind John Hodiak and Lizabeth Scott and all he really does here is flash the pearly whites and be a stalwart hero as a deputy sheriff.
John Hodiak is a notorious gambler/racketeer has come home to Chuckawalla, Nevada where the Queen of the town Mary Astor with her casino runs the place. Hodiak left the place under a cloud with the death of his wife in an automobile accident which looked suspicious, but no one can prove anything.
Astor's daughter Lizabeth Scott who just quit yet another school is intrigued with Hodiak, but everyone's against the pairing, Astor, Lancaster who has a thing for Scott himself, and Hodiak's sidekick and gunsill Wendell Corey who has a most interesting and quite gay relationship with Hodiak.
Desert Fury is one of those several films from the studio days where gay was strictly taboo yet it somehow got to the screen. That scene where Corey tells Scott how he met a ragged and hungry Hodiak at the Automat and bought him a meal and took him home sure sounded like a pickup to me. Many from the generation before Stonewall told me that the Horn&Hardart Automat was one of the great pickup places in New York. Romances and flings have started in stranger places. No way that the writers would not have known that. Corey's devotion to Hodiak can't be explained any other way as the story unfolds. In fact he's the stronger of the two.
Corey and Mary Astor walk off with the acting honors. Astor covers a lot of the story's defects with a bravura performance that Bette Davis or Barbara Stanwyck would envy.
Desert Fury neither helped or hurt the rising career of Burt Lancaster, but he's far from the center of this story.
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